Can these photos be saved? Mouse pee involved...

Some photos of mine were put into an indoor storage room which unbeknownst to me was the headquarters for a family of mice. Ugh.

Now most of the photos have nibbled corners, but the big question I have is how to unstick them. Many of the photos are stuck together card deck style with what I believe is mouse pee. Isn’t that special?

My instincts are to wash them with bleach but I’m betting this isn’t the best way.

I would just like to get them unstuck so I could scan them and make new copies, or use one of those photomake things since there arent any negatives to be found.

Thanks for any help.


I would just unstick them with very small amounts of plain water, cautiously applied with a Q-tip or something. Just dab it wherever the dried pee is and keep adding tiny bits of water until the pee dissolves. You can wear rubber or latex gloves if you’re worried about germs.

…until the pee dissolves just enough to let you unstick the cards. I think they’re always going to be gummy, so just peel them apart as best you can and scan them or whatever.

I have in the past put photos in a tub of room temperature water and just let them soak. over time they wll loosen and you should be able to pull them apart. Then just wash them by letting water run over them for a while and lay them on a clean paper towel to dry. It’s worked before, although rodent urine wasn’t involved, so I don’t know what that might do to them. They may be discolored.

This is a very fortuitous thread since I was just going to ask how I can save my bucket of rodent urine. Someone appears to have dropped some photos in it.

Just soak them in a bowl of water with the cold tap running at a trickle so that it overflows. This is the way that photos are washed after they are developed and fixed. Unless there was something v special about their processing they shouldn’t come to any harm. While they are soaking give them a gentle jiggle from time to time.

Put them on a clean dish drainer or peg 'em up to dry.