How to Remove Brown Spots From Old Prints

Brown spots on old prints can be removed with some simple household items and patience. This blog post covers how to remove brown spots from old prints and will include a list of supplies needed for the process. However, it is important to note that this method may not work in every case due to the type of stain created on your print.

The best way to find out if it can be fixed is by trying it! These methods are non-toxic and safe for use at home without any special equipment or chemicals. With these tips, you’ll get rid of those pesky brown stains like magic!

Things To Consider When Removing Brown Spots From Old Prints:

10 Effective Ways to Remove Brown Spots From Old Prints:

1. Use a Soft Toothbrush:

Sometimes the spots can be removed with a toothbrush and some water.  Lightly brush the toothbrush against the spot to remove it. This technique requires patience and diligence as you would need to brush every spot off before it begins to fade, but this is most likely your easiest option. After the spots have been removed, rinse your mouth with water and you are done!

2. Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide:

This is a popular method for removing spots from old photos. Mix 1 part of hydrogen peroxide with 3 parts of water in a plastic container and then place the print into the mixture. Let it soak overnight, drain off excess liquid and let dry for several days. Repeat if necessary, but be sure to wear gloves during this process as hydrogen peroxide can bleach your hands.

3. Use Lemon Juice:

As stains are usually caused by organic material, it is recommended that you try this household ingredient to remove the look of age spots on old photo prints. First, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the affected area. Then, rub gently with a cotton ball. Allow the lemon juice to stay on for approximately 15 minutes before rinsing off with water. Repeat this process every day until you see an improvement. How to Remove Stains on Old Photo Prints with Baking Soda This is another kitchen ingredient that can be helpful in removing age spots from old photo prints.

4. Try Dish Soap:

If there are old stains on a photo that you want to remove, you can try using dish soap. To do this, mix a couple of drops of Dawn brand dishwashing soap with warm water in a plastic container, then soak the whole print for about an hour.

5. Apply Retouching Fluid:

Retouching fluids are specially made to cover up spots and discolorations on photos, and they usually come in white or colorless varieties. You can try covering up the brown stains with this fluid. Apply a few drops of retouching fluid with a cotton swab to create an opaque layer over the stain and let it dry before washing off. You can find retouching fluid at drugstores and online.

Apply Retouching Fluid

6. Use Glycerin:

This is another household ingredient that can be used to remove brown photo stains. Mix glycerin with 1 part of distilled water and apply with a cotton swab or paintbrush. Allow it to sit overnight and then wipe off the excess glycerin in the morning with a paper towel.

7. Try Retouching Pen:

If you have retouching pens in white or colors, you can use them to cover up stains on photos. Apply the pen over the affected area for an opaque look that will help conceal the stain. Note that these retouching pens are not always available in colors, so you may need to do some experimenting first.

8. Remove the Background:

First, separate the picture from its background with a piece of non-residue tape or an X-acto knife and then check if the stain vanishes as well. If it does, reprint your photo minus the stain! This is a great way to redo your family photos.

9. Use a Standard Eraser:

Gently rub a standard white eraser over the stain, and it will begin to fade gradually. Just be sure not to press too hard, as you may damage your print. Also, consider using this method for white spots only, as it will not work on yellow stains.

10. Rub with Baking Soda:

Another household ingredient to try is baking soda. Mix in enough water with baking soda to make a thick paste, then apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Next, gently rub off the area with a cotton ball or soft cloth until you see that it is gone.

Things To Consider When Removing Brown Spots From Old Prints:

1. The chemicals needed to remove brown spots might damage the print. If the chemicals do not work, there will be a permanent brown spot on your print.

2. There is no guarantee that the chemicals will remove all the brown spots. If the chemicals work, there will be a lighter brown spot on your print from where the chemical has removed the spot.

3. Be sure to wear protective gear (goggles, gloves) for safety reasons.

4. Each method has its own difficulty level; choose one based on your experience level and preferences.

5. If the spot is small, you might be able to take a cotton swab dipped in acetone or alcohol, run it over the area, and gently wipe away the excess. This should work well if there are only one or two spots. The non-acetone nail polish remover will evaporate more than acetone but will not damage the print as much.

6. If it is a huge area, you could try using a laser pointer to remove the coloration of the paper without touching it. A nail clipper might cut out specks; thus far, this method has mixed success.


To get rid of brown spots on old prints, you can use a small amount of bleach and water in your kitchen sink. Put the paper into the bleach for about 10 minutes before rinsing it with cold water to make sure that all traces of the bleach are removed.

You may need to repeat this process if there is still discoloring by using more bleach and letting it sit longer each time until the print becomes white again. So, now you know how to remove brown spots from old prints. If you have any questions or comments about the process of removing these stains, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll be happy to answer your queries!

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Jennifer Branett
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