It seems simple enough to remove the photos, right? ...since the process to get them IN the album was pretty simple. Pull back the plastic, stick down the photo, put the plastic back. ... and repeat......
For removal: Same concept in reverse, right? However, you will find that the removal is not nearly as easy as the initial placement – heat, humidity, time, and GLUE have all had their way with the photos.
There is nothing magnetic about these albums.
The photos stick because of glue. GLUE. Yikes! Over time, it starts to act up and decides that the pictures are going to be stuck permanently. There are lots of chemical reasons why the glue degrades and basically eats away at the back of the photos and the ink and then the pictures start to discolor, fade and all sorts of nastiness - trust me on this, or google it - but it is a fact - glue damages photos.
When one starts a project like this, one says a quick prayer to the photo gods for kindness and generosity – and then if that tactic that doesn’t work as well as expected - one gets busy with dental floss!
During this particular project, I also used blank photo paper (from when I had this really great idea that printing all my photos would help me save money – except that paper and ink has its own aging issues – more on that in a future post) ----- back to the blank photo paper ---- I successfully used it to slide between photo and offending adhesive and that helped release many of the photos. The thicker paper made a nice edge for sliding along the barrier. DON’T think that a “dull” butter knife will do the trick – it won’t. You need something that slides between the photo and the glue and you need a whole lot of patience.
A quick Google search and/or Pinterest search (two of my favorite go-to information sources) will tell you that a blow dryer may help release the glue by warming it up. Searching further, folks have said that putting the album (or single page) in the freezer may also help the process. Clearly, a real-life experiment of each of these processes will need to be done. Stay tuned, gentle readers!!
Don't quote me on these theories.....yet (wait for the real-life experiment) --- instead know that I did just fine with gentle (and determined) sliding/slicing of dental floss and my friends at Downton Abbey.