Storing slides: What needs to be taken into account when storing slides?

Dias lagern

Let’s start with the bad news: slides unfortunately don’t last forever, they have a limited lifespan. After 15 to 20 years, they begin to show colour casts and fade. Worst case scenario, they can even become mouldy.

Converting your slides is, of course, the best way to save your old memories. But what else can be done to preserve the slides for as long as possible? MEDIAFIX has the best tips for slide storage.


Storing slides – sadly only possible to a limited extent

As mentioned above, slides only have a limited durability – it is important to consider this when storing slides. Colour casts and colour fading can make your old memories almost unrecognisable. Slides consist of different layers of colour that fade at different rates – this is how the different colour casts occur.

Different manufacturers give different periods of time for the slides to fade. However, a study (“The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures”, Wilhelm Imaging Research (1993) found that slides begin to fade and show colour casts after an average of 20 years.

Storing slides – and protecting them from high temperatures and humidity

Temperature fluctuations and too much humidity are the slides’ greatest enemies.

Basically, it would be best if the slides were stored at sub-zero temperatures, because the cold delays the process of organic and physical decay. Storing slides at only 7°C increases the lifespan by tenfold opposed to storing them at 24°C.

Decreased humidity can also improve the durability of slides: If the humidity in the storage room is 15% instead of 40%, the lifespan can be doubled. The more humid the air, the more likely mould and bacteria will multiply and the softer the emulsion layer of the slide will become. The slides become much more vulnerable to pollutants and the decay of your memories becomes faster and faster. Unfortunately, even the best slide boxes can’t protect your slides against this process.

Storing slides safely – because copies are rare

Your slides are unique and irreplacable. They are memories of beautiful and special times. If something should happen to the slides – be it decay over time, water/fire damage or bends and tears – no one can get these pictures back for you. They are then lost once and for all. So when storing your slides, make sure they are in a safe place and not accessible to everyone.

The best solution is to digitise your slides, because with digital data accidents cannot happen so quickly. It is super easy to make backup copies. You can also easily pass on copies to family and friends. Should copies then disappear or be deleted at some point, you can get them back very quickly.

Saving memories with MEDIAFIX


Despite the best possible slide storage, there is basically no way around it: You have to digitise your slides. Slides do not last forever – it is as simple as that.

So what are you waiting for? Save your memories and have your slides scanned – at MEDIAFIX with a best-price-guarantee.

Do you have any questions? Our friendly customer service will be happy to advise you in a personal conversation.
Simply call 020 3904438-0

Our phone hours are:

Mon-Fri 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.