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Clean Film.... with WD-40 ?

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  • Clean Film.... with WD-40 ?

    I saw a youtube video which claimed success with WD-40 as film cleaner .... anyone else try it?
    (3) Fix curled Super 8 film - YouTube

  • #2
    In general, it's not recommended as it's too oily.


    • #3
      I tried it years ago out in the garden and I still nearly passed out.

      An odd quirt indoors might be OK, but I`d rather not.

      When you can get Filmguard or its equivelant in the UK or US etc, and theres also a sounds OK-ish bottle of film cleaner from £9.50 delivered in the UK, I`d go for the usual stuff.

      Also if its glued on stripe it may do a solvent under and off job as wd 40 does get in to some very remote places on cars etc.

      Best Mark.


      • #4
        It may have similar properties, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. I am like none other when it comes to saving a buck, but those reels are too precious to put up to chance. It's like taking the wrong medication when your sick ... It may appear that you're feeling better, but you have no idea as to what unseen after effects or damage that inappropriate med is doing to you.


        • #5
          Filmguard is the best cleaner and lubricant you can buy for your precious films. I've used this stuff for years, and my films are like new. This formula has been proven to be very gentle, and safe for films. It's been on the market for years. Trust me don't use inferior products.


          • #6
            There was a time that film lubricant wasn't available so I started mixing a small quantity of wd40 with Isopropyl for my vintage 9.5mm films. Not ideal back then but all I could come up with.

            Film Guard is the best today and does offer good results. Don't over apply it or you will hear lots of sound wow, just a light application i would say.

            I've done my entire collection with it dating back to the latter 60s and its great on Standard 8mm vintage films.


            • #7
              But what do you use when Filmguard is not an option, as it is unavailable in european countries.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lee Mannering View Post

                Film Guard is the best today and does offer good results. Don't over apply

                What I do, probably as many, is to apply Filmguard and then rewind the film through a dry cloth to remove excess product. For a reason I don't understand, with optical sound super 8 films, some remaining drops are visible when projection, probably where the cloth was no longer dry enough. Those drops disappear with time, so the product is very safe.


                • #9
                  You tend to find you can’t get wd40 of film once applied and it shows blobs when projecting. A bit like a living lava lamp.


                  • #10
                    Should you use WD-40 as a lubricant?

                    While WD-40 does have some lubricating properties, it is not a good lubricant and should not be used for this purpose. Using it on anything that needs proper lubrication (bike chains, treadmills, garage doors, etc.) will not give you the results you want.

                    The main reason for this is that only a fraction of WD-40 is made up of lubricants. And these are only light mineral lubricants, unsuitable for any serious friction or heat.

                    The rest of the product is made up of compounds that aid penetration. These also have lubricating properties, but because they are volatile compounds that evaporate over time, their effect does not last.

                    On top of that, both the application of WD-40 and its evaporating components dissolve and displace existing lubricants, like lithium grease or graphite.

                    What happens if you do use it to lubricate?

                    First, the WD-40 loosens rust and corrosion, which it actually does well. For a while, parts that you applied the product to will move smoother than they used to.

                    After the volatile compounds have evaporated, however, moving parts will start to seize up again. Crud, grime and particles start to accumulate on the leftover WD-40 and you will be in the same as or a worse position than you started.

                    In situations with extremely low demands, like indoor door hinges, WD-40 does lubricate for a while. But on parts that move with more friction, speed or heat, it will stop lubricating properly in no-time. The same goes for outdoor applications, where exposure to the elements becomes relevant.

                    On bike chains, for example, you can expect to have to re-apply WD-40 after every 10-20 miles of riding to maintain lubrication.

                    Regardless of the application and the stresses involved, you are better off with a real lubricant.


                    • #11
                      Also remember that WD40 was developed for car starting in wet conditions (Water Displacement 40 is its full name) not lubrication.


                      • #12
                        Good informative video.

                        A lot of recommendation on here for Filmguard, but it didn't work.

                        I have some old "Soundies" on 16mm that will not run through a projector and are otherwise junk ,& the WD40 plus heated hair straightener treatment may be worth a shot.


                        • #13
                          Good points about WD, but it must be stressed that the detailed info is about it's proper use and the proper object of use. As stated by others, Filmguard is a sure bet. Expensive? Yes, but A lot less expensive than replacing dry, brittle, dirty films, and pretty cheap, compared to the cost of films in general, these days.
                          Last edited by Osi Osgood; December 17, 2022, 09:33 AM.