Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I have an Epson Perfection 2400 PHOTO Scanner. It has been a great device scanning both printed images and negatives. It is about 5 years old. Over time, I have noticed that the scanned image quality has deteriorated and it takes more and more work in Photoshop to clean them up. But even after that, they just are not the same.

I have obviously cleaned the outside flatbed glass and ensured the white background is clean. After some research last night, I am reading that scanner quality can degrade over time, as the internals of the scanner are not truly sealed to the outside and dust can accumulate on the optics, sensors, and mirrors. It sounds like this is what I need to clean.

However, this sounds like a very risky endeavor. They can easily be scratched, and opening the case and allow even more dust to get inside. What tips and techniques should be used to clean the scanner components? I have read suggestions that you create a "clean room" in the bathroom by running a shower in which the moisture will "sink" the dust in the air. What cleaning material and products should be used, if any? Or should this only be done by a professional?
Where would I even go to get it professionally cleaned?

I am not a professional photographer by any means, so there is not much at stake here. If I ruin the scanner, it is not a big deal.

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Good question! Welcome to photo.SE, Mike. –  Reid Dec 2 '10 at 16:01

1 Answer 1

Scantips has some information on this: cleaning scanners (about halfway down the section) but in a nutshell, most scanners can have the top taken off to clean the underside of the glass, but how it comes off will vary from scanner to scanner. It also says, don't mess with anything else, which is probably wise.

The article also has cleaning materials suggestions. That covers the extent of my knowledge...

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