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How to Preserve Old Film Reels

When it comes to preserving old film reels, time is of the essence. The older the film, the more likely it is to suffer from physical and chemical deterioration, which can result in a significant loss of image and sound quality. However, with proper storage and care, you can help preserve these precious memories for generations.

We’ve got some tips to help you ensure you don’t accidentally lose the memories before you have the chance to save and convert them later. Let’s get started.

#1. Keep them Cool and Dry

The first step to preserving old film reels is to keep them in a cool, dry environment. It is fine to store film in the back of the closet or inside of a drawer as long as it is away from direct sunlight and any sources of moisture. The ideal temperature for storing film is between 68-72°F, and the relative humidity should be between 40-50%.

Finding a room in your home with these conditions will help keep your film in the best condition possible. Typically, those places are closets or cabinets in a bedroom or hall closet. Don’t store them in or near your bathroom storage shelves or cabinets, though, because they’ll be exposed to too much humidity.

#2. Remove Any Pieces Of Plastic Or Rubber When Storing Films In Cans

If you are storing film in cans, removing any pieces of plastic or rubber that may come into contact with the film is essential. These materials can deteriorate over time and release chemicals that can cause the film to decompose. This can result in fading, discoloration, or even the complete loss of your precious memories.

Before you put them away, just check to make sure all of these extra components have been removed. Then you should be good to keep the film in its canister until you can get them converted.

#3. Transfer Them to Digital

One of the best ways to preserve old film reels is to transfer them to digital format. This process captures the video and sound from the film and converts it into a digital format that can be stored on a computer or external hard drive. The digitization process not only preserves the film but also makes it easier to share and view the memories with others.

Ask for Professional Help

For the best results, consider seeking the assistance of a professional for transferring your film to digital. These experts have the necessary equipment and knowledge to properly handle and transfer your film, giving you the highest quality result. Companies such as Capture offer video digitization. Capture’s video digitization service ensures the safety and accuracy of your memories. They can also provide high-quality scans and ensure that your digital files are stored in a format that is both accessible and shareable.

Furthermore, professional transfer services often offer additional services such as color correction and sound enhancement that can enhance the overall quality of your digitized film.


Preserving old film reels is important for maintaining the memories captured on film for future generations. By keeping the film in a cool and dry environment, removing any outside materials that may decompose, and transferring the film to a digital format, you can help protect and preserve these precious memories. Seek the help of a professional to ensure the highest quality transfer possible and enjoy the benefits of having your film in a format that is easy to view and share.


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