How To Store Unused 35mm Film

Wondering how to store unused 35mm film?  There are certain tips related to how to store unused 35mm film that will make it last longer.  Here are a few suggestions that may surprise you:

  1. First of all, you should store unused film in a cold environment.  A perfect solution for storing unused film, and a common practice, is to keep it in the refrigerator.  If you store unused 35mm film in a below room temperature setting it makes it last longer – so it will still be good and in usable condition when you are finally able to use it.  You don't have to remove the film from the packaging – just stick the box in your refrigerator.
  2. Take your unused 35mm film out of the refrigerator about one hour prior to putting it in your camera for use.  You want to bring the film back up to room temperature so the cold will not produce condensation on the film.  Bringing the unused 35mm film back to a normal temperature will prevent this from happening.  In addition, cold film is pretty stiff, so it is easier to handle at room temperature.  Keeping film in the refrigerator will keep it good after the expiration date on the film, but always bring it back up to temperature before use.
  3. You can also store unused 35mm film in the freezer.  This will make the unused film last even longer.  Some photographers have reported that they store unused 35mm film in the freezer for ten year, and then use it with good results.  Again, you must bring the film up to room temperature – let it thaw and come up to temperature – prior to putting in into the camera.  Some color films may have changes in the dyes after being stored for long periods of time even when frozen.  Your results will vary depending on the condition of the film before it was frozen and the type of film. 

The best way to store unused 35mm film is at a temperature which is below normal room temperature.  In a house, the best way to accomplish this is to put the box of film in either your refrigerator or freezer.  Most people store the film on the door of their refrigerator so that it doesn't get lost in the refrigerator as items are moved around.  Using these methods will add years to the life of your unused 35mm film.

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