Scratches on the film can have several causes and, consequently, may require several solutions.  If you use factory-loaded cassettes, the common culprit is dirt or dust in the camera.  It doesn't take much -- just a speck can get lodged in an inopportune place and leave a scrape the entire length of the roll of film.  If you reload your own cassettes, you'll have an additional enemy -- the cassette itself.  Dirt can get lodged in the cassette felt and cause roll after roll to be scratched.  The more times you reuse the cassette, the more likely this is to happen.  To make matters worse, if you use an old metal cassette, there may be some rust spots on the inside of the cassette that scratch the film.  

And you can get film scratches from other sources as well.  If you slit your own film, the film slitter may be the problem.  The sliding block or felt might harbor a small piece of dirt.  And even after processing the film, you need to be careful.  If you failed to add a hardener to your fixing bath, the film is more likely to get scratched, and if you store your negatives loosely, they are more likely to pick up dirt that can cause scratches in the enlarger.  

That should give you a general idea of the many ways that an innocent little negative can become the victim of a ruthless scratch agent.

How you remove a scratch depends on where the scratch is.  First, take a close look at the film.  Is the scratch on the emulsion side or on the base side?  You can usually determine this by casting a light at a strong side-angle on the film.  This helps the scratch stand out.  If you still can't see it, lightly run a sewing needle across the width of the film in between the frames.  You might be able to feel a slight bump on the side with the scratch.

After removing the scratch, try the following methods to avoid future scratches:

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