Tips to Clean Art Prints at Home

By Neera Sehgal

Fine art prints are fragile objects whose surface can become dull and dreary over time due to dust, smoke, dampness or grimy hands. Cleaning art prints is a task best left to the professionals, but if you want to give it a shot, there are a few safe and easy methods that can be followed at home. Read on our quick tips to clean your precious art prints.

Superficial cleaning:

Remove the print from the wall and tap it gently to dismantle any accumulated loose dirt. You can also use a very soft bristle brush all over the print to remove the dust and gather it with a vacuum cleaner.

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Damp cloth:

If the dirt stain is stubborn and cannot be brushed away, a damp cotton swab or microfiber cloth works pretty well. Hold the print vertically and rub the blemish gently. Wipe off the moisture with a dry cloth and place the artwork in direct sunlight for quick drying.

Absorbent Food:

Use of high absorbing food item like bread is a good option to clean persistent smudges.  After removing the crust scrub the entire surface of the painting with the dough using gentle pressure. The dirt and grime particles will settle on the bread. Once the cleaning process is complete remove the crumbs or residue with a soft brush.

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Dab a few drops of spirit/alcohol/ petrol on a cotton ball and wipe the surface of the art print. Dirt will react with spirit and the cotton will soak up the grime from the art print. Some printing inks tend to react with chemicals hence, test the solvent on a small portion as a cautionary measure.

Following these tips will ensure that your art prints remain as good as new. If you feel that the piece is valuable and needs deeper cleaning don’t hesitate to contact a competent professional conservator or art restorer.