How to Clean a Canvas Print

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How to clean a canvas print is a skill most of our buyers need to learn eventually. We’ve put together a handy guide to show you how!

The printed canvas sold by My-Picture.co.uk is left bare – no glass cover, no laminate. We think it's part of the appeal.

But the truth is, a bare canvas has limited protection from dust, smoke and the everyday spots and blots that come with family life. And if you’ve had your canvas for a while, you might decide it could do with a clean.

This article will explain how to clean your canvas print. It’s not quite as simple as polishing a mirror, but don’t worry – if you follow our simple guidelines, your canvas should give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

In this article:

 

Is Canvas Easy to Clean?

Thinking it might be time to give your canvas its first clean? We have some good news for you and some not-quite-so-good news.

The Good News

Our canvas material is built to last. Press the surface of your print and you’ll find it yields to the pressure of your finger, then springs back into place like a trampoline.

Strong yet supple, canvas is a really hard-wearing foundation for your print. That means you don’t need to worry about a light-to-moderate clean causing any damage to the material itself.

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Two canvas prints featuring photos of couple.

The Not-so-Good News

The inks used in canvas prints makes cleaning them a bit more difficult.

Here at My-Picture.co.uk we use HP Latex Inks to print every canvas. Latex inks give you all the chemical stability of solvent-based inks without being toxic, allergenic or combustible.

However, they’re not quite as moisture-resistant as solvent-based inks. If the material gets too damp, there's a risk of print dissolution – the lines and colours of your image can become less distinct.

 

How to Clean Canvas Prints

Because the inks used are prone to moisture damage, it’s best to use as little water as you can when you clean your print.

We suggest 4 different approaches according to how dirty your print is, escalating from least to most serious.

(Note: In every case we recommend wearing rubber gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints.)

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Close up of somebody holding canvas print while wearing glove.

Case #1: Light to Moderate Dust

If your print simply has a coating of household dust, it’s best to avoid getting the canvas even slightly damp.

A thorough going-over with a duster or dry microfibre cloth should get your print 99% dust-free. And you can live with the other 1%, right?

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Young lady clearing dust off her canvas.

Case #2: Everyday Grime

Noticing an accumulation of harder-to-reach dust? Or just a build-up of everyday griminess?

In this case you can justify a bit of moisture! Wet a cotton or microfibre cloth, then ring it out until it’s only slightly damp. Wipe the surface of your canvas firmly but not aggressively.

Case #3: More Noticeable Marks and Splashes

If you’ve spilled a drink on your print or marked it with a felt-tip pen, you might need to go the extra yard to get the canvas looking its best again.

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Photo canvas print splashed with water.

Just follow the instructions for Case #2, but this time with a mild household detergent (soap or washing-up liquid) mixed into the water. Then rinse your cloth and wipe again without using detergent.

Case #4: Grease and More Persistent Staining

If you try to remove a greasy or persistent mark yourself, the cure could be worse than the disease. So if you’ve wiped your canvas using household detergents and had little success, you might need to consider a professional art cleaner.

(Of course, you’re never totally sure just how dirty your print is until you try to clean it! So if you have no success with one approach, just level up to the next one.)

 

How NOT to Clean Canvas Prints

Here are a few things that you definitely shouldn’t do when cleaning your canvas:

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Person holding spray cleaning agent.

DON'T:

 How to Clean a Canvas Print. Beautiful photo canvas print with mother and child in autumnal setting..

And the Best Way to Keep Your Print Clean? Stop it Getting Dirty...

Whether your canvas already needs a clean or not, it’s worth learning a few simple rules that will help maintain your print in the future.

How to Clean a Canvas Print. Close-up of fumes with black background.

Follow these simple rules – along with some common sense – and your canvas print should stay in fantastic condition for decades to come. And if at any time you feel like adding to your canvas collection, you can take care of that here!

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