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.

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

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.

Holding Canvas Print with Gloves

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?

Cleaning canvas with a feather duster

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.


Water splashed on canvas

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.

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.

Dirty Canvas Print

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:

Don't spray wateronto the canvas. This will immediately make the print too damp – and vulnerable to smudging when you start to apply pressure.

Don't use harsh chemicals.Abrasive cleaning agents can play havoc with the latex inks used to print your photo – and they could even damage the canvas material itself. Stick with soapy water.

Don't rub too vigorously.Firm pressure is good, but you want to concentrate on the canvas surface. Rubbing aggressively can force moisture deep into the ink-saturated material fibres – making it more likely that the print will start to dissolve.

 

How to not clean your canvas prints

 

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.

Keep it out of reach of toddlers. There’s something about a big photo printed in saturated colour that little ones seem to find irresistible – and that means crayons and jammy fingers soon follow.

Don’t smoke indoors. If you smoke in the room where your print is displayed, discoloration is sure to build up over the years.

Avoid humid environments. Smaller bathrooms and busy kitchens mean a build-up of steam, which can lead to print dissolution. And remember that cooking steam is laced with grease, so never position your print near the stove.

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.

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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