Mickey asked: How can I clean nicotine build up from canvas photos?
Cleaning canvas photos is a task best left to the professionals, but if you want to do it yourself, there’s a technique the pros use that can be done at home with proven success. Remember to spot test first, and make sure you are exceedingly gentle as you work so you don’t ruin your photo. If the canvas has been weakened by damage, rips, tears or holes, it is best to leave them untouched. If you choose to clean them, proceed at your own risk.
You Will Need:
- Mild dish soap
- Warm distilled water
- Cotton swabs
- Soft cloth
Steps to Remove the Nicotine:
- Begin by wiping the surface with a clean, soft cloth to remove any surface dirt or dust.
- Make a solution of one part dish soap in four parts warm distilled water.
- Moisten a cotton swab with the solution. Squeeze it gently to remove any excess water. You want it to be moist, but not dripping.
- Hold the print so that it is vertical. This will prevent excess moisture from soaking into the fabric.
- Gently move the cotton swab across the canvas to remove the stains.
- Work from the top to the bottom and use gentle strokes. Change the swabs frequently so you are always wiping the canvas photo with a clean surface.
- Rinse the canvas by working from the top to the bottom with a clean cotton swab dipped in plain distilled water.
- Allow the picture to dry completely before storing or rehanging.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Keep a clean, dry, soft cloth handy to blot up any drips should they occur.
- White vinegar also works well for cutting through nicotine build up. Use a mix of one part vinegar and two parts water. Test a small, hidden area before using on the entire photo to ensure there are no adverse effects.
- Another option is to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Test this first to look for any adverse effects.
- If your canvas photo is more durable, you may use a soft brush in place of the cotton swab.
- Do not use oil-based products, especially if the photo is painted rather than printed on the canvas. These products will remove the color and damage the photo.
- This technique works for nicotine as well as general dirt and dust accumulation.