How to clean a canvas print

How to clean your canvas print

Short answer

Canvas prints can be easily cleaned with water. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust on the print’s surface. If there is only dust on the canvas print, a feather duster is preferred.

Introduction

Canvas prints are a great way to show off your favorite photos. They can be hung on a wall or leaned against a shelf or desk. Over time, they may get dusty or dirty, however. Here is a guide on cleaning your favorite canvas print so that it remains intact. 

Cleaning your canvas wall art is a very easy and straightforward process. You can even do it yourself because it’s not complicated. There are some things to keep in mind, nonetheless, so following this guide will ensure a successful result.

What kind of canvas print do I have?

First step: determine which kind of canvas you have.

Canvas prints often use pigment, solvent, or latex inks. It's important to know which inks are used, it influences the best method to clean them.

We can separate the types of canvas into three categories:

1. Pigment printed uncoated (unprotected).
2. Pigment printed coated (protected).
3. Latex/Solvent printed.

Don’t let the terminology scare you.; most canvas prints are latex/solvent printed. If you ordered your canvas print at CanvasConquest, your canvas print is pigment printed and finished with a protective coating (#2).

If you are unsure which type you have, it’s safe to assume that if you ordered from a more notable canvas seller, they have printed it using latex / solvent inks or pigment combined with coating. If you want to be 100% sure, most printing companies list their printing progress on their website.

A suitable testing method is to touch a dark area of your canvas print with your finger. If it smears or comes off, you have an uncoated pigment canvas. If this is the case, be careful. If not, you are on the safe side.

Smearing of ink on uncoated pigment canvas.

Cleaning your canvas print

Now we have come to the actual cleaning part. Assuming you now know which type of canvas print you have, it’s time to proceed. If you own the latex/solvent/coated pigmented print, follow the first guide. If not, follow the second.

Latex/solvent/coated pigmented guide:

1. Determine how much of a cleaning your canvas needs; in case of dust, use a feather duster. If your canvas requires deeper cleaning, continue to step two.

2. First, gather the supplies you will need. You will need a lint-free soft cloth, a bucket of warm water, and a bit of soap. An aggressive detergent may ruin your canvas. If you’re hesitant, do not use a detergent or soap at all.

3. Wet the cloth in the warm water and add the soap.

4. Wipe the print down with the cloth. Do this gently and without rubbing. Treat it as if you are cleaning an actual painting. Do not soak the canvas with water, and make sure to wring out your cloth before cleaning.

5. Rinse the cloth in the bucket of water and wipe down the print again.
6. Let the print air dry.

Uncoated pigment guide:

Uncoated pigment prints are very vulnerable. They are not waterproof and using water can, and most likely will, permanently damage your canvas print.

Your best option is to use a feather duster here. If the print requires deeper cleaning, you can try using some water with a lint-free soft cloth. Do not rub and only apply to the affected area. It’s highly recommended to test first at the rear side of the canvas.