How to clean a canvas print (9 simple tips!)

Posted on 14 March 2019

how to clean a canvas print

Knowing how to properly clean your canvas print is important to maintain the aesthetic quality of your wall art. No matter the size of your canvas print or the location of your canvas print, knowing how to clean a canvas print will keep its value high and its life long. Though we all know how to clean various types of furniture around our homes and how to keep our homes looking good in general, cleaning a canvas print is a task we might not be familiar with. Cleaning a canvas print should be done with the utmost care, and, in some cases, should even be left up to the professionals. However, this task doesn’t have to be difficult or daunting: by following this guide, you can clean your canvas print with ease in the safety of your own home. Keep reading to determine how to clean canvas art prints! (Check out our post, How Canvas Prints Are Made, to learn more!)

#1 Can you clean canvas prints?

Yes! Canvas prints can absolutely be cleaned. There are a few things to consider when cleaning your canvas prints.

Location — Keep your canvas prints out of direct sunlight. Whether you are keeping them in storage or hanging them on your wall, you want to keep your canvas print our of direct sunlight and away from moisture. Direct sunlight can cause your canvas wall art to fade over time. Therefore, soft lighting is best for your canvas print. Rooms and locations that are more open, have better air circulation and where there is ambient light are better for your canvas prints.

Moisture — As mentioned above, you want to keep your canvas print away from moisture or rooms with poor air circulation. A damp room will cause the canvas to absorb the moisture, which will cause distortion.

Storage — Store your canvas print in a dry and protected environment. Either hang it on a wall or stand it up on the floor, so that no objects are stacked on top of it.

Cleaning — Canvas prints should be cleaned relatively often. A gently dusting with a fine linen cloth is the most effective method for cleaning your canvas print.



    what do you clean canvas prints with

    #2 What do you clean canvas with?

    The most effective way to clean your canvas print is with soft dusting techniques. If your canvas print is covered in a thin layer of dust, it will lose its color vibrancy. Therefore, the most effective and most common method you will utilize when cleaning your canvas print is dusting. To do this properly, find a clean washcloth that will not leave any additional smudges on your canvas print. Follow these steps:

    Step 1: Dip the dust cloth into warm water and then squeeze it in order to make the cloth damp, but not too wet.

    Step 2: Rub the dirty area of the canvas gently with the damp cloth. Repeat circular motions if necessary. Don’t apply too much pressure.

    Step 3: Soak the dirt into the wash cloth without moving on to clean areas of the canvas.

    Step 4: Dip the cloth into the warm water as many times as is necessary. This will help you to remove the dirt from the canvas print effectively.

    Step 5: Let the canvas print dry. Remember that too much moisture can lead to wear on your canvas print.


      are canvas prints ok in bathrooms

      #3 Are canvas prints ok in bathrooms?

      Yes, but this location is not ideal for canvas prints. As mentioned above, you want to keep your canvas print away from moisture and humid locations. If you want to prolong the life of your canvas print, avoid hanging or placing it in areas with bad circulation. However, if your bathroom has better-than-average circulation, or is slightly larger than a typical bathroom, hanging a canvas print might not be a huge issue. You will want to pay attention to it and clean it periodically, though. Better locations for canvas prints are ones with lower humidity and fewer variations in temperature.

      #4 Are canvas prints waterproof?

      No, canvas prints are not waterproof. Most inks used to make canvas prints are water-based and susceptible to moisture, making the canvas print likely to warp with the addition of water. Also, cotton is the primary fabric material utilized, which is an absorbent material and not waterproof.


      can you iron canvas prints

      #5 Can you iron canvas prints?

      Yes, but only if absolutely necessary. If you see a dent or crease in your canvas print, this is typically the only time you would apply an iron to your canvas print. First, lay the stretched canvas print face down on a cotton towel. From the back, apply the steaming iron for 30 - 60 seconds where the canvas has a crease or dent in its fabric. Set or hang the canvas upright and allow it to dry. Occasionally, you might have to repeat this process, but generally, one application will reshrink the canvas and eliminate the crease or dent.


      can you write on canvas prints

      #6 Can you write on canvas prints?

      Yes, though not recommended. If you’d like to sign your name or write the date in a corner, the Uchida DecoColor liquid paint pen works on canvas prints. The ink is acid-free and lead-free to keep your canvas print looking good. The paint in the pen is opaque and xylem-based and comes in a fine point to make it easy to write on the canvas material.


      how do you get stains out of canvas

      #7 How do you get stains out of canvas?

      For a light-colored canvas:

      Step 1: In a bucket, mix one gallon of warm water with one-quarter cup each of Ivory liquid dish detergent and Clorox Color-Safe bleach.

      Step 2: Thrust a washcloth into the bucket and gently rub the solution all over the canvas, especially in its nooks and crannies.

      Step 3: Rinse the canvas with plain, cool water.

      Step 4: Allow the fabric to air-dry.

        For a dark-colored canvas:

        Step 1: If there is mud and dirt on the canvas, allow it to dry completely. Then shake the canvas free of the debris.

        Step 2: Wash the canvas in warm water mixed with baking soda.

        Step 3: Rinse with cool water.

        Step 4: Use a non-abrasive soft pad with a mild dish detergent and hot water to scrub away remaining stains and dirt.

        Step 5: If there is mold on your canvas, use a solution of equal parts of rubbing alcohol and warm water, and then you use stiff brush to apply the solution to the mold spots. Rinse with clear water and allow to air dry.



          what is the best way to store canvas prints

          #8 What is the best way to store canvas prints?

          Step 1: Wrap up the canvas print in brown paper.
          Step 2: Use bubble wrap to wrap it again.
          Step 3: Place frame corners on all four corners.
          Step 4: Place the wrapped-up artwork in a solid box (like one used for a mirror).



          how to remove nicotine from canvas art

          #9 How do you remove nicotine from canvas art?

          You will need:

          -Mild dish soap
          -Warm distilled water
          -Cotton swabs
          -Soft cloth

            Step 1: Wipe the surface of the canvas print with a clean, soft cloth to remove any surface dirt or dust.

            Step 2: Make a solution of one part dish soap to four parts warm distilled water.

            Step 3: Moisten a cotton swab with the solution. Squeeze it to remove any excess water. You want it to be damp but not dripping.

            Step 4: Hold the canvas print so that it is vertical. This will prevent any excess moisture from soaking or absorbing into the material.

            Step 5: Gently move the cotton swab across the canvas print to remove the stains.

            Step 6: Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom using gentle strokes. Change the cotton swab frequently so that you are always wiping the canvas print with a clean surface.

            Step 7: Rinse the canvas by using a clean cotton swab dipped only in warm distilled water. Start from the top and go to the bottom.

            Step 8: Allow the picture to dry completely before storing or hanging.

            how to remove nicotine from canvas art

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            • Diana Delver: October 29, 2021

              Thank you, as this was very helpful. My stretched canvas print with white background has never been cleaned in the 12 years I have had it. Looking forward to slicing it up.

            • Donna Mintzer: March 09, 2020

              Thank you for the information. It was a huge help for me.

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