Preservation Tip: Cleaning Framed Photos

From Maureen Taylor 

Got the spring cleaning bug? Here’s quick way to clean your framed pictures without subjecting them to chemical cleaners. Slightly dampen a cloth with water and wipe it across the surface of the glass and frame. No moisture should seep between the glass and the frame. It’s simple and cheap plus you’ll keep your valuables safe from the harsh cleaning solutions.

8 thoughts on “Preservation Tip: Cleaning Framed Photos

  1. An even better way I’ve found to clean framed pictures is to use one of those “pledge” (or any brand) dusting wipes…. I found this REMOVES the dust while a damp sponge might just smear it around…and seep water. (This works great on the TV screen too).

  2. To Maureen Taylor,
    I like your idea of cleaning frames with a damp cloth and I have tried it before and it works sometimes.
    I have a question for you though.
    What can you do with a photogragh that is stuck to the glass of a frame? I have a few photos that are stuck to the glass and I’d love to get some advice as to how to get them unstuck without ruining them!
    Thanks for any info that you can give me on this subject.
    From, Beth Kelly

  3. Try a “GONZO” sponge sold under name “Wonder Sponge”. It can be used to clean just about anything, including computer screens, oil paintings, lampshades, books & general cleaning. No water is needed, but you can wash the sponge & use it over again. GONZO products are made by “Magic American Products” in Cleveland, web address, and are sold in stores like “Bed, Bath ‘n Beyond”. (No, I don’t work for them.)
    I paid 3.89 each for them. It’s perfect for cleaning picture frames & glass. But for the photograph stuck to the glass, you need “Heloise”. Maybe just leave it stuck until nature makes it loose. If you need to make copies of the picture, it’s ok to copy if through the glass. One of the Ancestry Tips said to put a jacket or something around to block out the light when you put it on the copy machine, and it will copy just fine.

  4. Word of caution relating to photos stuck to glass. DO NOT try to remove them from the glass! Most of the old photos used an Albumin solution as a binder for the chemicals in the photo paper and as a result it acts like glue when it gets wet. You can’t soak it loose so don’t try. The best solution to do is to take the print to someone who can do copy work ( NOT a XEROX) using a two light studio set up and have him to make a copy of the photo, retouch and restore it as necessarey and then make a new print for you. You will be able to get as many copies of this as you need and the old one will not be destroyed. By the way – they do not restore the Original print – they do the work on the copy, make a new negative from it and you can get as many prints you as may need.

  5. Here’s what I’ve done. Scan the old pics that are scannable size. Put the originals in acid free paper and display the high resolution scans in frames. I keep a CD with all the old images on it so if anyone of my family admires a photo I can give them a high quality print as well.

  6. If any of the other solutions offered don’t do what you want, you could try using a very fine dental floss eased into a courner, could peel off a layer to save… would strongly recommend getting a quality copy prior to trying this…

  7. If you want to clean delicate family heirlooms, for example china, framed pictures etc. & prefer not to use cleaning products containing chemicals, use baby wipes! They are also great for everyday cleaning of door handles, skirting-boards – almost anything! Gentle on baby’s skin, gentle on your precious objects too.

  8. Even better for cleaning your family heirlooms of all kinds is to use a *good* quality microfiber cloth, such as Norwex or Tergo. The microfibers collect the finest bits of dirt and dust that regular cloths don’t detect, and can be used damp or dry. No spots or streaks, no residues for dust or dirt to cling to. The best thing of all is, you can also clean anything else in your house, and use only water. No throwaways and no chemicals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *