When it comes to your memories, it’s important to preserve them in the best way possible. For most, this will include displaying prints of captured moments on film or digital files.
Over the years, you may collect various types of picture frames either from changing decor, gifts or valuable family heirlooms. With so many different varieties it’s crucial to know precisely how to clean each type's color, material and frame to keep it clean and looking great for years to come. See below for tips on what to use on your frames to keep them looking their best.
Identify the covering on the photo. It may seem obvious, but not all frames are created equal, even when it comes down to the clear protective covering on the photo itself. If you have glass, a simple streak-free glass cleaner will be enough to create a clean surface. Be sure to remove the glass before cleaning it, however, and always spray a cloth, not the surface itself. If you have something like acrylic covering your photo, you’ll want something like a microfiber cloth and acrylic cleaner.
For wood frames, a clean cloth is enough. Wood is a sensitive material and is prone to moisture damage that can break down the structure over time. If you have wooden round frames or antique picture frames, using a clean, dry cloth to wipe away dust and dirt is enough to keep the wood looking great, and not compromise the fibers with a moisture solution or harsh chemical, even those specially made for wood.
Gold or silver picture frames that are sprayed can accmodate glass cleaner. Sprayed frames are surprisingly durable, so it’s ok to use a color-free acrylic cleaner or glass cleaner on these types without causing damage. Again, it’s important to never spray the solution directly on the frame. Always spray onto a clean, dry cloth to wipe away grime.
Use cotton gloves or a feather duster on gilded frames. Gilded frames, such as antique picture frames or ornate oval wall mirrors are the most sensitive because of their materials and three-dimensional aspects. Gilded frames can have pieces of the molding break off with even the lightest touch when using a cloth, so it’s important to only use something like a like feather duster or a cotton swab to clean the intricate designs on these types of frames. If you want to make sure you get every nook and cranny, cotton gloves can also be a useful tool when cleaning sensitive materials.
Your frames can be kept beautiful for years to come with proper care. Frames, like the contents within it, can be priceless works of art or just treasured family valuables that can be passed down from generation to generation.