How to

how to remove mildew from canvas

Whether it’s a fabulous print of your favourite landscape or a treasured family photo, you want your canvas to always look its best. However, if you hang your print in the wrong place or don’t look after it properly, you may notice that some pesky spots of mould start appearing on it. Mildew can turn up on pretty much any surface where there’s lots of moisture, especially if they’re not cleaned regularly.

Why have I got mildew on my photo canvas?

If you’ve placed your canvas somewhere with a lot of humidity, such as a kitchen or bathroom, excess moisture and bacteria can build up, causing irritating black and green specs on your prints. Before we tell you how to remove mildew from canvas fabric easily, you should know that most canvases will remain in good condition when looked after properly. It’s best to hang them in airy parts of the house, such as a hallway. That doesn’t mean you can’t put your canvases where you’d like but for the best protection against mildew, always think about keeping them as dry as possible, especially if your house is prone to mould.

How do I clean it without ruining the photo/design?

how to clean mildew from canvas

Removing mould from such a delicate material as a canvas can be stressful. It’s different to cleaning other surfaces such as windowsills and it’s not as if you can just pop it in the washing machine like you would with any other fabric. Canvas can be tricky and needs to be treated with care. You may have questions such as what products should I use? Will using water damage it? Don’t worry – as long as you follow our guide below, you should be fine. One of the golden rules you need to remember is not to use bleach as although this is a great mould remover, it will spoil the fabric and could blemish your picture.

In our easy guide below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to remove mildew from canvas fabric without damaging it, as well as giving you our best tips on how to stop it from happening again.

Step by step: How to remove mildew from canvas fabric

instructions steps 1- 9
  1. Remove your canvas from the wall so that you can properly clean it and avoid damaging your walls in the process. Place it on a flat surface.
  2. Take a clean, damp cloth (we would recommend using a white cloth to ensure there is no transfer of colour to your canvas).
  3. Gently rub any mouldy areas in small circular motions to remove it from the canvas.
  4. If that doesn’t work, take a bleach free disinfectant or mould remover and spray it lightly over the affected areas (products containing bleach may damage your canvas).
  5. The mould should become dry and crumbly, allowing you to brush the mould off gently with a soft bristled brush. You can repeat this several times for more stubborn patches.
  6. Check the back of your canvas for mould and repeat the same process. Even if you can’t see it, mildew left on the rear of the canvas can spread to the front again.
  7. Wipe your canvas down with a dry cloth and leave it on a flat surface to dry.
  8. Wait until the canvas is completely dry before putting it back on the wall.
  9. If your canvas has a lot of mildew, think about moving it to a different place, such as near a window. Avoid hanging your canvases where there’s lots of moisture such as in bathrooms, kitchens or utility rooms.

Where should I keep my photo canvas print?

how to store canvas prints

After following our simple guide on how to remove mildew from canvas fabric, your picture should be mould free and looking on top form. Now you must be wondering how you make sure that you don’t have to keep cleaning it. Mildew grows on canvases when there are two things on it: bacteria and moisture. When choosing a location for your canvas, it’s best to think of how to avoid both of these things. To protect your canvas print from moisture, hang it on a dry wall in an area free of humidity and away from things that might produce excess water in the air such as tumble dryers, washing machines or hairdryers. Hallways and living rooms are usually the best locations to hang them and are an ideal place to display your beautiful prints for all to see. Never hang them in bathrooms or kitchens as these tend to produce a lot of moisture. If you want to keep your canvas in your bedroom, ensure that you open the curtains every day and regularly ventilate the room by opening windows and doors.

How do I stop mildew from growing on my canvas in the future?

As well as choosing the right location for your print, the other way to ensure that mould doesn’t spoil your photos is by cleaning your canvases at regular intervals, ideally every week or so. Spritz anti-bacterial spray onto a damp cloth (not directly onto the print) and wipe it down gently, making sure you include the top, edges and back of the canvas. Remember to wipe it with a towel after and make sure it’s fully dry before putting it back up. If you keep getting mildew on your prints, it could be a sign that your house is prone to mould. Always open windows, particularly after using the shower or when cooking. If you have extractor fans, make sure you use them or consider investing in one. Mould doesn’t just look horrible but it’s actually bad for your health as well, so it’s best to get it sorted if it’s becoming a problem in your household.

All in all, hang your canvases in an area away from moisture, wipe them down regularly and keep your house ventilated to ensure sparkling bright prints that are clean and mould-free.