How to Clean a Glossy Print Photo

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Clean old glossy photographs carefully.
Clean old glossy photographs carefully. (Image: funeraire image by Zeno from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Photographs printed on glossy paper are delicate. The glossy finish shows fingerprints and is easily scratched. Because of this, glossy photos require special cleaning products and proper techniques. You shouldn't clean glossy photos, especially old ones, with water, soap or other household cleaners, as these will damage your photos. Treat glossy photos carefully, and they'll last a long time. You can find photo cleaning solvents and wipes at camera stores and photo developing sites.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft, white cotton gloves
  • Clean towel
  • Canned air
  • Photo cleaner
  • Photo cleaning wipes
  • Acid-free container

Put on soft, white cotton gloves, such as those made specially for film or fine art handling.

Place your photograph on a clean towel, hold one corner and spray it with canned air to remove loose dirt. Turn it over and spray the other side.

Apply the photo cleaner to the cleaning wipe.

Gently wipe the photograph clean with a side-to-side or up-and-down motion. Turn the photo over and repeat Step 4.

Allow the photograph to dry, and store it in a sealed, acid-free container away from heat and light.

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