Your picture frames protect some of your family's greatest treasures- your family pictures. Help keep them protected and looking wonderful for years by following these two simple steps.
Reproduce Your One-of-a-Kind Photographs
In this day and age of modern technology and computer-stored images, there's still no substitute for protecting your most precious memories by making duplicates of them. Your wedding photo may be prominently displayed in a perfect sterling silver picture frame, but if it's the only copy you have, then it's not all that protected.
If you have old photographs the best way to protect these most precious pictures is to have them professionally duplicated. For your important new pictures that you already have on disc, you should also consider making an extra copy of your print in case the disc gets damaged. You then want to store these copies in a safe, secure place. Whatever you do, never keep your original photos in the same place as the copies. If you do, you may risk losing them as accidents, like fires, floods and other catastrophes do happen. While you may have insurance to cover the physical cost of these items, if you lose them, you'll lose them forever. Make sure to store them in a safe, dry location away from your home. A safety-deposit box is a prime example.
Clean Your Frames on a Regular Basis
One of the simplest ways to ensure that your picture frames last is to clean them regularly. Just like any item in your house, picture frames collect dust. And if not regularly cleaned, eventually dust will work its way inside the picture frame and leave the frame and picture looking dirty.
To minimize the dust that can build up, simply dust regularly with a slightly damp cloth. If your picture frame has been neglected a bit, you'll need to do a more thorough job and remove the glass and picture. To clean the entire wood frame, inside and out, first lay it on a soft, thick towel face down. Never set a precious frame, like a sterling silver picture frame, on its front side without something protecting it. This could damage the glass or scratch the metal or wood, which could be a major challenge to fix.
Once you open up the frame and carefully remove the picture and the glass and clean the glass thoroughly. I suggest using a cloth to clean the glass as paper towels can leave an acid residue behind that can damage your pictures over time.
For your wood frames, use a damp cloth or dust cleaner. Don't, whatever you do, clean the picture frame while the picture is inside.
For metal frames, such as a silver plated frame, the best solution is to use a damp towel and wipe it down. This way you eliminate the risk of using a cleaner that could damage your metal frame as some metals react badly with some cleaners.
For older solid pewter frames or sterling silver frames that are tarnished, use a high quality silver cleaner and follow the directions on the bottle carefully. If your frame is tarnished, always test a small portion along the bottom of the frame (or on the back) to make sure the cleaner won't damage your picture frame. If your sterling silver frame or silver plated frame doesn't look tarnished, then don't use a cleaner as the frame probably has a lacquer finish and can only be cleaned with a damp cloth and water.