Cleaning Vintage Paintings with a Help of Bagel

Photo Credit: The Brick House

As far as organic household cleaners go, a bagel isn’t likely to come to mind. A spongy cut bagel, however, is an ideal solution to cleaning vintage paintings, because it absorbs the stains on the painting. Whether you have an old oil painting hanging on the wall that needs a quick refresh or picked up a beautiful piece of art at a garage sale, cleaning with a bagel should do the trick. The Brick House website had identified the exact process for cleaning vintage paintings, which they revealed when a reader questioned how to clean her thrift store find. Morgan, the author of this article, implements this bagel trick on their paintings all the time and with great success.

This method is the ultimate of home cleaning recipes because it takes an everyday item to freshen up a difficult-to-clean painting. Paintings are a challenge to clean because they have the potential to discolor or stain. A bagel will absorb dust or staining on the painting without leaving substantial residue behind. Any remaining crumbs can be brushed off the painting easily. While art dealers may not recommend using food for cleaning pictures, the use of soft bread like bagels or sandwich bread has been a trick of antique and art dealers for some time. The key is to not rub the bread over the painting too hard, or else it may crumble and leave more mess behind than what you started with. If you are wondering how to remove spots or dust from a painting, lightly rubbing a bagel half or slice of bread over it should do wonders.

There are several cleaning products on the market designed for refreshing or restoring old oil paintings, but these can be expensive, especially if you only have to clean them once in awhile. Bagels are an everyday item that can be used at the rare times where a painting requires cleaning, and they are non toxic cleaners. Non toxic cleaners are essential for looking after paintings, because chemical cleaning products can be abrasive and damaging to paintings. They may affect the color or even stain the canvas. Even water is deemed harmful when cleaning paintings despite it being the most used of eco friendly cleaners. A soft brush is considered the best option for removing dust and dirt from oil paintings, and therefore, a bread item is an excellent option.

If you have been wondering how to renew an old painting in your home or one that you picked up at a thrift store, definitely check out Morgan’s instructions at The Brick House website. She provides how-to images of cleaning a painting, and it is shocking how much residue the bagel half picks up. It is likely that any variety of bread would absorb dirt the same way a bagel does, but a bagel is an ideal option because it is more firm than sliced sandwich bread and won’t crumble as much. Thank you to Morgan for sharing her method of cleaning vintage paintings with a bagel.

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