Cleaning an old oil painting

I've got an old oil painting that is dirty/dusty from years of being in a room that had a wood fire. It isn't really worth anything money wise but has sentimental value. Does anyone know how to clean it up without damaging it by any chance, is there a product that could do this? I can't really afford to have it cleaned professionally (I'm guessing that would be expensive)
Many Thanks


  • Witchwomble
    Witchwomble Forumite Posts: 6 Forumite
    Hi there,first time posting on here, although lurked for years probably, anyway I managed to clean up two oil paintings that I bought from a charity shop, however you might not be keen when I mention that the two ingredients you need are copious amounts of cotton buds and spit! I remember seeing this done on a television programme once and also did research online, hadn’t paid much for paintings so thought what the hell and tried it. Basically you spit onto the bud or the paintings or into an old dish,jar etc and gently clean with a cotton bud. Will totally wreck your throat so drink plenty of water! But I did this over a few days, little bit at a time as long as I could stand,and the paintings came up have to be very gentle but it could be worth a try,and very cheap,so very mse. Hope this helps you.
  • hopefuldebtfree
    hopefuldebtfree Forumite Posts: 37
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi, Thanks for your reply. Now you mention it I have read similar (years ago) but didn't know if I believed it tbh. I'm just getting over a horrible cold but will give it go soon. Thanks so much
  • Techno
    Techno Forumite Posts: 1,169
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Lots of mucous available for the job then :eek:
    ;) If you think you are too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito!
  • trailingspouse
    trailingspouse Forumite Posts: 4,027
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    You can buy a synthetic version (no throats were harmed in the making of it...) - don't know what it's called or how much it is, but if you try a specialist art supply shop they will point you in the right direction.
    No longer a spouse, or trailing, but MSE won't allow me to change my username...
  • Janey3
    Janey3 Forumite Posts: 417
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Can confirm that spit and cotton buds does really work. Have just finished cleaning a painting this way.
  • hopefuldebtfree
    hopefuldebtfree Forumite Posts: 37
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    There is an art shop where I can ask, I'm normally the always go to the web with a query but last night (when I'd asked) we were having a sort through of pictures and I'd ask on here. Many Thanks for your reply x Love this site
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