Cleaning Foamcore Prints – Updated

Due to concerns about the potential for spreading COVID-19, any prints to be displayed should be cleaned and sanitized first. Luckily, foamcore is pretty tough so we can clean the surface without much fear of damaging the image. I’m not a lab technician, so I can’t speak to how effective the cleaning methods listed below are in killing the virus. I can only follow the instructions on the label and hope for the best.

After cleaning, please wrap your sketches in a plastic bag.

My personal recommendation is product 5 if cleaning the prints at home, and product 1 if cleaning the prints in public. Hand sanitizer is now commonplace, but carrying your own bottle of alcohol might look a little strange. Remember to bring some paper towels with you if cleaning prints on site.

Product 1 – Hand sanitizer

Widely available, low cost, easy to use.

Squirt some hand sanitizer on a paper towel and continuously wipe the entire surface of the print for about a minute.

No damage to the surface of the print. Hand sanitizer appears to evaporate without a trace.

Product 2 – Wet Ones hand and face wipes

Widely available, low cost, easy to use, but no information on effectiveness against COVID-19. There may now be additional Wet Ones products that are labelled as sanitizers, but these products were not tested.

Same application as product 1, and same results.

Product 3 – Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Citrus scent

Widely available (check the cleaning section of your local grocery store), low cost, easy to use, kills some viruses but no information on effectiveness against COVID-19.

Same application as product 1, leaves a thin film on the surface, which can be removed with a damp paper towel.

Product 4 – Steriwipes

Available at some London Drugs stores, easy to use, $23 plus tax for 160 wipes

States that it is capable of killing the virus that causes COVID-19

Same application as product 1, but should be applied to the surface for at least 10 minutes. After cleaning, wipe the entire surface with one or more damp paper towels to remove all residue just in case someone touches the prints with their bare hands before eating

Product 5 – Isopropyl Alcohol

Widely available at pharmacies, low cost, easy to use

Same application as product 1, and same results. Alcohol-based cleaners may also be available in a spray bottle. This would make it easier and quicker to apply to a large surface, but be careful not to spray the alcohol onto adjacent materials that may be adversely affected by the alcohol.

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