How to Clean Metal Prints—Keep Your Aluminum Signs Nice and Shiny

You want your signs to look clean and shiny, we get that! However, many businesses don’t know the proper way to achieve the ultimate shininess. Handling custom metal photo prints can result in unwanted fingerprints or smudges. These smudges and fingerprints can make your print not look so pretty anymore.

Keeping the metal print free of smudges and dirt is important to maintaining a crisp image. Cleaning it isn’t a devious task, in fact, it's fairly simple—you just have to learn what to do. While there are many ways you can clean the surface of the metal print, Foam Core Print has inexpensive and time-friendly ways (BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO AT THE END):

Ways You Can Clean Them

Before we start, you need to be careful when cleaning your metal prints. We would hate for you to choose the wrong solutions and techniques and end up damaging your print. Our cleaning tips will ensure your metal print stays untouched. The only how to clean your metal prints properly is by using streak-free cleaning solutions, non-abrasive cloths, and by swiping from the middle of the print to the outer edges. Make sure you read each direction carefully and clean delicately:

Cleaning Solutions

When choosing the right cleaning solution, the most important thing to consider when selecting a solution of your choice is to use one that will not cause any damage to your image or metal. The top non-damaging solutions are listed below:

  1. Water: Water it the most inexpensive and easiest solution for cleaning the surface dirt right off the metal print. However, water is not perfect, it tends to leave streaks. On the bright side, you won't need to run to the store or spend any money.
  2. Glass Cleaner: Choosing any brand of streak-free glass cleaner works effectively for cleaning metal. It is extremely efficient in removing fingerprints or smudges.
  3. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): By adding a small amount of rubbing alcohol with a non-abrasive cloth will help clean the fingerprints right off the metal print. The alcohol is streak-free and is the most successful cleaner when it comes leaving your print extremely shiny and looking brand new.
cleaning supplies

Solutions Don’ts

Do not try other solutions that are not listed above because most other types are harmful to the metal print. Avoid using common cleaners such as bleach or any heavy-duty cleaning solutions. We highly recommend using Windex.

Cleaning Cloth

When selecting the right type of cloth, you need to keep in mind to choose one that will not smudge the print or leave particles behind. The best kind of clothes to choose from is a microfiber and lint-free cloths because they are made specifically to not leave particles behind. These cloths will usually say “non-abrasive”, and they can easily be found at your local supermarket or general store. We suggest using new towels because used towels could have little bits of debris that could scratch the surface of your print.

The Technique

The technique is quite simple and easy to learn. First, you want to start by dipping your cloth lightly into the cleaning solution of your choice. To avoid saturating the cloth you can use a spray bottle to lightly mist the towel. Use the cloth by starting from the inner of the print and move towards the outer edges. This will ensure all the hard-to-remove dirt is gone without leaving any streaks.

Why You Should Clean Them

Ultimately, you want to clean your metal prints because they will look much more professional, clean, and more visible. You always want your prints to look clean, so your brand image is strong and presentable to your customers.

As promised, here's a video on how to clean and polish metal that also applies to metal signs

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2 Comments
  1. Darrien Hansen

    Thank you for mentioning how using the correct cleaning supplies when maintaining your metal can help you avoid causing damages. My brother has been thinking about opening an automotive repair service and has noticed that rust has started to form on the metal sign that he had installed near the building last weekend. Maybe he should find a polishing service that can help ensure that the metal sign doesn't sustain additional damages.

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    • Alice Carroll

      You made a good point that a clean aluminum component can give a very professional look to an establishment. I will keep that in mind when getting my burger shack built someday. I'd like for it to have an industrial aesthetic so I can imagine that it will have a lot of aluminum exposed.

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