Cleaning a poster is done in various ways. One is immersion in a water bath, with vibration to extract dirt molecules. Another way is the poster gets washed when linen backed, when it is wiped with a soft sponge. Bleaching is a more agreesive process used for removing stains.
Bleaching.This process is only used for Posters with distracting stains (as in water stains) or which are browning by long exposure to dirty air. It is not appropriate for yellowing caused by mold. However bleach may be an option as a disinfectant for moldy posters. Using Chloramine T or Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with ph balanced water, we create a bath in which the poster is soaked to remove the stains. This bleaching is harmless to paper, does not affect the colors of the inks and does not change the natural color of the paper. Bleaching does not devalue the poster, but rather brings back the original look it had when it was first printed. A very delicate and slow procedure, this process is only used when appropriate and is not part of the normal Linen Backing process. Bleaching costs $100 for a one-sheet poster.
Acid Neutralizing is the process of immersing the poster in an alkaline bath which creates a protective buffer around the acid molecules that are in the poster. Acid can destroy the paper over time, and most papers which posters are printed on are filled with acid due to the way they are produced (Most fine art Print-Making is printed on Acid Free paper). Commercial posters and manuscripts printed after the 1840s have acid in them. This Acid Buffering technique is NOT the same as De-acidification. The former is a process of the removal of acid. The latter method ensures that the acids in your poster remain isolated and non-destructive for about 50 to 100 years. The process for complete Acid Buffering/Neutralizing costs $75 for a one sheet poster (27 x 41 inches).
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