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How to Clean and Maintain Backdrops

Posted by Ross Henry on


Every studio is equipped with a wide range of backdrops. They could be seamless paper or muslin backdrops with various prints and textures, which give photos a realistic look.

The Muslin backdrops could vary from a single color to a multicolored, printed or hand painted ones. Muslin Backdrops are more expensive than their seamless paper counterparts. Thus proper care must be taken to keep the backdrops safe and re-usable. There are many instances occurring in a studio that can damage or dirty the backdrops during a photo shoot. So if a photographer decides to invest in expensive backdrops proper care must be taken.


Few Tips That Can Help Keep the Backdrops Clean

 Washing a muslin backdrop: When one buys a muslin backdrop, always makes sure he/she notes the care instructions given on the muslin. Some would require hand wash while others can be machine-washed. Although from experience, washing the muslins may cause damage and degrade its quality. So it is always better to avoid washing the muslin frequently unless it is absolutely necessary in certain unavoidable circumstances. In such cases these backdrops can be washed with a mild detergent and air-dried.

 Handling Stains or Soil: In the event the muslin backdrops happens to have stains or is

Soiled, it has to be immediately cleaned with warm water using a mild soap and a scrub brush. Use of bleach or harsh detergents may damage the backdrop. If the stain persists, then soak the stained area in a solution of warm water and mild soap overnight.

 Removing creases and folds: A muslin backdrop generally arrives at your doorstep in boxes, heavily folded. If your photo shoot is several days away, you can simply hang the backdrop and have it naturally get rid of the folds or creases. Another way is to use a fabric steamer to get rid of the folds.

 Removing dust and hair: The best way to remove dust is by simply shaking the fabric. Hair Lint can be removed using a hand held vacuum or a large lint roller.

Storing the backdrop:  The fool proof way of storing the backdrops is to scrunch them up in a loose ball. This causes natural wrinkles which can enhance your backdrop and add a little more textured look to your pictures. Some photographers also store them draped on the photo stand itself. This however takes up a lot of studio space and not always practical. By storing the backdrops in boxes you also eliminate the chances of it gathering dust or dirt.

 To summarize the above we have some Do’s and Don’ts for you to follow:

DO clean a stain on the backdrop with mild water and soap
DO hand-wash a muslin backdrop
DO store the backdrops up in a loose ball and in boxes
DO use a lint roller or a hand held vacuum to remove dust/hair
DO hang your backdrop to remove wrinkles and folds
DO NOT iron your backdrop
DO NOT machine wash your backdrop unless the manufacturer suggests it
DO NOT use harsh or abrasive detergents. This could harm your backdrops

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