Most photo frames, poster frames, certificate frames and picture frames consist of a wooden frame and a pane of glass. The picture frame moulding (frame) is often finely finished with gold or silver foils or leaves being a few micron ( very thin) thick. Many household cleaners contain ammonia, solvents and abrasives and shouldn't be used to clean frames lest the finish .. or colour of the frame come off accidentally. Perhaps the best way to keep a picture frame clean is to gently dust it regularly to prevent the dust and dirt build up. If it really needs solid dirt removed, you can use a microfibre cloth with tepid water. The clear glass pane can be cleaned with a cloth moistened with glass cleaner or water. Do not spray directly on to the glass surface lest some liquid seep under the glass and stains or damages the artwork. Antique, gilded, gold-leaf picture frames however are in a ... class of their own because the applied silver or gold leaf is thin and delicate. As a first note, if you know the frame to be particularly valuable consult a fine arts conservator before attempting any cleaning or restoration. Be that as it may, you can start by carefully removing the old gilded photo frame or picture frame from the wall and placing on a table. It's difficult to clean a picture frame hanging from a wall. You might accidentally dislodge it, cause it to fall to the floor and damage the artwork. For thorough and complete frame cleaning you may have to de-frame the artwork and separate it from its backing, glass and picture frame. Once the picture frame is on a safe work table, you can prepare a cleaning solution. Mix a 50-50 solution of rubbing alcohol and clear ammonia or acetone, or a mixture of 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar added. The cleaning solution should be applied with as little hand or finger pressure as possible. For this reason, brushing it on is a good idea. Choose a brush with long, soft, flexible bristles. An artist's brush or an old, clean, natural bristle shaving brush would be ideal. You might like to test or experiment on a small section of the frame first, to make sure you got the cleaning solution or mixture right. Paint the cleaning solution onto the picture frame and wait a quarter of an hour or so for the grim the soften and loosen. Swish the brush in clear water frequently and use it to rinse the dirt away from the frame. A gold, silver or metal-leaf picture frame should not be dried by wiping with a cloth as rubbing it may remove some of the thin, delicate leaves. A batter way is to shake away as much moisture a possible then stand the frame in a cool, well ventilated place until the remaining moisture has evaporated. Additional useful and helpful information on how to clean and care for gold-leaf and silver-leaf picture frames may be found by scrolling down to the bottom of our Picture Frames and Art Care page.