Cleaning III: Applications and Case Studies
Nanostructured fluids, such as micellar solutions and microemulsions, have in recent decades opened new perspectives in the field of cleaning and dirt removal from the surfaces of artworks. Selectivity, high efficiency and environmental impact have been radically optimized thanks to the synergistic action of different detergent mechanisms. Solubilization together with emulsification and the direct interactions of surfactants with the artwork surfaces allow the complete swelling and removal of materials that cannot be removed by classical cleaning methods. This is confirmed by the challenging problem of the removal of aged adhesives; upon ageing adhesives exhibit a strong decrease in solubility due to cross‐linking reactions and the increase of molecular weight. Since the beginning of the 1990s, successful applications of oil‐in‐water microemulsions for the removal of polymer coatings from wall paintings have been documented.