How to Care for Your Muslin Backgrounds
Try treating your spot or stains by using a damp sponge with mild soap and warm water. Do not use bleach or a harsh chemical cleaner. If the scrubbing doesn't remove the spot/stain, try soaking the backdrop in warm water with a mild soap solution in the bathtub overnight. If the stain seems permanent, an alternative solution to continue working with the backdrop is to either place your subject in front of the stain, or edit out the mark in post-processing.
When you purchase a muslin background, it will be folded and packaged. Remove it from the package and hang it on your backdrop stand, spray the fabric evenly with a spray bottle of water and let gravity iron out the wrinkles. If you need to use it right away, use a hand held fabric steamer. It removes wrinkles and creases easily and quickly. Just be sure to not rub the muslin with the steam head or you might damage the muslin fabric.
Do not use an iron. You will just create shiny hotspots on you backdrop and ruin the material.
Photo by Ryan Walsh
Dust & Hair
Just like furniture, muslin backdrops attract hair and dust. For dust, shake it out like you would a linen bed sheet. For hair, use a large lint roller.
Use a gentle kind of detergent and lukewarm water on certain kinds of muslin too often will rapidly degrade the quality of your backdrop (like a pair of jeans) and you will be looking to purchase a new one very soon.
Roll your muslin backdrops into a ball and place them into their carry bag for storage. They won’t gather any dust this way and natural wrinkles will occur, not patterned folds and creases like you would see from folding. Natural wrinkles can enhance your backdrop and create more texture. Many photographers like working with wavy, naturally wrinkled muslin backdrops. For formal portrait shoots you should hang your backdrop 24 hours before your photo shoot and let gravity smooth out the wrinkles.