We’re Cleaning House! (Part I)

Every January Tudor Place is closed to the public for the entire month. It may seem quiet on the outside, but the inside is buzzing with activity! Right now our Collections and Conservation staff is doing an extra thorough clean and assessment of the historic house and objects on display. The rugs are pulled up, furniture is pulled out, ladders are climbed to reach the highest parts of the ceilings and light fixtures, etc. Basically, it is our version of “spring cleaning.”

This year we thought it would be fun to share some of the projects that are going on inside the house while the gates are closed….
Cleaning the Historic Marble in the Foyer:
Director of Architectural Conservation, Cynthia Silva explains how she is cleaning the historic marble floors…. “After testing a number of surfactants the most effective product was chosen to complete the cleaning of the marble vestibule floor, this was a pH neutral gel formulated to remove soiling from marble and limestone. In order to better control the cleaning, a work area approximately 3×8 feet was taped off, the marble was then dampened with a sponge and an even thickness of gel cleaner was applied to the marble. Because the gel required a dwell time of 30 minutes to achieve the desired result, plastic sheeting was placed over top the work area to prevent drying. After 30 minutes, the surface was agitated with a soft bristled brush to help loosen and lift the now softened dirt and grime. The floor was then sponged with clean water to completely remove the product. Once all sections of the floor are completed the marble will be assessed for any additional spot treatments required to minimize the appearance of stubborn stains.”


The below photo shows the contrast between the gel-treated edges and the center of the floor pre-treatment…

Next:  Taking apart the Drawing Room….