Blenheim Palace New Year Deep Clean
The New Year is traditionally the perfect time to make a start on some serious house-cleaning and Blenheim Palace have just begun their annual Deep Clean!
A team of cleaners are hard at work this year with a new challenge alongside the painstaking procedure that has been taking place at the Oxfordshire World Heritage Site for decades. The Palace is now open all year, meaning that the Deep Clean must now take place around the visitors.
This year visitors will be able to see the Deep Clean in progress during Blenheim Palace’s extended opening season and will have the opportunity to learn all about the process in a fascinating limited edition new tour.
Although the techniques, equipment and conservation procedures may have changed, the cleaning process itself still takes six weeks with a team of up to 10 people working daily.
Kate Ballenger, House Manager at Blenheim Palace says: “This year Blenheim Palace is open all year, and whilst traditionally we would have undertaken the Deep Clean whilst the Palace is closed, we have had to incorporate the delicate and difficult task around our visitors.”
She continues “The process will allow visitors a truly ‘behind the scenes’ experience as we use an indoor hoist and a whole host of the latest cleaning technology to conserve the priceless historical artefacts.”
Each room has to be carefully stripped of all the furniture and artefacts and vacuumed from the ceiling to the floor. The floors are then cleaned and polished. Whilst this is occurring, the specialist cleaning team carefully clean each item, before it is returned to the room.
Blenheim Palace use a variety of tools from museum vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters to natural bristle brushes such as hogs’ hair or pony hair, depending on the object they are cleaning.
Polishes are kept to a minimum, as they can build up over time and they do not use aerosol sprays. Stubborn dirt is removed by distilled water.
Visitors can see specific items being cleaned as they take one of the new tours, including:
– 40 busts and sculptures
– 28 Marble tables
– 10,000 books
– 18 clocks
– 38 pieces of armour
– 200 pieces of porcelain
The new tours will tie in to the annual deep clean which will be on full to visitors during this period.
‘Restoration & Conservation’ will be the theme of the guided tours which will be exclusively available from 9 January – 8 February 2017, running twice per day excluding Sundays.