Wet cleaning

From Wiki

Wet Cleaning is the cleaning of museum objects with water and conservation grade detergent. Can be used on many different types of objects but is a permanent process that should be used with care.

Translations

English Wet Cleaning
French nettoyage humide
German Nassreinigung
Italian pulizia bagnato
Portuguese limpeza umida
Spanish limpieza en humedo

Discussion

Wet Cleaning is mostly discussed when it comes to cleaning textiles and when to and when not to wet clean objects. Cleaning historicaltextiles with water and detergent can permanently alter how the object looks especially if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Certain fabrics can shrink which causes tightening and distortion of the fabric or color can bleed out permanently altering how the piece is suppose to look (V&A). Wet cleaning museum textiles is similar to cleaning clothes in your home but without a washing machine. It is a soak, lather, and rinse process. Pure water (distilled water) is used along with a light amount of detergent if any at all (Pardos). Wet cleaning can also be used on glazed ceramics, glass, stone, and historic medal if the pieces are in good condition. It canalso sometimes be used on polished and unfinished wood. With these objects, wet cleaning should be done sparingly with only a small amount of water and just to remove dust. Dry Cleaning (see other page) should be carried out first, as it is less permanent and easier to carry out on these objects (North East) Finally all objects that have been wet cleaned should be dried completely before being placed in storage to avoid the mold growth.

References

Pardos, Maria. 2015. “Washing Bonnets for Common Grounds.” Retrieved from: https://thebowesmuseum.wordpress.com/tag/wet-cleaning/ North East Collections Care Framework. 2007. “Conservation Cleaning for Objects”. Retrieved from: https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/library/asc/conservation/CCFcleaningguidelines1compressed.pdf

V&A. 2015. “Cleaning Textiles” Retrieved from: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/c/cleaning-textiles/