12: The Art Of Cleaning Art

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What a ride we took this week! After some technical difficulties (because in this, the Year of Our Method Daily Shower Spray, it’s still somehow tricky to dial internationally), we finally got on the horn with our new friend Abbie, who cleans paintings for a living at the Mauritshuis.



Abbie is a literal Art Queen, but she’s also a cleaning professional, so we wanted to hear all about how she brings centuries-old paintings back to their original luster.

Listen here:

Here’s what we learned:

—Thou shalt not use bread (not even bagels), however, a little bit of spit is actually A-OK.
—Sometimes stuff (like Chupa Chup wrappers) sometimes gets hidden in picture frames.
—Professional cleaners don’t come home and do more cleaning, at least not in Abbie’s case.

You can watch Abbie at work here, or follow her blog here.

Abbie was also a sport and helped us out this week with Rated C for Clean. Here’s the scene, which was full of twists and turns (in the grading, anyway) here:


We also talked about other stuff AND got a follow-up from our friend Emily whose son self-owned with ketchup on April Fool’s. She used Folex as well as Era (not E.R.A. as Andrew seemed to think), which you may remember from these Extremely Intense commercials (THE POWER TOOL FOR STAINS).


Are you a professional Scrub Jockey? Do you make your own Q-tips? Have you restored an antique cowboy?

We’d love to hear from you! Call the Spotline at 508-HOW-WASH or Tweet at us.

Hanna Brooks Olsen