Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-23-2020 02:52 PM

    We have benches and handrails with wood finishes we are afraid will be damaged by bleach-based and other cleaners/disinfectants.  Any recommendations for a cleaner that won't harm the finish, but will disinfect?   



    ------------------------------
    Fred Nation
    Executive Director
    Swope Art Museum
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Fred
    Nation@Swope.org
    812-238-1676 ext 113
    Terre Haute
    Indiana, USA
    ------------------------------
    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 2.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-24-2020 07:20 AM
    Soap works well as a disinfectant against coronavirus too - we saw a recommendation of using Murphy's Oil soap as a cleaner that we plan to use on (non-historic) wooden surfaces. I don't remember exactly where we saw this, but it was a conservation-related source. 

    Carol Ely
    Executive Director 
    Historic Locust Grove
    Louisville Ky

    ------------------------------
    Carol Ely
    Executive Director
    Historic Locust Grove
    Louisville KY
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 3.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-24-2020 07:25 AM
    Thank you Carol.




    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 4.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-24-2020 10:10 AM
    Thanks for chiming in here, Carol.  I work in a restored 17th-century building where nearly all of the wood furnishings are antique.  Have you come across any guidance for disinfecting historic wood surfaces?

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Fox
    Assistant Director of Historic Campus
    Sir Christopher Wren Building
    Williamsburg VA
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 5.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-24-2020 10:46 AM
    I am not a conservator so I would defer to those with more knowledge than I have. At Locust Grove we have moved all the historic furniture that visitors might be able to touch to areas behind ropes, and so we are continuing our usual cleaning protocols.

    ------------------------------
    Carol Ely
    Executive Director
    Historic Locust Grove
    Louisville KY
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 6.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-25-2020 03:36 PM
    Fred, I'm afraid the first answer to your question is the dreaded, "It depends." Certainly, there are wood finishes that can be damaged by many kinds of cleaners, so proceeding without knowing the finish materials could be something of a shot in the dark. Second, it may be that thoroughly cleaning the wood surfaces, while not actually disinfecting them, may serve your purposes. A good source of information is the National Park Service, and I know that that agency issued a bulletin about museum cleaning for COVID-19, on 2 June. Sometimes it can be difficult to find items on the NPS website, since they are concerned with so many subjects; I can send you the cleaning bulletin, if you like. To see what is available, follow: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm



    ------------------------------
    Bruce MacLeish
    Curator Emeritus, Newport Restoration Foundation
    Cooperstown NY
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 7.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-26-2020 10:23 AM
    Hi Fred,
    We created a guide to cleaning and disinfecting you might find helpful - https://taylorstudios.com/resources/disinfection-of-exhibits

    ------------------------------
    Betty Brennan
    President
    Taylor Studios, Inc.
    Rantoul IL
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 8.  RE: Safe cleaners for wood surfaces

    Posted 06-26-2020 11:21 PM
    This is a question that can also be answered in a comprehensive way on the Connecting to Collections Care online forum run by the American Institute for Conservation. It's designed for small and mid-size organizations and questions to the forum are referred to experienced conservators for answers. You can find the home page at https://www.connectingtocollections.org/.

    Good luck in getting the information you need.

    ------------------------------
    Martha Katz-Hyman
    Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
    Williamsburg VA
    ------------------------------

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more