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Keeping House

Every morning, before the first visitors arrive at Mount Vernon, 4 members of our Collections Management team are hard at work cleaning and caring for George Washington’s home and furnishings. Each room in the mansion is cleaned daily, and at least once a month each room receives a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning means that the entire room is disassembled so that each object can be thoroughly dusted, floors vacuumed, and textiles cleaned.

Dust is a major concern for our team; in some seasons, it takes less than a day for a visible layer of dust to accumulate in the mansion! This dust comes from dirt, pollen, skin cells, and clothing fibers that our visitors and staff bring into the house.

Rather than using cleaning products filled with chemicals, we use soft bristled paintbrushes and microfiber cloths to dust the historic objects. When it comes to cleaning textiles, such as curtains, we can’t put them in a washing machine as you might with your own. The Collections Management team uses a soft wire screen placed over the textile and a special HEPA filter vacuum with numerous suction settings in order to remove dust without unnecessary force. The wire screen helps to distribute the force evenly across the surface of the textile.

As you can see in the slideshow above, our team wears protective gloves to keep fingerprints and harmful oils from harming the objects. They also wear shoe coverings to protect the floors and reproduction carpets from mud and grit. All of this work is done so we can ensure our collections will be preserved for generations to come.

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2 Responses to “Keeping House”

  1. Carl Closs Says:

    What information do you have regarding GW and finances, his own as well as his Federal government fiscal philosphy?

  2. Mount Vernon Contributor Says:

    Carl,

    The Library of Congress holds the collection of George Washington’s Financial Papers. You can find them in Sereies 5: Financial Papers. 1750-1796 in the George Washington Papers section of the Library of Congress’ website.

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Portraits in Schools

Kids holding George Washington Portrait

Mount Vernon recently invited K-12 schools nationwide to request framed portraits of George Washington to display in a respectful, prominent place.

The response was overwhelming: thousands of schools submitted letters! Along with the portrait, schools received curriculum materials to help explore our first president’s contributions.

Where has George Washington gone back to school? Click here to see!

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