After 20 years of tourism, notoriety, and hundreds of thousands of pieces of gum, the famous Pike Place Market’s gum wall found in Seattle, Washington is going to be getting a serious scrub down this next week. The wall has been scheduled to be cleaned this upcoming week starting on November 10, 2015 and is predicted to take around three or four days.
The gum wall has been a popular attraction for millions of people to add their own pieces of gum and to take pictures of themselves without getting too close. It has been named the world’s second germiest attraction. The gum wall is steam cleaned every other month, but this is going to be the first time that all the gum will be removed from the original wall.
It is predicted to be a very large job, and the city is preparing for it appropriately. The gum will be removed by an industrial steamer that will be used like a pressure washer by melting the gum at 280 degrees and then will fall to the ground as a crew of several men will pick up the fallen gum and put it into five-gallon buckets.
It is said that the job will cost around $4,000 as the crew works together to remove an estimated 1,000,000 pieces of gum that can be found in some places to be six inches thick. A more accurate figure on the amount of gum is going to be released later at the completion of the job.
The removal of the gum has been controversial as people have said that the historic walls were never meant to have gum stuck all over them, while others see the gum wall as a piece of history and art in itself. After the removal of the gum, the city plans on putting up some artwork along the wall and leaving some space to start a new gum wall in a more condensed area. This will be the beginning of a new chapter for the future gum wall of Seattle.