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  Cleaning Beta Cloth

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Author Topic:   Cleaning Beta Cloth
fuzzfoot
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posted 08-11-2004 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fuzzfoot   Click Here to Email fuzzfoot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a Beta Cloth artifact that has some soil (unfortunately not lunar) and mildew stains. Has anyone had success cleaning Beta Cloth without damaging the artifact. I'm thinking steam would be the way to go...what's the trick?

Best,
Mike B.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-12-2004 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike,

You might want to drop a letter to Amanda Young at the Garber facility in Washington D.C. She is responsible for the restoration and preservation of the Smithsonian suit collection and is probably THE best person to advise you on cleaning beta cloth.

Regards,

Rick.

fuzzfoot
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posted 08-12-2004 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fuzzfoot   Click Here to Email fuzzfoot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent idea, thanks Rick. Will post suggestions later.

Mike B.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-12-2004 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep us informed Mike. I'd like to know how you get on.

Regards,

Rick.

fuzzfoot
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posted 08-24-2004 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fuzzfoot   Click Here to Email fuzzfoot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you interested, I got in contact with Amanda and, with her permission, this is what she wrote:

...I do very little cleaning, partly because it is something I need to be very
careful of with museum objects, and also I don't want to clean of any
"historic dirt"....
If it is dust, vacuuming it with a very gentle vacuum cleaner is OK... A
gentle brush is good to brush dust off as well.. Cleaning metal parts with
ethanol and a cotton swab is usually good....
Some deionized water (you could probably use distilled water as well) with
a soft brush might get the more stubbon bits of dirt off.
Unfortunately, mold is something that I don't remove, much as I would like
to.. I don't want to risk damaging the material, or leaving a "white
spot"...
Beta cloth is a fiberglass with a teflon coating, and in some instances
they used a teflon fabric that is often erroneously called beta cloth...
It is not indestructable, particularly at the age most of it is now, so
going slowly is what I would recommend..."

Best,
Mike B.

[This message has been edited by fuzzfoot (edited August 24, 2004).]

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-24-2004 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the update Mike.

Regards,

Rick.

Spacepsycho
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posted 08-26-2004 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My 2 cents, have you tried using Oxyclean or one of the O2 cleaners? I've used them on color fabrics in a dense paste form to remove ink and it doesn't remove any color at all. I think if you mix up a paste, rub it in, use a toothbrush and GENTLY go in circles, you should have good results without changing the color or bleaching it whiter on the spot.

Ray

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