The Iconic Gum Wall In Seattle Is Getting Completely Cleaned Off

Getty Images

One of Seattle, Washington's most treasured cultural attractions will be washed away for the very first time.

After accumulating 20 years worth of gum, the wall located in Pike Place Market will be scrubbed completely clean in just a few days, according to The Seattle Times.

The wall is steamed every two months, but this will be the first time every single piece of gum will be washed off since the landmark was created in the early 90s by a line of Market Theater guests waiting to see an improv show, ABC News reports.

Emily Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA), told ABC News,

Gum is made of chemicals, sugar, additives. Things that aren't good for us. I can't imagine it's good for brick.

Removing the gum, she added, is essential in preserving numerous historical buildings and providing space and attention for more public art nearby.

The Gum Wall contains an estimated one million pieces of gum that, in some areas, resulted in built-up globs measuring 6 inches thick.

Visitors started sticking their gum "far beyond the original wall" as of late, possibly because the Gum Wall looks so disgusting nobody wants to come near it, Crawford said.

Kelly Foster of Cascadian Building Maintenance, the company hired for the job, told The Seattle Times an “industrial steam machine that works like a pressure washer" will melt away the gum.

Steam as hot as 280 degrees will rip the gum off the wall and onto the ground where it will be scooped up into 5-gallon buckets.

Beginning November 10, the cleaning operation is expected to take three or four days and cost approximately $4,000.

The PDA believes it won't be long, however, before the space is covered in new globs of gum.

According to CNN, Pike Place Market has been around since 1907 and is home to the world's first Starbucks and a thriving supply of different fish.

The Gum Wall was once named the second germiest tourist attraction on Earth, with Ireland's Blarney Stone coming in first.

Citations: Pike Place Market to clean 20 years of gum from famous gum wall (The Seattle Times), Seattle's Gum Wall Is Getting Scrubbed, Making Room for a 'Clean Canvas' (ABC News), Pike Place Market's gum wall getting a deep cleaning (CNN)