Cleaning operations on Mount Rushmore finished

The cleaning work on Mount Rushmore has been successfully completed on schedule. Hartmut Jenner, managing director and spokesman for the board of Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG officially handed over the cleaned monument to Gerard Baker, the superintendent of the National Park Service (NPS) at Mount Rushmore. He took this opportunity to present one of the pressure washers used for the operation to the Park Service and announced a long-term sponsorship for the presidents’ heads: Kärcher would be happy to take on the preservation of this famous monument in the future and carry out regular inspections and cleaning operations in collaboration with the NPS.

The cleaning project ran according to plan: The five diesel-powered Kärcher HDS 1000 DE hot-water pressure washers, through which about 7,000 litres of water were pumped every day, performed without a hitch over the whole period. They had been lifted by helicopter and placed immediately behind the heads at the beginning of the project and were exposed to the elements for four weeks. As expected, the aim of the cleaning project – to remove layers of dirt that could damage the rock without detrimentally affecting the surface of the sculpture, was accomplished. Something that had not been expected was the fact that optical cleanliness of the monument, as preceived from the observation platform, has been noticeably improved: The heads have actually been visibly lightened by the high-pressure wash with pure boiling water and now stand out more from their natural background.

The success of the operation was mainly due to the excellent and smooth co-operation that existed within the German-American cleaning team from the very beginning. The German embassy in Washington used this occasion to award the German-American friendship prize to the National Park Service at Mount Rushmore.