Kärcher returns to Berlin for city's fourth cleaning project

After the Brandenburg Gate, the Marienkirche and the Friedrichsstadtpalast, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church became the fourth monument to be cleaned by Kärcher in Berlin, in spring 2012. In collaboration with the facility management company Dussmann Service, Kärcher worked on renovating the monument. Over the last 50 years, sooty deposits had appeared on the interior walls of the monument, which were severely impairing the incidence of light and the reflection on the once light concrete surfaces.

Cleaning over 16,000 window elements

During the three-week cultural sponsorship project, over 16,000 window elements were cleaned by gently removing the layer of dirt coating them.

The extensive cleaning work was carried out in the area between the outer and inner walls of the church, which is not open to visitors. As it was impossible to erect scaffolding in the corridor of the octagonal building, which measured just 2.4 m across, industrial climbers abseiled down from the ceiling to clean off the black layer of dirt covering the glass mosaic elements and concrete frames. Hot water high-pressure cleaners with a water temperature of 80°C, 100 bar pressure and a flow rate of 700 l/h were used. The water flowing down was collected in a specially designed trough made of plastic sheeting and removed using Kärcher wet and dry vacuum cleaners.

In the interior of the church, Dussmann Service employees vacuumed the concrete honeycombs holding the glass mosaic elements from elevated work platforms. The facility management company cleaned the glass manually using sponge and leather, without any chemicals. The deposits on the ceramic-tiled floor of the church were removed gently and evenly using a hot water high-pressure cleaner and a Kärcher surface cleaner; Again the dirty water was pumped away simultaneously using a wet and dry vacuum cleaner.

The sanitary facilities and other rooms in the basement of the church were given a deep clean. Part of the outer facade of the Berlin landmark, the lower row of windowless concrete mosaics, was also cleaned by Kärcher and Dussmann Service up to a height of three metres using hot water high-pressure cleaners, removing stubborn dirt like pigeon droppings and emissions residues.

Cleaning as a requirement for new lighting concept

The cleaning was required for a new lighting concept which will considerably reduce the church's power consumption and energy costs. "Since the cleaning project was undertaken, we very rarely need additional electrical lighting during the day; the blue glass walls gleam with an intensity that has not been seen for some time", says Reverend Martin Germer.

Long-term cleaning sponsorship undertaken

Beyond the cleaning project, Kärcher and Dussmann Service wanted to continue their involvement with the cultural monument into the future. At the official opening of the cleaned building, the two companies presented Reverend Martin Germer with a specially developed plan for professional deep cleaning and maintenance cleaning. This included a scrubber drier donated by Kärcher, which will be used in future to clean the ceramic-tiled floor. Dussmann Service presented the church with cleaning agents, a matching dosing system and a fully equipped cleaning cart.