Coronavirus puts damper on saliva cleaning method in art galleries and museums

3 Jul 2020

Like a parent wiping away dirt on a child's face or a soldier polishing their boots, museum and art gallery conservators often turn to a cleaning solution that's readily available: human saliva.

Known as natural enzyme cleaning, the method of cleaning artefacts with a cotton bud and saliva is widely used by cultural institutions around the world, and is favoured over using a brush or commercial cleaning products because it requires more care to be taken during the cleaning process.

Professor Saso Ivanovski from UQ's School of Dentistry spoke with ABC News about how natural enzyme cleaning and such practices might need rethinking due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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