Tallest statue in Germany is cleaned gently

Since 1875, the famous Hermann Monument near Detmold has sat enthroned in the Teutoburg Forest. Organic dirt and environmental conditions have left their mark on the much-loved attraction. Along with the monument owner, the Landesverband Lippe, cleaning specialist Kärcher took on the project and cleaned the monument as part of a cultural sponsorship.

The work took place from 5 to 9 September 2016. With the help of lifting platforms and the HDS 13/20-4 S and HDS 12/18-4 professional hot water high-pressure cleaners, organic material such as algae, lichen, moss and animal-based dirt will be removed from the sandstone of the 27-metre-high base as well as from specific parts of the statue, using the steam setting, which is gentle on the surface material. Walking around the lower level, the remains of paint from vandalism were also removed.

Test cleaning was carried out in October 2015 in order to determine the cleaning methods and parameters required to preserve the original building material. In conjunction with the Landesverband Lippe and the monument authority of the city of Detmold, comprehensive steam cleaning was chosen. The water temperature is 145°C, which removes organic particles and plant spores from the pores in the stone and significantly slows their subsequent build-up. The best cleaning result is achieved at half water flow (around 650 l/h). The surface pressure, with the nozzle placed between 10 and 20 cm away from the surface to be cleaned, is around 0.5 bar.