Looking down a spiral staircase

Silent, dirty, relentless

It’s why we place barriers between you and some of the objects and decorative interiors in the palaces.

We’re sorry to have to tell you this, but if you’re visiting the palace you’re spreading this devious agent of decay.

Damage assessment

Dastardly stuff

Besides being unsightly, if dust is not removed from objects and surfaces it can sometimes cause a chemical reaction and cement to surfaces.

It can also absorb moisture and pollutants and serve as food for pests, all of which can damage objects in the long run.

Identifying the source

It's you!

It’s difficult to avoid, but most dust comes from visitors as they move through the palace. The greatest amount is shed from people when they move quickly, bend over and take twists and turns.

Fighting dust

The dirty war

Even the most careful cleaning can cause slight damage to objects. So our approach is to try to reduce the amount of dust falling on objects as much as possible.

We hold boisterous, dust-raising events outdoors. Indoor activities are held in rooms where objects are displayed high up or where objects are less susceptible to dust damage, like polished wood.

And we try to keep just enough distance between visitors and dust-sensitive objects to avoid them being affected. Such preventive measures can halve conservators’ dusting hours and extend the life of the objects.

Did you know?

Palace conservators spend just short of 10,000 hours a year dusting across all the historic royal palaces.

Studying the impact of dust

Believe it or not, we actually study dust. And it's not that boring either.

Read about our conservation science research programme.

Other agents of decay

It's a constant battle against the causes of deterioration. Read about other agents of decay. 

Help us bust dust!

Palace upkeep is expensive work and as an independent charity we receive no funding from the Government or the Crown.

We depend on our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors to help us.

Find out how you can support us or become a volunteer.

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