Tourists from all over the world have come to stick chewing gum to a wall on Post Alley near Pike Place Market in Seattle.
Barcroft Media— Getty Images
By Samantha Grossman
November 3, 2015

If you’ve ever travelled to Seattle, you’ve likely visited the famous Gum Wall at Pike Place Market. And if you haven’t, you’d better hurry up, because it’s getting scrubbed down for the first time in 20 years.

The wall,which was once named the second-germiest tourist attraction in the world, is cleaned regularly with a steamer. But this will be the first time all the gum—an estimated 1 million pieces—will be removed, the Seattle Times reports. Why? Because the chemicals, sugar and additives in the gum are starting to wear on the building’s brick exterior.

The gum will be removed with an industrial steam machine, which will melt it until it falls to the ground. Then a crew of two or three people will collect it in five-gallon buckets. The entire job is expected to cost $4,000 and will begin Tues., Nov. 10.

To say goodbye to the original gum, the market is hosting a photo contest on Facebook where users can submit their snapshots of the beloved wall.

After the cleaning is over, people will be allowed to keep the tradition going by adding more gum.

“We’re not saying it can’t come back,” Emily Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority, told the Seattle Times. “We need to wipe the canvas clean and keep fresh.”

Read next: You Asked: Should I Chew Gum?

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