Seattle's Gum Wall Is The 'World's Second Germiest Attraction'
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

The Famous Gum Wall in Seattle Is Getting Cleaned After 20 Years

Nov 03, 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?

You Asked: Your Top 10 Health Questions Answered

You Asked: Are Cleanses Healthy?
You Asked: Are Cleanses Healthy? Potions that claim to clear your body of toxins might sound alluring, but do they deliver?Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME
You Asked: Are Cleanses Healthy?
You Asked: Is Dessert Bad For Me?
You Asked: What’s the Best Way to Whiten My Teeth?
You Asked: Is Meditation Worth It?
You Asked: What’s the Healthiest Sweetener?
You Asked: Should I Go Paleo?
You Asked: Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad?
You Asked: Is Running on a Treadmill as Good as Running Outside?
You Asked: Does Laughing Have Real Health Benefits?
You Asked: What Is My Poo Telling Me?
You Asked: Are Cleanses Healthy? Potions that claim to clear your body of toxins might sound alluring, but do they del
... VIEW MORE

Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME
1 of 10
TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.