Church Cleaning

Created: 27th October 2023 at 07:00


Church Buildings and Pastoral


Church Cleaning


Information and resources on how to keep your church clean.


Many of us wouldn’t question using our domestic cleaning products to clean the interior of churches, but not only could we be doing more harm than good, we might actually be cleaning far more than we need to. Sometimes less is more, particularly when it comes to caring for historic objects. 


Whilst many churches seem to have miraculous powers to become dirty again within hours, our aim must be to strike a balance between conserving the past, enjoying the present and passing onto future generations. 


Churches should look welcoming and well-loved, but that doesn’t mean they have to sparkle and shine, and cleaning shouldn’t be used to alter or improve upon the fabric itself.


Of course, a lack of cleaning can cause problems too.  Dust and dirt can build up and attract moisture and insects, it can also be compacted into layers and harden causing dust cementation.


Changing practices and attitudes can take time, but with an understanding of the basic principles you can gradually make small changes that will have long-lasting benefits. There is a difference between cleaning and ‘conservation cleaning’ and many people enjoy exploring conservation practices that will help them to safeguard the history and heritage of their church.


Resources to Help

  • In 2023 The Bats in Churches project produced guidance on cleaning churches.  The selection of videos and booklet are aimed at all churches, not just those with bats.  There is a general introduction on the basic techniques and equipment used in conservation cleaning, as well as more detailed guidance on cleaning specific materials such as metals and textiles. Links to all the resources can be found on the Bats In Churches website: I Care for a Church.
  • You can also find advice on the Church of England website by searching for the type of material or object which needs cleaning, or by looking through the Advice and Guidance for Church Buildings.

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