Thursday, June 27, 2013

Museum of Clean

For those of you who live in or around Pocatello, Idaho, I have found a hidden gem worthy of a visit. Don Asslet's Museum of Clean is much more than a museum of old, cleaning tools.  This was a very kid friendly, interesting to adults kind of museum. 

 This Knight made from cleaning buckets and a garbage can lid greeted us at the door.  It was the first of many pictures my boys wanted to take while were here.  And their parting words were, "Can we come back here?  This was the best field trip ever!"  It really was quite cool. 

We received a guided tour from Don Asslett's brother.  (Don himself was also offering tours but was out on one when we arrived.)  Before we departed, my boys spend a few minutes in a giant sphere where every inch was designed for kids.  From a human sized vacuum to a large window you could squeegee clean, to toys and old gadgets (old typewriters and a rotary phone), my boys were mesmerized

Our first stop on our tour was to an indoor garage filled with junk, complete with a working automatic door. When it opened, the kids had to locate and name 5 things we have in our garage.  We also stopped and each of the boys got to suck up a piece of cloth into a large vacuum, and then watch where the dirt went through a set of transparent pipes.  Next up was a picture in front of the vacuum cleaner dinosaur, because "every museum needs a dinosaur."   
 There really are so many pictures I wish I had taken, but I had my arms full with Jenna and I was just trying to keep us all together and move us through.  One display was on washing machines.  The boys each got to take a sock and get it wet, then clean it on a wash board and run it through the ringer, finally hanging it on an old fashion clothes line.  There really is quite a bit of history there.  We learned where the phrase "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" came from and it was so crazy to realize that it really has not been all that long ago that people live using these old items as a way of life.  Even my own mom, who joined me part way through the tour, could remember using an electric ringer washer, and having a large metal basin for bathing as their home only had a shower at the time.  She said they would wash their clothes all in the same water, the whites first, followed by colors, then darks and finally my grandfathers work clothes because he was a mechanic and they were filthy, so they were always last.  Wow!  Things are different today! 

 These two pictures were of a contest that Don Asslett had given to a group of attendees at a recent seminar, to create a working piece of workout equipment from cleaning supplies.  There were some really cool things that people came up with.  The museum is only about a third complete, with 6 floors totaling 75,000 square feet.  The building alone is pretty awesome and a piece of history in itself, build in 1911? if I remember correctly. 
The last stop was a display about chimney sweeps.  There were costumes to put on, complete with a smudge of soot for your nose and then you got to enter a room the size of an old chimney and see how dark and small it would have been to do that job. 
Of course, my boys had to revisit the giant globe and play again for a bit before we could go, and I'm sure they could have spend the remainder of the day there, had I not needed to get going to feed Jenna.  So, if you need something new to try this summer, check out The Museum of Clean!  Well worth your time. 


  1. It seems that your boys were enjoying in your field trip. I heard a lot of positive feedbacks about the Don Asslet's Museum of Clean. Upon reading this I could say that this museum has a lot of things to learn and kids are not only enjoying but also they are learning new things. I probably visit this museum with my kids in our next family bonding.


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