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HOW THE MUSEUM OF CLEAN WAS BORN

My mother told us the reason she married our dad was because he was always so clean. Our home, our clothes, our food, and our yard were always fresh and in top shape. There seemed to be some charm in taking care of things that made life better.

When I was eighteen and on my own, I put an ad in the Idaho State Journal newspaper; Don Aslett Pro-Cleaner! Calls came in, and Varsity Contractors was eventually founded. I kept a record of my adventures in cleaning, and soon wrote books about it and gave talks about it. I loved cleaning!

On my way to a Boy Scout Jamboree one year, we stopped at Edison Museum in the Detroit area. I spotted a pre-electric sweeper from the 1800’s. My whole being said, “Why not?” There are car museums, horse museums, train museums and plane museums; so why couldn’t there be a museum of clean? What’s more important to mankind than the concept of clean?

Soon my collection of cleaning objects grew, and I set up a mini-museum, right in Varsity Square, adjoining my Cleaning Center store. A few colleagues and vendors caught the cleaning vision and soon hundreds of antique cleaners, tools and art pieces were donated.

After acquiring 250 premium pre-electric vacuums in 2006, it became apparent that a bigger space was needed to expand the museum and its message. A solid brick building dating from 1916 was purchased and renovated between 2006 to 2011 to environmental standard. The museum story will get bigger as visitors and contributors become part of the vision.

It is my privilege to share a lifetime of experience and a clean message.
~ Don Aslett, 2012 ~
Don Aslett

Question and Answer

  • What is the ultimate goal of the museum?

    It is to sell the idea and value of Clean, to put Clean in the minds of all who visit. We want to expand the scope of clean… clean lives, clean homes, clean language, clean community and a clean country.
  • Why build the museum in Pocatello, Idaho?

    We carefully considered a larger metro city, such as Denver, Seattle, or Salt Lake City. But we decided the scope of the museum was strong enough to make it a destination place. We had already started our national service business here, I graduated from here, our home and family are here, and most of the talent we need is here. Also, Pocatello is in a corridor to some of the best parks, cleanest air, purest water, and plenty of space. So where else could be better than right here is Pocatello?
  • What kinds of things does the museum offer?

    Of course, people can visit the museum, and see the collections of items that depict the history of Clean and they can participate in the hands-on activities. The Event Center can also be used for seminars, workshops, and all kinds of other affairs. Private companies, community groups, and families can rent the various spaces for presentations and parties. There are also stage and theater areas, and a wedding reception suite is now under construction.
  • Where did you get your huge collection?

    We got it primarily by making our intentions public, by telling everyone what we wanted to do. We used the media, told our friends, then colleagues in the cleaning business brought us items. We stopped at hundreds of antique stores across the country, scoured e-Bay, and stayed on the lookout to purchase items from other collectors.
  • What’s your favorite display in the museum?

    The “your Garage” and Clutter Corner display! I believe the biggest downer to clean is disorganization, waste and excess, When people learn to de-junk and live simpler lives, they automatically live cleaner. Clean has a great carryover to affect one’s behavior.
  • How many people can the museum accommodate? Is there room for private parties and rental space?

    This is a big place! With the adjoining Event Center available to rent, we can host hundreds. Tours can be conducted to individuals or groups, and two theaters each have seating for 40-88 people at a time.
  • Why is there a big lawn berm and stage platform outside?

    We acquired one half of the city block and lighted it well so it can be used for any type of outdoor activity, like concerts and other events. We have plenty of parking to accommodate.
  • What is the big sphere we can see through the front window?

    That is the Kids’ Clean World, a three-story planet of Clean. It is filled with serious and fun activities that teach children how to clean through activities like the power of suction, recycling, washing windows, sweeping marbles, and other hands-on features that turn cleaning into fun.
  • You claim that the building itself will be a big draw. Why?

    Because there are only a handful of buildings in the U.S., and only three in Idaho, that come close to equaling it in the aspect of being green and environmentally responsible. It was designed, and we are on track for it to be, a Platinum level Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) qualifying building, utilizing such things as thermo mass walls, roof water recovery and re-use, and other design elements to make the building environmentally friendly.
  • Who owns the museum?

    No one person owns the museum. The Museum of Clean is a 501-C3 non-profit foundation to be governed by a Board of Directors made up of individuals who share the vision and value of clean.