Poulticing is a technique used to remove stubborn stains and accretions from the surface of an object. A chemical solution or solvent is used to saturate a cotton wool carrier, the poultice, which is then applied directly to the stain or accretion. The chemicals in the poultice draw out the stain or soften the accretion which can then be easily removed. Careful monitoring and rinsing afterwards is required as prolonged exposure to chemicals may damage the art work.
The images on the right show the condition of Francois-Eugene Rousseau's Soup tureen 1866–75 before and after conservation.