and decided to try it. Amazingly, it works! sIEVE shows no leaks in the places I had previously identified them and the iexplore task is maintaining a more manageable memory footprint.
My question is, why does this work? jQuery.remove calls .removeChild, which should get rid of the element, but apparently does not. The patch instead appends the target element onto a new garbage collector div, which it then clears. Why does the patch method of removal completely free up the memory but jQuery's remove function does not? I'm hoping to understand why this works in order to possibly improve the solution before I check it in to the larger application.