to clean or not to clean?

Discussion in 'Vintage Vinyl' started by pickleloaf, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. Radin

    Radin Fresh Meat

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Thanks for the reply. I might try the mild dish soap route. I'm still a little hesitant as I'll need to take the guy apart as I'm always worried about water getting inside the toy and sitting there causing worse problems than a minor tack problem. I may give it a try this weekend and post an update.
     
  2. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I would use Ivory bar soap first. You don't have to take it apart. If any water gets inside it shouldn't be much, and it will dry out.
     
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  3. NewChrissy

    NewChrissy Fresh Meat

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I received a Hawaii spray Mephilas in the mail today. It was very dirty. The vinyl is quite brittle feeling so I did not try to take it apart. I washed with soap and warm water and used a toothbrush to get into the small spaces. I think it cleaned up pretty good.

    A few photos below. More here: https://imgur.com/gallery/tORkXft

    [​IMG]
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  4. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys S7 Royalty

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Nice job! Your gentle soap and scrub must have taken quite awhile (gold stars on cleaning the heavily textured legs and the hip joints), and the metallic finish is nicely intact (the blue chest, silvered "mouth", and gold eyes!). Congrats on a great adoption! Thank you for showing the before and after photos, always nice to see a comparison. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
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  5. Radin

    Radin Fresh Meat

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Wow. That 1st picture was pretty rough. This cleaned up real nice. Still has some vibrant colors. I'm sure it was an act of patience and it payed off nicely.
     
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  6. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys S7 Royalty

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    to clean or not to clean?
    p.s can we please see what's on those shelves? Looks like a lot of goodies! :dam:
     
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  7. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Great clean up job on that Hawaiian Mephilas. I am glad that after all this it worked out all right, and he is indeed a lovely one under all that dirt and grime.
    Haha, yeah, exactly. Evidently a massive trove there.
     
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  8. XVivaHateX

    XVivaHateX Addicted

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    to clean or not to clean?
    @NewChrissy that cleaned up great. The paint is still really nice under all that dirt. Ive noticed a lot of japanese sellers dont attempt even a basic cleaning before auctioning. I guess they are worried about damaging the paint.
     
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  9. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    to clean or not to clean?
    'Astonish'

    Mould and mildew blaster. No need to scrub.

    <5% Anionic Surfactants, Non-ionic Surfactants. Chlorine based bleaching agents.


    This product might of been mentioned before, but I don't think so. Not sure. Anyway, i wanted to clean mould/dirt off a beautiful vintage ball. I'd tried all my cleaning tricks, and resorted to vigorous scrubbing, which didn't work either. So I bought 'Astonish' on a whim, and guess what, it worked incredibly well. Spray it on, leave it for a bit. Repeat a few times, and then I rinsed it off with cold water. The rubber ball was completely rejuvenated.

    I started trying it on all types of plastic, rubber, soft vinyl. Admittedly, I haven't tried it on Sofubi yet. But so far, every single vintage toy I've tried it on has benefited from being sprayed with the stuff. It seems to have no detrimental effect on paint applications at all, I was worried about the bleach, but I've had zero problems over the months I've been using it. I initially tried it on a box of old vintage squeakers I'd bought as a lot. An attic find on eBay. They were absolutely filthy, so very cheap. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to clean them satisfactorily, looking at the photos, but they were cheap enough to give them a go. Mainly rubber and soft vinyl, and it worked a treat again. It definitely freshens up older plastics, especially if the plastic has more of a matt finish.

    Another good example is a toy I have with light yellow blow-mold wheels. The axles have rusted many years back and the rust looked like it had kind of melded with the plastic of the wheels. Again, scrubbing with the usual cleaners had no effect at all, but this product kicked arse. It made the wheels look almost new again, with just spraying and rinsing.

    It does leave a faint lingering bleachy/chlorine smell on the toy for a while. But I've confirmed that fades after a few days. Overall I've seen no negative effect on the various plastics/paints at all. It hasn't worked on everything but overall its well worth trying.

    I wouldn't pretend to understand the active ingredients, but if you can find it or a similar product in your own country, I'd recommend giving it a bash ...
     
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  10. deafmetal

    deafmetal Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    @NewChrissy - Excellent clean up on the Mephilas. I know that it can be somewhat stressful to clean the more expensive vintage toys, especially the ones might have brittle vinyl or fragile paint. I think you did a great job on this one. There is something very satisfying about bringing back the luster of decades-old paint and vinyl on these wonderful toy monsters and heroes.

    @XVivaHateX - Jonathan, I believe it is true that most private sellers will not clean the found toys, and I have also heard it is used as an obvious way to show the vintage "patina" to prove the authenticity of the toy. It does seem though that there are other collectors and shops in Japan that are cleaning up found vintage toys. I had recently purchased a specific toy from a collector there that had been much improved from when I saw it last at auction a few years ago. In the auction listing, it was very dirty and had a lot of color transfers along with some pen marks on the eyes. Most of these imperfections had been cleaned up to the point of barely being noticeable anymore when I saw it again this year for sale. I am very interested in the topic though as I sometimes wonder what ratio of collectors in Japan clean vintage toys or not. Some of the toys I purchase have some disgusting muck on the inside. I could not imagine just putting that on the shelf to let rot forever.

    @The Moog - Interesting recommendation and I would be curious how it reacts to Japanese sofubi and vintage paints.

    On a similar topic, I purchased a bottle of Twin Pines Formula-911 for a specific project, and I have some mixed results to report back here. I have two vintage sofubi that are heavily affected by smoke/tar damage. They must have been on display in a chain-smoking home because the toys have hardened discolored sections of vinyl where it just looks like the tar has fused with the vinyl itself. I have tried both the the outdoor airing method for many weeks and also stored them in a paper bag with fresh kitty litter for over two months. It seemed to help out quite a bit, but now the smoke smell has been slowly returning again. I diluted the Formula-911 in half with water, and gave it a try to remove some of the surface tar and discoloration. Although it did seem to be lightening up the dark tar discoloration, I found this cleaner to be too harsh on the vintage soft vinyl and it was making thin spots and removing the shiny luster of the original vinyl. This could be because the tar had already damaged the vinyl, but in the end it was making the surface look worse. I was also trying some general cleaning with the product to see if it would help with any smoke smell, but I got nervous about how it would react with metallic paint. Does anybody else have experience with this product or removing surface tar?

    On a lighter topic, sometimes you find amazing things while cleaning old toys... like vintage dinosaur eggs:

    [​IMG]
     

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