to clean or not to clean?

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

  1. chimmychazz

    chimmychazz Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    saw a box of magic eraser at the store, and figured why not?
    I didn't go too hard on them, but they cleaned up nicely. especially the lion maru and tiger 7, both of which were filthy when I got them.

     
  2. Mark K

    Mark K Addicted

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Good to see the gold spray, which is notorious for fading, on the Tiger 7 shined up nicely.
     
  3. Kingboy D

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Wow, big improvements. This has really enticed me to run out and get one. They look great!
     
  4. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Looks like it works, can you put a photo of the product? :mrgreen:
    Best regards!
     
  5. chimmychazz

    chimmychazz Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    thanks guys, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. alebrije here's what it looks like:
    [​IMG]
    it's basically just a sponge, but it works wonders! haha and they are pretty cheap from amazon if you can't find them in stores
     
  6. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    to clean or not to clean?
    chimmychazzthanks for the info! :D
    Best regards!
     
  7. mutantshark

    mutantshark Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Be careful with magic erasers. I dunno about toys but they can take paint of walls. Basically theyre made up of tiny tiny spikes that are so minute theyre soft to the touch and they scrape the blemish off a surface
     
  8. scobot

    scobot Addicted

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I recently bought an unopened Mach Baron set for a really good price, but... when I received it I was dissapointed...

    [​IMG]

    I have bought plenty of dirty MIP/MIB toys before, with a bit of a clean and they shine up nicely in most cases but this had a mold inside the blister. There were no openings .. sealed. So I had to open it up ... Bahh!

    [​IMG]
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    I cleaned these guys with alcohol free nail polish remover (only briefly wiping over the painted parts as it will take the paint if you wipe too hard depending on the brand of toy) and then with hot soapy water and a toothbrush inside and out and they came up a treat .. the mold looks like its eaten away at some of the silver paint on Walter UO but not the vinyl thank the gods.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Isn't this just the worst feeling though, Scott? I mean, even worse than missing out on an excellent toy, is getting something that isn't what you expected. Because of shoddy photos, poor or nonexistent descriptions, I, too, have had this happen on a few occasions, and I always find it heartbreaking. On the one hand, yes, you get what you were so hoping for, but the disappointment in receiving something damaged or not as described sucks all the excitement and happiness out of the purchase. This is especially dangerous when buying vintage toys, as there are going to be more conditional issues creep in (paint damage, loose joints, marker, non-original parts, cigarette smell, etc.). And when you have shelled out a lot of hard-earned money for one of these toys, it is doubly sad. Anyways, this just touches a soft spot for me, and there are a lot of toys that have become sort of 'tainted' by bad experiences in this way. :( I actually buy a lot of old and 'junk' toys, but knowing it makes all the difference [not to mention the price]. And I sure have spend a lot of elbow grease in my time on my 'new' vintage toys.

    But, moving that aside, superb figures Scott! They did indeed clean up very well, you can't even tell there was damage from my perspective (again, something that will always be in your mind though). The MB looks spiffy and brand new. So lovely. And I didn't know he has a sword accessory; he can't hold it though right, in that sculpt version? Anyhow, congratulations are in order on both of those fellows, even if they required a bit of work.
     
  10. scobot

    scobot Addicted

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    Ha Thanks Steve! - I actually got these guys after we had talked about the same set on madarake for 20k more.. It was a crime not to buy it right ? they did scrub up perfectly but I had a sinking feeling looking at them at first, and really wanted to keep it MIP.

    There were quite a few old robos like mazingers and getters and I think I even have a zarborger set somewhere with a sword - you can often see robos at auction that have a hole punched into a hand for the sword by the previous owner.
     
  11. Firrip

    Firrip Fresh Meat

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    to clean or not to clean?
    That Mach Baron cleaned up extremely well!

    ive tried the nail polish remover and it's good on scuffs but I usually over work it and ruin the sheen on the figure. Same with magic erasers. Used it lightly and it took off the sheen and left some gnarly marks. went back to just spot cleaning the outside with a damp rag. I've avoided bathing the figure because I worry that water would get trapped inside and wouldn't be able to let it dry properly without taking it apart.

    What I'm wondering is, is it fine to soak the figure without taking it apart? Also, if I were to take it apart, is there a proper method? I used to take apart softer figures until I snapped an arm off a Barom figure :cry:
     
  12. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I usually do soak figures freely, especially vintage ones. If there is any/a lot of water that gets inside, I will pop off one of the limbs usually - not a bad idea anyways, to clean out the innards as well, particularly if the joints are loose. A lot of my toys have seen their fair amount of play though, I get how this is not for everybody. To really ease up the process, just use a hairdryer. You can't really overwork it, but always be careful nonetheless. But even vintage vinyl will soften right up typically and you can 'pop' out joints with relative ease. If you are worried, or the figure is delicate, sure, avoid the bath. In most cases I think you can garner it from examining the toy on a case-by-case basis to judge how much you can work it. And, if worst come to worst and you get some water inside but can't get it out easily, I would still use a hairdryer to heat it up as much as possible (I have done this with hard to dry areas like inside tails) and make sure that you can give it time to dry out with plenty of air. Shouldn't be any problems then.
     
  13. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys S7 Royalty

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    to clean or not to clean?
    While I HAVE NOT TESTED this cleaning method, this article explains that the yellowing we see in plastic can be addressed not by bleaching, but by a chemical reactive process involving oxidation facilitated by UV, to destabilize and remove some of the bromine that is leeching from the vinyl.

    According to the article (see link below) it results when bromine, present in flame retardant chemicals added during the production and molding process, starts migrating to the surface of the vinyl with time (I interpret this as the fire retardant chemical residues start to destabilize with time, causing bromine to precipate out of the vinyl matrix--but I'm not a chemist, so perhaps someone can explain this better than me :oops:). The bromine can then be mobilized through oxidation of the vinyl, which then removes the yellowing (if I understand the article correctly!), The article below further states that the treatment is a chemical oxidation process that requires UV light (which is an essential component), and that this "mobilizes" the bromine to remove it. Apparently "stronger is not better" so adding tons of oxidant (i.e. hydrogen peroxide & oxy-clean powder) and/or prolonged periods of soaking may actually damage the vinyl, so balance is the key!

    Not sure if this applies to toys, and I would be VERY hesitant (viz--not at all!) to try it out on clear vinyl with paint applications. It might be worth a test on purely clear vinyl though! Say on a really cheap toy or something similar? If anyone does decide to test this method, can you please post your methods and results? Thanks! :)

    http://www.exisle.net/mb/index.php?...g-plastic-the-stain-isnt-permanent-after-all/
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  14. patrickvaz

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Has anybody tried taking a Magic Eraser to some yellowed clear vinyl?
     
  15. chimmychazz

    chimmychazz Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    @patrickvaz I don't imagine magic eraser will do much, since the yellowing isn't just on the surface, but peroxide miiiiiiight do the trick?
    (though I've never tried it, and not sure if soft vinyl will have the same result)
     
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  16. akum6n

    akum6n Vintage

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I just accept the yellowing as part of the beautiful impermanence of things.

    If you can make every toy perfect, where's the fun in looking for the ones that have survived the ravages of time?
     
  17. patrickvaz

    patrickvaz Addicted

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    But it's MAGIC Charlie! You can't use logic:lol:
    I'd be interested to know if the peroxide thing does the trick tho!?
    Also worth noting, whenever I have to buy peroxide I'm so confused by the concentration! Kinda funny that dude in the vid touches on the subject.
     
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  18. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Glad to see this thread revived, as this is an ongoing discussion I always like to have, and really appreciate others' insight on. As the hobby evolves, it is my hope we can gradually narrow/perfect some treatment advice.

    I don't think (as in, 98% certain) the magic eraser type products will do anything to the yellowing Patrick, since it is completely a surface treatment. Yellowing is due to the vinyl itself, and really, will be through the plastic. But, what I would say is that, while these rubbing things might work for removing some small surface scuffs or paint transfer, I would be very careful with vintage toys. In fact, I would go so far as to say - from experience - I am very hesitant to work any surface with them. It severely diminishes the quality of the surface vinyl, and, particularly for anything that is transparent, this 'buffing' of the surface will have a very dramatic negative effect on the lustre and transparency of the toy. I am not saying it would necessarily damage it, but please do take caution and be very careful if you do attempt treatment with these products. If you need, try on the underside of the foot or somewhere where it would be least conspicuous (though you can't always tell in test treatments either). Honestly, beyond a little soap and water treatments, I have come to think most vintage toys should be left as they are, as nothing I have found restores them sufficiently to warrant it, and if anything could make it worse. I have had a few cases where toys cleaned up nicely, but also the opposite.

    Short answer: every toy is different, as are the markings/scuffs/dirt/etc. you are trying to remove. I don't think any one solution is the best one, nor have I found one cleaner that manages to do the 'magic' trick consistently, without causing any potential damage.
     
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  19. deafmetal

    deafmetal Comment King

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    to clean or not to clean?
    This is an enjoyable and informative thread. I'm of the camp that likes to clean up old vinyl toys with mild soap and water to bring out the original color and paint. I find the exercise to be very relaxing overall, and it seems to be a good source of stress relief. I don't know though... should I risk the "value" of this toy by seeing what could possibly be underneath all this filth? ;)

    (click Spoiler tag below )

    [​IMG]
    Beautiful green-spray Bullmark Gojira!
    [​IMG]

    A lovely vintage goji with full-cover green paint in excellent condition, and still concealing the faint silver sprays underneath. There is something about this dark matte green paint that Bullmark used on these blue/green vinyl gojis -- I have ran into it before, and it seems to have an issue with getting sticky/tacky over the years. This specific toy just was covered in some kind of greasy glue. I have another green-sprayed Bullmark goji where the dark green paint was also tacky, but it was nowhere near as covered in paint as this wannabe Swamp Thing. Now that's it's all cleaned up, it's smooth to the touch and just has the slightest tackiness compared to a standard blue/green Bullmark with silver/blue sprays. The paint is almost covering the entire figure except for the interior of the spine:
    [​IMG]

    Here are some before/after comparison shots of this cleaning and a few others:
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  20. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Excellent one Mark! I saw that (or another one) grubby-looking Goji and was thinking the same thing, i.e. about what might be hiding underneath that layer of grime. Wow man, and the answer is very impressive indeed. I have to say, I find that dark green version just brilliant, I love it. I have just been staring at the various pics in awe for a few minutes now. Really, that is a gorgeous toy. I am extra impressed on top of it all how clean the eyes especially came on him after your washing session, something that is always more of a concern for me. High fives and congratulations on a real beauty, Mark!

    Great before-and-after shots on the other as well. Glad you got some earned relaxation and enjoyment out of the process, and that I am not the only one. I enjoy restoring these fellas to a condition they deserve. And oh, that pile of Goji parts [as much as I am sure it is activating the OCD on some toy people ;) ] just makes me smile, so thank you for that, it was really needed. :thumbsup:
     
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  21. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Totally. I collect many types of vintage toys and most of them are covered in grime and have marks and rubs. Meticulously cleaning them in a careful manner, is just like meditation for me . . .

    Sometimes, the transformation far exceeds your expectations . . . :D
     
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  22. chimply.kaiju

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    to clean or not to clean?
    I enjoy receiving dirty vintage toys. It lets me know that the toy was most likely not repainted or touch up in some way and some little kid loved them enough to actually played with them. Fun to take them apart and give them a good wash.

    Love this shot Mark.
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. boon velvet

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    @deafmetal , I completely agree with the sentiments of everyone above, but I'm not sure if I'm more impressed with your clean-up jobs (which look to be about as perfect as possible) or your before and after photo skills. With that type of repositioning, framing, and lighting duplication, you've always got a job in the skin care visual advertising industry. It's the type of position I think you could really flesh out.
     
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  24. Amphetamine

    Amphetamine Fresh Meat

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Also a word of caution on "kabi" - this is also known as "pony cancer" in the older my little pony community. Any soft plastic toy can get it. It starts as a black spot, and spreads very quickly, with no known cure. They have extensive threads about trying different things to destroy it however nothing seems to work. It can show up on older children's toys and spread to the rest of your collection very easily, so be careful.
     
  25. akum6n

    akum6n Vintage

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    to clean or not to clean?
    Out of curiosity, do you have any photos of this 'kabi'? I don't care if it's a MLP figure or whatever. I just want to see what it is.

    A few folks have brought up this issue over the past years, however, I don't think anyone was able to produce a photo of the actual condition. Most of what people believed to be kabi seemed to be dirt that had simply worked itself into tiny bubbles in the vinyl surface.
     

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