How To Clean Vintage Toys

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I’ve got a small collection of cute toys from the 80s such as Care Bears, My Little Pony and Fairy Tails. It’s hard to find these vintage toys in a mint condition, but a little clean up or touch up can do wonders.

What you’ll need

How To Clean Vintage Toys

You can use care products that you probably already own: soap, shampoo, conditioner, curlers and a brush or comb. I also keep a so-called magic sponge / magic eraser / wonderspons at hand.


How To Clean Vintage Toys

Fairy Tails are My Little Pony-esque birds from Hasbro. You can use the same cleaning routine for both these kinds of toys, because their materials are quite similar.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

Let’s start with washing the stand with some soap, as you can see this one is a little dirty.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

If there’s still some dirt left, you can wet a bit of the ‘magic sponge’ and rub it over the dirty spot. Usually the sponge will do the trick to remove surface dirt, it might not work on dirt that is too ingrained. You can also use this kind of sponge to clean the toy itself. Please test it first on a small unnoticeable spot, such as near the back of the paws (or with ponies underneath the hooves). It’s also best not to use the sponge on the cutie mark (symbol) or eyes. I’m always amazed at how well this sponge works and how much dirt it picks up.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

Vintage toys usually haven’t seen a bath in years. I keep the toy upside down while cleaning it, to avoid water getting inside. Just gently wash the toy with soap and afterwards apply some shampoo to the hair, and let it settle for a couple of minutes.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

Rinse the shampoo out of the hair and apply a lavish amount of conditioner, making sure to massage it into all the hairs. Feel free to apply the conditioner for a second time around.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

The ends of the hair might still be a bit frizzy after the conditioner treatment. At this point you can try a heating method. You can use the boiling water method – please do so with great care and attention – to help with the frizz. Or if you’ve got a heated curling iron, this defrizz video from derpyderp would be great. Please do not expect wonders if your vintage doll or toy has got super frizzy hair to begin with, in that case you could think about replacing the hair.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

The spa treatment is almost coming to an end. You can use simple curlers, straws, or pen caps to curl the hair. I usually divide the Fairy Tails’ tail by colour. Now wait… Really wait. I know how tempting it can be to remove the curlers but the hair must completely dry for perhaps up to 12 hours.

How To Clean Vintage Toys

After you’ve removed the curlers, you can decide if you want to comb the curls out or not. For my Fairy Tails I combed the curls out and also cleaned up her symbol a bit more. Taffeta Tails looked pretty good to begin with – so this is not a drastic make-over – but now she glows even more.

I hope you enjoyed this post! You can find more information on The My Little Pony Preservation Project, Youtube and forums such as My Little Pony Trading Post.

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2 responses

  1. Suzanne avatar

    Very useful! I love seeing content like this, harkens back to toys I adore, and how to maintain them.

  2. Sara avatar

    Thank you for this post, very useful! <3

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