Toy Corner

How to Clean Your Action Figures

May 22, 2024

picture of a person cleaning an action figure

Preparing to Clean Your Action Figure

Getting ready for action figure revitalisation warrants the utmost consideration. Turn your attention, now, to the essentials required for the task.

  1. Soft Brush: Invest in a soft brush. Use it to delicately brush off visible surface dust on the action figure including the nooks and crannies. The soft bristle prevents scratches on the figure.

  2. Dish Soap: Purchase a mild dish soap. Use this gentle cleanser for a bath that both cleans and cares for your action figure.

  3. Warm Water: Ensure clean, warm water is available before you start the cleaning process. It facilitates the effective removal of dirt, grime, and soot from your action figures.

  4. Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar: Acquire either vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Utilize these items for a balancing act between efficacy and minimal impact on the paintwork of your precious action figures.

  5. Soft Cloth: Always have a soft, lint-free cloth at hand. Use it to pat dry the cleaned action figures to maintain their paintwork and avoid any watermarks.

  6. Old Toothbrush: An older toothbrush that's still in decent condition can come in handy as it comfortably reaches tight spots on the figures.

Remember these essentials while you learn how to clean old action figures or how to clean vintage action figures. Now that you've gathered your materials, let's delve into how to clean action figure packaging and restore the charm to your replicas.

Cleaning Process Explained

Maintaining the integrity of your prized action figures involves a diligent cleaning process. Here, let's deconstruct each pivotal stage.

Begin cleaning your action figures with a gentle operation—dusting. Dust can accumulate on your figures over time, dulling their vibrant appearances and intruding into their detailed crevices. Microfiber cloths provide a soft and effective tool for removing this dust without causing any potential harm to the figures.

Grasp your action figure carefully and gently clean each surface with a microfiber cloth. Remember, the aim is not only to clean visible areas but also to delve into hidden corners and clefts. Apply mild pressure to remove stubborn dirt spots. For dust entrenched in compact spaces like helmet grooves or armour joints, the cotton swabs or compressed air cans work wonders.

During this operation, focus on preserving the figure's paintwork and detailing. A careful dusting method ensures your action figures retain their original allure, key for both vintage and newer models. Interestingly, this dusting process applies equally to cleaning action figure packaging, helping maintain the package's pristine condition.

After this critical dusting stage, the action figures poised for the next phase—soaking and scrubbing.

Washing the Action Figure

Begin by preparing a basin of lukewarm soapy water. Opt for liquid hand soap or dishwashing liquid, as these cleaning agents effectively break down grease but remain gentle on paintwork. Ensure the water temperature is warm, not hot, as extreme heat can distort the plastic. The soap-water ratio needn't be precisely measured; a few squirts of soap produce ample cleansing foam.

Dip each action figure in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes to loosen any stuck-on grime. After soaking, use an old toothbrush to gently scrub away at the surface dirt. The bristles can reach tiny crevices, targeting areas your hands can't. Pay extra attention to detail areas, like joints or facial features. Rinse each figure in cool water to eliminate soap traces, then pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.

The process of how to clean old action figures and how to clean vintage action figures remains much the same, with minor tweaks. For older or more fragile figures, such as those from the 70's or 80's, use a softer touch and avoid vigorous scrubbing to protect their delicate paint.

Remember that while you aim to enhance their aesthetics, the process should not damage your action figures. Knowing how to clean action figures and their packaging effectively means balancing detailed cleaning with gentle handling, preserving your collectables for years to come.

Rinsing and Drying

In the process of learning how to clean action figures, a significant step lies in proficient rinsing and drying. Ensuring your action figures are properly rinsed and dried prevents damage and feathering of paintwork, retaining their allure over time.

After a refreshing scrub, rinsing takes centre stage. The effect of a rigorous rinse imparts a clean finish and prevents soap residue, which might discolour action figures with time. Engage in a comprehensive rinse under cool running water. Pay attention to crevices and corners where soap water might linger. If you are keen on how to clean old action figures, it’s critical to bear in mind their time-garnered, frangible nature, thus requiring a gentle rinse. The water force is less abrasive when you keep the collectables under a lightly running tap rather than a full-force flow, hence, reducing the potential of inflicted damage.

The manner in which you dry your action figures is equally essential. It’s best not to leave your figurines, especially vintage action figures, to air dry as this could lead to water marks, tarnishing the aesthetics of your valuable collectables. Instead, delicately pat them dry with a soft, lint-free cloth or a piece of kitchen paper. This method removes excess water without disturbing the paintwork of the figure. For hard-to-reach areas, employing the use of a Q-tip or air-drying aided with a cool setting hairdryer is permissible. Once pat-dried, place the figures on a towel and let them dry completely. Allow figures ample time, preferably 24 hours, before returning them to their display case or packaging. Ensuring packaging is dry before it accommodates the figure is vital if you are to grasp well how to clean action figure packaging. Patience in drying thoroughly maintains the vibrancy of your figures and their packaging, enhancing their overall look and value.

Maintenance and Care

Your action figures require regular attention, similar to other valuable items. Effectively cleaning and storing your figures not only enhances their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan.

Regular cleaning forms an essential part of action figure maintenance. When dust or smoke settles on figures, it can lead to discolouration or even damage. Develop a routine cleaning schedule which resonates with your collection's specific needs. With how to clean action figures, start by soaking the figures in hot water and soap. Scrub gently to remove any surface soot or grime. This process may require repetition for optimal results. In cases where soot lingers, apply acetone for a thorough clean. However, exercise caution as acetone can strip the paint or degrade plastic.

Beyond the cleaning process, storing your action figures correctly is crucial. Proper storage shields your figures from detrimental elements such as heat, sunlight or excess moisture. Consider temperature-controlled environments to maintain the vibrancy of your figures' paintwork. Also, remember to store your figures in a position that does not strain or distort their joints. While the initial steps focus on how to clean old or vintage action figures, integrating a dedicated customized space for each figure in your display case limits the need for frequent heavy cleaning.

And there you have it, a complete guide on how to effectively clean your action figures, if you are looking to add to your collection, then Zippigames has a wide range, from horror action figures to wrestling action figures. Take a look and see what you like!