M.U.S.C.L.E. Cleaning Techniques
If you have ever bought figure lots off an auction site, chances are there have been some figures that are covered in dirt and grime, some might have paint on them and some may have unpleasant odours! As long as there isn’t black permanent marker on the figure you should be able to get them looking and also smelling nice and new again! So below are some tried and tested methods for cleaning your figures. Just grab the following items and your ready to start cleaning your M.U.S.C.L.E.s!
- • Bucket or Bowl
• Liquid Soap
• Laundry Powder
• Toothbrush (electric if possible)
• Wooden Toothpicks
Standard Cleaning Method
For just light grime and dirt, fill a bowl with really hot water and liquid soap. Dump all your dirty figures in the bowl and give them a good stir. You should leave them to soak for at least half an hour. Once they have been soaking for a while you can then start to clean them one by one with your toothbrush, making sure you get in between all the little nooks and crannies. In the before and after pictures below you can see the difference it makes…
Removing Inks and Paint
We have had loads of figures that kids used to mark with permanent marker on the soles of the M.U.S.C.L.E.s feet, but as long as it isn’t heavy black marker, you should be able to remove most ink stains. The problem with black marker is that if it has penetrated the plastic it is most likely ruined for good. Experiments in slicing away the surface of the plastic proves the black marker penetrates deep under the surface, so no amount of scrubbing or alcohol based liquids are going to remove it.
To remove inks that are more towards the surface, or even light marker pen, you could try lightly sanding the area, then buffing it up on a piece of fabric, although you must be careful when applying this method as it can scratch the plastic too much if you are too heavy, but the buffing should make lighter scratches disappear. This method is usually OK if the ink is on the soles of the figure’s feet where it will not be noticed as much.
For small flecks of paint this is where your toothpicks come in. Briefly soak the end of the toothpick to soften it slightly then you can just lightly ‘flick’ at the paint fleck without damaging the plastic. Many types of paint flecks can be removed this way and it leaves no trace.
Chad Perry of The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. produced some videos showing his experiments in trying to remove silver boat paint that had encased entire figures! His projects can be viewed on our Video page…
Cigarette Smoke & Other Unpleasant Odours
The best method for figures that have an unpleasant odour is laundry powder. Mix some in a bowl of hot water, leave to soak for an hour or more, then just clean with the toothbrush method. Just the long soak will always remove the odour but it will leave your M.U.S.C.L.E.s smelling like laundry powder for a while. You can speed up the process of returning that ‘M.U.S.C.L.E. smell’ by mixing the freshly cleaned figures in with a large batch of your other figures in a air-tight container and after a time they will all start smelling the same.
If you have any other successful cleaning techniques please let us know and we will feature it on this page!