Getting odors off of toys

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by bigkid24, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. bigkid24

    bigkid24 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know a good way of getting the smell off of toys? I bought some figures from a guy and they smell like mildew or whatever but they smell horrible. So my question is is there a good way of getting the stench off of them?

    I thought I heard that using dryer sheets and ziploc bags would work but I've never tried it. Any feedback on this method or any others?

    I tried google but apparently "toy" and "odor" are too broad search terms....let's just say I'm reluctant to click on some of the links that came up at work.
     
  2. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    I know placing them in an airtight container with baking soda works, but like hell if I remember a time period. I know it's not gonna be a fast process, whatever you do.
     
  3. jasonmako

    jasonmako Voyager

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    Depends on what it is. When I was doing the Lego thing we would put them in a laundry bag or pillow case and send them through the washing machine. With so many pieces crashing together the bricks lost their shine. If your doing a single action figure just make sure if you do this method that its "single" in a bag and theres more laundry in the load.

    On my G1's i'll take them apart and wash them in soapy warm water and use a q-tip or an extremely used/soft tooth brush and lightly, and I mean lightly wash them.

    Remember mildew and bacteria has to be killed. You can try a madacide that kills hepatitis and hiv. That will do the trick if you want to be extreme then just soak them over night in warm water with a single liquid detergent drop. Air dry them the next morning or sit them under a fan for fast drying or use a hair dryer on low or just use you breath the get up in the cracks.
     
  4. Mr. Ginrai

    Mr. Ginrai Godmaster

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    Here is the caveat now: this may not work for everyone and I reccommend trying it on some junkers to get used to it. I have used this for a long time and have only slightly messed up three or so less important figures after doing hundreds upon hundreds of toys. I am not responsible for any damage you cause to your toys.

    I clean all vintage toys that I purchase unless they are near unused or well stored by the seller or previous owner. Some are so clean, they just get a gentle wipe down with a damp paper towel (water only) just to remove gentle surface dust. That usually always gets the job done. For dirty toys, see below:

    I do not like to dunk or soak my toys unless they are absolutely horrible, or if they have no stickers or the stickers are just going to be removed because they are so bad. I use my method below, because I think dunking/soaking is worse.

    Also, as far as chrome is concerned, most chrome will actually be fine, but some chrome can get tiny little pit speckles or discoloring depending on how thick it is. I really have not had this occur where it was an issue on a well used figure. The only one I can remember recently are the toes on a trypticon that was beat up anyways. The chrome there is good quality, but thin when compared to a godaikin style chrome. It had some general wear and had some small pitting afterwards (toy was nasty) but other than that it did not make it look out of place on the toy and if you saw it, it is definitely something you wouldn't have a problem purchasing.

    I also either damp wipe only figures that are diecast heavy (godaikins, shogun warriors, etc. and if I have to or use the below method. I would never soak a diecast figure, especially one with paint chipping/flaking.

    I use a generous amount of Fantastik, let it soak for minimum 30 seconds, but max two minutes - the idea is to allow the item to take on the cleaner but you don't want it to start to "dry", it needs to still be loose/wet.

    Then move swiftly with a slow stream of warm water from a sink to rinse - I have high gooseneck faucets with sprayers built in, so I use those on LOW pressure rather than the normal stream.

    I have a piece of paper towel ready to dab or just touch the surface where any stickers are. It is IMPORTANT to TOUCH or DAB all the excess water and NOT WIPE.

    Some stickers will lose their print if wiped, for example, omega-supreme and similar screen printed or light ink tampo style early G1 stickers (found on many other toylines as well). Later G1 stickers are much more durable but still require care due to some of the color washing.

    With other stickers that are more paper based and susceptible to dust attraction (MOTU especially, Thundercats, TMNT, Action Masters and Micromasters, etc.) they have a tendency to suck up water very quickly, so if you move fast with the cleaner and rinse fast they will be fine. These stickers can be wiped very gently, and on these I also reccommend pressing the edges of the stickers with a paper towel because water intrudes easily.

    It may look like these have over saturated but trust me they will dry properly. If there is any remaining water staining after they dry, it means that either you over saturated while cleaning (unlikely) or that the stickers have already faded a bit over time (remember you used a very quick method to clean, so you are seeing how the stickers really aged once it is cleaned up).

    Finally, if you have stickers that are low glue and high gloss, such as galoob army gear, galoob xpanders, and other toys, they may come off if they are loose when you get the toy. Those stickers will always look new, but stuck poorly even when brand new - if you are familiar with these toys you will understand and most likely will have to use a touch of adhesive to put these back on even if you don't have to clean the toy.

    If the stickers are holding up well, then I usually follow up with Windex and repeat the above, following the guidelines based on sticker type.

    That is usually enough to do it. The next/final step is to actually leave the toy out for a few days in your house in a room lit by either lamps or normal light, just not in direct sunlight (i.e. in front of a window, etc.) Open or unfold the toy as much as possible. If you live in a warmer climate or it is summer, you can leave them set up outside, again as long as they are not in direct sunlight. OXYGEN helps lose the scent, it is your friend. This should take 90, if not 100% of the smell out for you, but a slight odor may remain when you are right on top of the toy. I have had transformers and other toys come in where the sellers lied about being non-smokers or the toy was like that when they got it - mildew, dirt, dust and grime, soda, cigarettes, pot - you name it I have come across it in my purchases.

    Lastly, leave them on a few paper towels or a bath towel (again not in direct sunlight) for at least one to two days to let them dry naturally. Some toys will need more time, some less, depending on how much water gets in them (example a G1 prowl or combiner will not really hold any water, but a G1 monsterbot may due to having a more "assembled" construction.

    Again, use this method at your own risk, but you will be surprised what kind of dirt and grime sometimes comes off a clean looking toy. Sometimes the dirtiest toys are just dust that has changed color over time and looks terrible, but the toy is flawless underneath. Hope this helps.
     
  5. bigkid24

    bigkid24 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely helps. Thanks for all the responses. I've had a few transaction in the last couple of weeks that, for the first time, I've encountered toys from smoking homes or that smelled weird. I've been very fortunate up until this point so this is all new to me.
     
  6. ersico

    ersico Well-Known Member

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    keep it outside for a while...i hear 50/50 white vinagar water might help a little
     
  7. MidnightBliss

    MidnightBliss Well-Known Member

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    Place figures in a mesh bag or laundry basket. On a very windy day, place figures outside in the shade. After a day or 2 of this......smell all gone. Nothing better than good ol' oxygen for cleaning.
     
  8. jasonmako

    jasonmako Voyager

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    Oh yeah do not use alcohol on G1 chrome! Or on painted clear parts like Jazz's car roof.
     

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