I’m sure you must have all noticed that I haven’t had much time to play with my Sylvanians in the past months or so. After we finished the first part of our house repairs, there was so much stuff to clean and organize (and even that isn’t over with *groan*). And when we were almost (almost done!), we had to get things moving again because the frequent monsoon rains caused new water damage to areas that were previously untouched. Thus, the chores go on and on, stalled unpredictably by the erratic weather and our less-than-perfect immune systems.
Ahh, back to my story. It was raining again yesterday and it was too wet to get any laundry done. And because I missed my poor Sylvanians, I took a much needed break to work on some scruffy Sylvanian figures I received last week. They were in poor condition when I got them; their clothes were stained, and their fur dirty and grubby. I took them over to the bathroom for a quick wash but the first wash left them looking no better. So then I got started on really getting down and dirty with them. I figured, since they were already in poor condition, I couldn’t do anything to make them worse, right? Well, look at what happened…
Aside from the unfinished restoration of the nose using a fabric pen, this Whiskers cat sibling is pretty much in good condition. It took two washes to get the fuzzy gray (mold? mildew?) out and I used a liberal amount of colorsafe liquid bleach and baby clothes liquid detergent to make it happen. I rubbed the solution in using the balls of my fingers first, and when that didn’t help much, I used a soft toothbrush and gently brushed in one direction only. Some areas were harder to clean than others and the extremities are still darker than the rest of the body. Unless I am willing to risk fur damage, however, I think I can live with this for now.
This mother figure turned out extremely well, if I may say so myself. The before picture was taken and sent in by her previous owner. She looks disheveled and extremely dirty. Masking tape did little to take off the gray scum off her fur; a good washing (again, repeated twice) did the trick. Even her green dress now looks green, whereas it looked yellow-gray before.
I’ve heard a lot of opinions going either way on whether or not washing figures will ruin them. As far as my experience goes, I’ve been quite successful in recovery and restoration. I’ve had a few disappointments but these were in really old figures with thinning fur or fur loss already. My rule of thumb is always to err on the side of caution. If it’s a figure I am unlikely to be able to replace, I take a more conservative stance on cleaning them, preferring dry methods over wet. And if I really don’t have to do anything to them, then I leave them be.
For more tips on organizing and cleaning Sylvanians, why don’t you check out PH Sylvanian Families on Facebook? (Just click on the picture below to get redirected to our Facebook page.) Enjoy the page!