Friday, July 24, 2009

Renovation: Spot Be Gone - Cleaning and Polishing the Pieces

For the second A frame I reconditioned, the floors had really bad staining. I got them 90% better with the following procedure: STEP ONE-soak in a soapy bath for a few hours. TWO- scrub vigorously with soft bristle brush (I use a natural back scrubber, it really gets in all the nooks and crannies of the roof shingles and wall detailing) in circular motion and rinse. a tooth brush can be used to clean grooves and inside corners. THREE-wipe down with terry cloth towel taking care to get all the nooks and cranies. FOUR- schmeer a thin coating of soft scrub bleach creme cleaner over all outer surfaces especially on the darkest spots. let sit for an hour or two. FIVE- scrub with a SOFT sponge (soft scrub is gritty so you dont want to press hard and scratch, its only used for its bleach content and paste consistancy). rinse while you gently massage with sponge. you should be seeing a brighter clearer yellow color now. you can drain off each panel as you go, then towel off. sometimes even just the pressure of the towel can buff of scuff marks found on the sides and corners. SIX- let completely dry, you can help it along and get any remaining dirt residue by running a Q tip along all the details underneath, inside the grooves and in the corner slots. SEVEN- there are two ways to shine up cleaned parts. one approach is to use a plastic conditioner like mothers milk or black magic solicone (auto section for both) and a clean soft cloth to massage circular motions for 5-10 minutes per floor piece. this will give it a nice deep shine again as well as intensify the yellow coloring. In a few days you can repeat the final step for a deeper shine. You can also use the above routine for deeply soiled roof panels minus the soft scrub bleach step as that would lighten the color which is a bad idea since the orange is a darker hue than the floors. the other approach to shining up old, dull plastic is to use a very light oil like the one they provide with beard trimmers. its clear and watery so will not dry or dull itself when used. i tried this on a jamie somers doll recently (hair and body) and it took 20-30 years off her in a few seconds. just use it sparingly and you will be very happy.

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