If you're a lover of vintage squeak toys you'll know that many collectible ones have textured bodies with lots a bumps and grooves where dirt and grime might of collected in over the years. I always follow a general rule with cleaning or laundering any vintage item whether it be a toy, clothing or furniture and that's to try the gentlest methods first and get more aggressive with my approach depending on how dirty or soiled an item is.
With vintage rubber squeak toys I like to do the following:
* First thing use a damp cloth to wipe over the entire surface of the toy, this alone should remove a significant amount of surface dirt and dust.
* Next using baby wipes I like to work on cleaning the toys surface taking care to work in the creases and grooves of the toy. WARNING always take care not to rub over painted eyes or accented coloured areas (head and feet) as you can see in the above picture. If you're able to test in a hidden spot on a toy in a coloured area, you should be able to determine if the colour or paint is unstable and will come off through the friction of cleaning, otherwise steer clear.
* If your vintage squeak toy is still requiring more attention now is the time to try warm soapy water I just use a gentle dish washing liquid and an assortment of brushes for all the creases, grooves and textured spots on the toy. Collect together and old toothbrush, small paintbrush and cotton tips.
* For stubborn marks from pen ink or permanent marker you can attempt to see if you'll have success with clear liquid hand sanitiser. Rub into the affected spot and wipe over with a white cloth. NOTE: white cloths are best when cleaning, I'll explain why at the end.
* Finally if you're still struggling to clean up your vintage squeak toy you can try a mild abrasive cream cleaner. WARNING an abrasive cream cleaner will work wonders on non-painted areas but steer clear of coloured featured areas as mentioned above, but you must use a cleaner with care and unsure you wipe your toy over with a damp cloth at the end.
Try all of the above and you should be well on your way to a fresher vintage squeak toy. But one last tip always ensure you use clean white cloths in the cleaning process. A white cloth is always a good guide to how much grime is coming away and a white cloth will also ensure fabric dye won't taint or tint your toy if you're using cleaners.
If you have further questions please leave a comment and I'll respond. Likewise if you have further tips to add please do so in the comments as well.
Labels: Crafting & Wellness, DIY/Tutorial, Vintage