How To Clean Your Hot Toys and 1:6 Scale FiguresPaul
Even if you display your Hot Toys collection behind glass in a showcase the build-up of dust and other particles overtime is inevitable. Even collectors who go the extra mile with weather stripping on their IKEA DETOLF cabinets (a popular display choice – see the How to Display your Hot Toys collection article for more info) still have to go through the ritual of cleaning their collection once or twice a year. But what’s really the best way to go about cleaning your Hot Toys figures to avoid the risk of damage with the least time exhausted on your part? There are a number of different approaches that Hot Toys collectors take when it comes to the often dreaded cleaning day so we figured we would give you a breakdown and the pros and cons of each.
Method #1 – Swiffer Dusters
The most obvious method for cleaning your Hot Toys figures is also one of the quickest & cheapest too: a Swiffer Duster. If you have never used one of these before and think it’s just a traditional feather duster (or similar) then you are in for a treat. The way these things scoop up dust is almost magnetic and a light brush over your figures should grab most, or all, of the dust in one pass. They are very lightweight and so long as you are careful to not apply a lot of pressure you should be able to dust most areas of your figures while they are still on their stand.
The only major downside to using this kind of duster is as they capture dust and it’s latched to the duster those same dust particles are then brushed over other parts of the figure as you continue the process. It might sound crazy but even these micro dust particles can in some rare cases scratch certain areas of the figure or clothing depending on the material. Additionally, accessing some of the harder-to-reach areas and portions of the figure are going to be impossible with one of these dusters. This is probably the quickest approach to dusting your 1:6 scale figures but unless you are short for time it’s also the least recommended.
Method #2 – Air Duster Can / Compressed Air
Another method for cleaning your 1:6 scale figures that might not have immediately come to mind is the use of an air can duster or compressed air. Air dusters are great for cleaning hard to access areas and the included ‘stem’ with most air cans can fit just about anywhere on your figure. You just need to be careful to not apply the air to delicate parts on your figure because the sheer force at which it leaves the can can easily damage small bits. For example, small leather bits like a gun holster can easily fall victim to the air can if not properly handled.
The benefit of using an air can is that a cloth and/or duster never physically touches the figure which means you don’t run the risk of micro scratches or other abrasions. You also will be able to access and clean the entire figure with an air can, not just areas with a larger surface area. Dust can settle just about anywhere and with this method you can easily blast it away from joints and other crevices where a duster or other cleaning methods simply cannot reach.
Method #3 – Cosmetics and/or Paint Brush
If you have the extra time on your hands for cleaning your Hot Toys and other 1:6 scale figures then a cosmetics (or similar) brush might be a great option for you. If you have never held or touched a cosmetics brush one thing they all have in common is incredibly soft and fine bristles. Since they are often used on delicate areas like the face, these brushes are very soft to the touch and quite delicate. For that reason, collectors who can afford the 3-5+ minutes it might take per figure to brush off the areas where dust accumulates might like the fact that these are an incredibly safe and gentle way to approach the cleaning process. Since these are not “trapping” the dust you don’t need to worry about micro scratches as you work your way through cleaning the entire figure.
Another positive is that these are often available in different sizes so you can have one for accessing smaller parts and accessories and a larger format one for the figure body or large areas. This process will take longer overall in most cases but there’s a certain peace of mind that comes with so delicately approaching the task of cleaning.
How Should I Clean My Figure Collection?
There’s a lot of pride that comes with building and displaying a Hot Toys or sixth scale figure collection and part of the process is caring for and cleaning that collection. This hobby is far from a cheap endeavor and it would be in your best interest to protect the value and life of your Hot Toys (or other figures) for many years to come whether you see yourself selling at some point or not. There’s nothing worse than seeing an expensive and beautiful display of collectibles with a blanket of dust on them so as much as the time investment may suck, once or twice a year is all it really takes to maintaining a drool worthy, clean display. Use the process of cleaning your collection as an opportunity to repose and enjoy your figures and you will find it feels less like a chore and more an afternoon of fun.