5 Tips For Keeping Your Collections Clean

5 Tips For Keeping Your Collections Clean

Sarah Rae Smith
May 19, 2010

In our home we have multiple collections of things and although we wish the magic cleaning fairy came to our house to take care of them — that just doesn't happen. We collect all sorts of things like, Pez dispensers, vinyl toys, artwork, cameras and more, so come along as we share a few of our insider tips when it comes to keeping your prized possessions in tip top shape — and ready for display.

Collections can be tricky things and more often than not, there's a great deal of money invested in the items you tend to keep around. No one wants to clean something the wrong way, so check out the tips below!

1. Microfiber Cloths: Your first line of defense when it comes to cleaning any sort of tabletop item that's just hanging out collecting dust is a microfiber cloth. They're good for getting rid of all that settled gunk and junk in a jiffy and don't carry the threat of water or chemicals with them.

2. Suck It Up!: A vacuum is a great way to dust in between the small crevices of small parts. You can check out this tutorial over at Unplggd to see how it's done and even though it's aimed at tech-related spaces, the trick works wonders for not sucking up Darth Vader's light saber.... again.

3. Here Comes Peter Cotton Swab: A small cotton swab and a damp rag can be a great combo when used in the right way. Press your cotton swap tip gently onto the cloth and then clean out the little hard to reach places. This works especially well for older finds that are brought home from a garage sale or auction.

4. Take Cover!: There's no shame in keeping your collection in an enclosed space. Adopt a china hutch from Craigslist and paint it a cool color and presto — instant collection holder. You can buy specific display pieces from big box retailers, but they always feel like they belong in a show room instead of a home. You can also stash things in glass canning (for small collections) or cracker (for larger ones) jars. We even use a clear cookie jar with a silver lid to hold our Hot Wheels (don't judge!).

5. Last Resort: When all else fails, you can resort to using more traditional methods of washing. Although we like to stay away from such things to preserve the integrity of our things, sometimes, there's just no avoiding it. If your piece can be placed in water, fill your sink with a few drops of hand soap and rug with a soft towel. If your things can't be dipped in water, try a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% water. Add it to a spray bottle and make sure it's on the "mist" setting. Spray one spritz and wipe down immediately with a dry, soft towel. Continue until piece is clean.

If you have a particularly difficult collection to clean, let us know what it is below and we'll try to share our thoughts on getting it spic and span!

(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)

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