Saturday, 14 April 2012

MLP Fair prep! Pony Cleaning 101

OK, it's only April, and the Fair is still three months away, but some of us just aren't that organized and need to start preparing early.  :P

Today, being the first day in about a month where I've had a whole weekend without work, and having the house to myself, I decided to clean the last wave of sales/trade ponies.  I thought this would also be a good time to do a post about the techniques I use to clean ponies.

Grungy Ponies
Most of these are thrift store finds, so they're not exactly pristine.  The first thing I do is to clean each pony with shampoo and an old toothbrush to get the light surface dirt off  (I usually clean several ponies at a time.)  Then I condition the hair.  I'll leave them sitting with the conditioner in for at least five minutes, assuming someone isn't really tangled and frizzy.  Then I'll comb the hair carefully, starting at the ends and working my way toward the pony, to get the tangles out.

Bath time!
No more frizzy Ponies
At this point, I'll look the Pony over to see if there are any marks or more ingrained dirt (there usually is.)  If the Pony is a G1 or G2, I'll use a Magic Eraser to remove these marks and dirt.  I've never had any problem with the Magic Eraser removing symbols or other paint from a G1 or G2, but I have seen it happen on a G3, so I try to avoid using one on G3s.  If there are still marks, it's time to bring out the big guns...
Acetone is a serious chemical (it has two danger symbols on the can!) so it should always be handled carefully.  It can remove factory paint in a second, but it can also remove some paint, scuffs, and other tough marks that second-hand Ponies are prone to.
Big black mark on leg
No more big black mark on leg.  Thank you, Acetone!
That's about where things end up for the sales/trade ponies.  Now it's just time to dry, then packed away into a box to await the trip to Florida.

Of course, there are a lot of other cleaning techniques.  Bleach for mold inside, whitening toothpaste for rust, sunfading for ink marks and some discolourations.  But these have a hightened risk of damaging the pony as well, so they're not something I'm going to try on ponies that will be leaving my hands.  That's something for a Pony's owner to try, if they feel it's warranted.


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