Cleaning a Sticky/Stained Figure

Have you ever been faced with a problem where the surface of your figure starts to become sticky? Or even worst still, stains which appear on your figure seemingly out of no where? These problems can be a real hassle for many collectors especially those who live in warmer and more humid climate countries where the sticky surface problem is even more apparent. 


Case in point, Good Smile Company's earlier production Nendoroid. These figures were particularly vulnerable to becoming stick over prolonged duration of ownership regardless if they are kept in the box for most of the times or otherwise. The problem lies in the mix of PVC that GSC uses which is not so compliant towards heat and humidity but, is necessary for flexibility (refer: plasticizer). Over time, a sticky gooey layer (of plasticizer) forms atop the figure almost as if the figure has melted!

I have mentioned this problem in my earlier review of this very Mami Nendoroid. On photos, the issue may not be immediately apparent especially since I keep my figures tucked away in their original packaging most of the times. But, if you do leave it out in the open, the figure's sticky surface begins to attract dust, hair and even fur creating quite the mess. 

Another issue which appears are stains. I am not exactly sure how these form but, my best bet is the dirt on your hands get transferred over onto the sticky surface during handling. While not very visible from afar, it is still a very ugly problem that I am sure most collectors would like to resolve if at all possible.


Enter Goo Gone.

This oil-based, citrus scented cleaning solution claims to remove any form of goo or adhesive. The best part is, only a small volume of this liquid is required to do the job. Skeptical at first, my research showed various rather happy collectors claiming good results. Yet, pictures were lacking. Only one way to find out, testing it out by myself!


Start by pouring a small volume of goo gone into a container, just a little will do. Then, experiment with an innocuous part to make sure that the solution does not wear down the paint layer. Over here, I have already tested it out with one part beforehand and found no problems. But to err on the safe side, I started with the smaller parts and accessories. 

After a brief soak ensuring the liquid covers every part, take it out and wipe it down with a dry clean cloth. Immediately, I was already might impressed with the results! Not only did the sticky layer get removed, the parts now looked brighter and cleaner too!


I then proceeded with parts from Mami's main body. Remember, you do not have to soak it in Goo Gone for too long! Under a minute is more than enough to remove any stickiness from the surface of the figure.

Soaked, cleaned and dried. Things were starting to look really good. The stain on Mami's chest is all gone!

Now, it was time for the big parts such as her skirt, face plate and hair.

No problems there either, everything came out clean and smooth.

For the larger parts, I had to add a little more Goo Gone. No point being too selfish.

The head had one of the most sticky surfaces and I was incredibly happy when it came out smooth and shining.

Finishing off with the largest parts. In order to clean these parts, I just tilted the container upwards to create a deeper pond allowing the entire part to be covered in Goo Gone.

With all the parts cleaned in Goo Gone solution, it was time to move onto the next step.

Because Goo Gone is an oil based solution, it is advisable to wash the parts with warm water and mild soap.

After several rinses of clean water, all the remaining soap and Goo Gone had been washed off. It was time for a little sun to dry it all up. But, be careful not to expose it to strong sunlight as this may cause the figure to discolor. Gentle sunlight like morning or evening suns are preferable.

All dried up, it was time to re-assemble the parts. I was expecting the parts to have a citrus or soapy scent but, it had neither. Instead, if ended up smelling like PVC. Very much akin to when you first open a figure. It was almost as if I had reverted Mami back to her factory configuration!

While it did take a little bit of time and effort, I must say, I am incredibly pleased with the results. When I first found out about Mami's sticky surface, I even contemplated having to get another one as a replacement. Having done this, I realized how silly that notion was to begin with.


So, if you ever find yourself in a scenario where your figures have gone sticky or stained, look no further than Goo Gone! Just be careful with your application of it and follow the steps I have highlighted above. That is all for now. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!

EDIT: Kahotan covered how to remove the stickiness on Nendoroids back in 2013 with an alternate method, do check it out too

Comments

  1. I believe you can use just warm water and soap and just soak it overnight. I did that with nendoroid UI and she turned out fine. Great informative post though! ^^

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, indeed you can. This is just an alternative method that I wanted to try it out which did not involve having to soak it overnight. :)

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