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Author Topic: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?  (Read 1486 times)

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Offline retrogradenova

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New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« on: October 01, 2015, 12:35:55 PM »
So I'm brand new to customizing and collecting ponies. I just got a box full of G1 ponies off Ebay, and I started cleaning them all with a boiling hot oxyclean bath. Turns out 4 of them had mold on the inside.  All the ponies got soaked in the boiling oxyclean for half an hour each, but the the 4 moldy ones also got soaked in some white vinegar for about half an hour. I scrubbed the inside of them really well with a toothbrush but I'm having trouble on the legs. Did I soak them long enough? I'm kinda thinking of trying another boiling oxyclean bath, but really I'm not sure if that will help anymore than it already has. How do you know when you've gotten a moldy pony clean enough? 

My husband suggested putting salt inside the ponies and shaking them until it scrubs any leftover mold in the legs away. Is this a viable idea? I kinda have the feeling it might not be, but Q-tips weren't really working for me either.

I have a So Soft, and a few Beddy-bye Eyes I still have yet to attempt to clean. The box also had a Brush n' Grow in it that I have no idea how to tackle.  Anything that isn't a basic pony feels kinda like an overwhelming challenge at the moment. I'd love any suggestions, I'm really worried about not doing this right and developing a mold problem with my ponies.
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Offline LightingElectricDream

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 02:02:03 PM »
I would try pipe cleaners.
As long as the salt isen't mixed with a chemical you should be ok to try it.

I think another oxyclean bath is not worth another try.
Oxyclean can brake down meteral as dose bleach but not quite the same way.
Never use bleach BWT.

The mold should be killed as long as it's removed from the pony entirely.
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Offline BlushingBlue

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 03:07:50 PM »
I'm pretty sure submersing your ponies in boiling water for half an hour(!) -- let alone the peroxide and vinegar -- would be enough to kill off the mold/mildew, so now it's just a matter of getting the yuck out. I personally use bottle brushes to clean down inside ponies' legs, but a child-size toothbrush will do in a pinch. The pony will be more pliable when it's hot, so that might be the best time to tackle scrubbing the legs if you don't have a flexible brush. (Just be careful not to burn yourself!) Alternatively, you could try more OxiClean or baking soda+vinegar directly inside the pony to try to bubble out some of the gunk. Your husband's salt idea sounds like it could work too, as long as you're willing to sit there and shake it like a polaroid picture. I've even heard of people putting their ponies through the dishwasher, which seems extreme to me, but it sounds like extreme may be what you're after?

Maybe I'm inured to moldy ponies, but it seems like you already took the nuclear option right off the bat, so perhaps there's a reason why you need to be super vigilant about mold. (Allergies?) If so, then your definition of "clean enough" might be different from mine, but I think you're good to go on the mold front. :bigups: Be sure to let the ponies dry out completely before reassembling them, to avoid future mold/mildew/rust problems.

My only additional advice is to be aware that not every pony will hold up well to a jacuzzi. If it's just to prep a plain pony for custom bait, then no worries, but boiling in OxiClean for half an hour could negatively affect certain symbols, twinkle eyes, so soft glue, certain hair colors, etc. Something to keep in mind if you find that the "bait" lot you got on eBay is full of perfectly fine ponies that just need an hour or two of TLC. (I guess it's a bargain, but so annoying if you actually want baits!)

Likewise, for non-standard ponies, the plan of attack will depend greatly on what your intentions for the pony are. If you're planning to customise them, then it doesn't matter much if you "ruin" their gimmicks, right? ;) But if you want to restore a pony to keep for your collection, then you might want to be a little more gentle. If you don't want to pop their head off, you can often check if a pony is dirty inside by holding them up to a very bright light and/or closely examining the mane/tail holes for signs of mold/rust. If everything seems in order, there's no need to dissect and boil them; a surface scrub/wipe down will be fine if your pony is only grimy on the outside. I find that pressurized (cold!) water is useful for cleaning deep into So Soft flocking and less disruptive than scrubbing with a brush. BBE babies with rusty eyes can be helped with CLR + Q-tips + patience, or they can be converted to standard-eyed babies if you're a talented sculptor and painter. Sadly, you'll have to break the mechanism in the BNG if you want to get inside her for any reason.

It's hard to give specific advice without knowing more about the ponies in question, but I hope that helps a little bit. If you ever need help with a pony, you can always ask here and someone's sure to give you a tip or two. Everyone has their own favorite methods, and they're usually more than happy to share what works for them. (Hopefully they do it more concisely than me!) Or, if you haven't already, you can peruse the MLP Preservation Project site for more ideas. Best of luck!

Offline Mirnyj

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 03:38:41 PM »
Check your local pet store that sells aquarium supplies for cleaning brushes that are meant for cleaning filter parts. They are like tiny bottle brushes and I think they would be wonderful for cleaning pony legs! :)
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Offline JamieDey5

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 05:59:39 PM »
I have become an expert at cleaning so soft ponies... alot of people are scared to try since it is fairly easy to scrub off the flocking if done incorrectly. here is how i clean my so soft with much success pictures for proof it works ;)

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1/ Fill Bottom part of sink with COLD water
2/ put a splash of Bleach and detergent and mix well
3/ put a couple Table spoons of color safe oxyclean and mix well
4/ soak so soft ponies for about 10 minutes swishing around ever couple minutes
5/ take a SOFT bristle toothbrush and gently scrub pony in a circular motion under the water mixture.
6/ after shes clean to your liking rinse her with COLD water completely
7/ With your hands rub her body and hair down with hair conditioner, allowing her to sit for at least 5 min.
8/ Rinse her off with cold water and gently comb her hair out starting at the ends.
9/ Pat (don't rub) her dry with a soft towel and style her hair as you like. :)

Offline ValeofSpring

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 06:51:18 PM »
I have become an expert at cleaning so soft ponies... alot of people are scared to try since it is fairly easy to scrub off the flocking if done incorrectly. here is how i clean my so soft with much success pictures for proof it works ;)

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1/ Fill Bottom part of sink with COLD water
2/ put a splash of Bleach and detergent and mix well
3/ put a couple Table spoons of color safe oxyclean and mix well
4/ soak so soft ponies for about 10 minutes swishing around ever couple minutes
5/ take a SOFT bristle toothbrush and gently scrub pony in a circular motion under the water mixture.
6/ after shes clean to your liking rinse her with COLD water completely
7/ With your hands rub her body and hair down with hair conditioner, allowing her to sit for at least 5 min.
8/ Rinse her off with cold water and gently comb her hair out starting at the ends.
9/ Pat (don't rub) her dry with a soft towel and style her hair as you like. :)

Wow you are an expert! These are gorgeous! Thanks for the tips. I'm assuming it's impossible to get a SS bright white again (due to the glue aging), but am I wrong?
Looking for CF Minty, excellent condition! (and maybe Snuzzle and Blue Belle)

Offline retrogradenova

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 07:22:41 PM »
Those sound like some good suggestions, I'll have to add those things to my pony tool kit I am building. Thank you :)

BlushingBlue, I suppose I did kinda go full nuclear on the mold. I don't have much experience dealing with mold, but it was my understanding that if you let even a little bit of it survive it will come back with vengeance. And my house is in the middle of being renovated so there's a lot of exposed porous surfaces, and I have 9 pets that could spread mold spores. Call me paranoid, heh!

I've gone through the MLP Preservation Project site a bit so I get how oxyclean can damage to glitter and twinkle eye. But in the case of the BNG, the one I have is a pretty dingy and it's tail is pretty tangled, but it still works perfectly. If I can find a way, I want to replace the hair and keep the mechanism working. My husband is insisting on replacing some of the eyes of the BBE babies with LEDs, so I suppose those aren't as much a concern.

My So Soft Gusty is a difficult one. It's lost a small amount of her flock and I'm trying to figure out if I should try to restore her or not. But JamieDey5, that's is  great tutorial, thank you. If I do decide to restore her, I'll have to try that.

My husband has suggested putting the ponies into our dehydrator on a the low setting to help dry them completely. I'm not sure that would work.  Has anyone tried anything like that?
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Offline BlushingBlue

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 02:04:25 AM »
BBEs with LEDs! Ingenious! :lol: Be sure to post pictures of that when they're done! It's great that your husband is taking such an active interest in your projects. :)

I suppose it's often better to err on the side of caution, so I don't blame you at all for vigorously attacking the mold. ;) That being said, we're all surrounded by thousands of mold spores every day, so if the presence of spores was all it took to cause a full breakout, everything would be covered in fungus already! :) The key to keeping mold at bay after the initial decontamination is to keep your ponies cool and dry. (Other factors, like being dark and digestible, are sadly out of our control.) If you live in a humid climate, you could use Damp Rid or a liberal amount of those little silica packets to remove ambient moisture from the air around your ponies. This would be a good practice even for ponies who've never been moldy before. Ounce of prevention and all that. :)

I've never thought to put pony parts in the dehydrator to speed up the drying after a bath, but as long as they aren't getting too warm, I don't see how it could hurt. :) I personally use this collapsible drying rack, as it fits both heads and bodies quite well. (This is the bottle brush set I have. Munchkin makes cute stuff, what can I say. And it's handy to be able to stand them on end if I have to put them down while they're covered in schmutz.)

For the BNG, if her tail is just tangled, you can always brush it...? If she really does need a new tail, salvaging the mechanism would be difficult but theoretically possible. The key is to break it juuust right so that it's fixable again afterward. This isn't exactly a step-by-step tutorial, but it should give you an overview of what you'd be in for. You'll have to snap the tip off of the peg to separate her head from her body, then carefully cut out the mechanism, get the tip back out, and reglue it to the peg. Then remove the old tail from the winding mechanism, so you end up with something like this. Then thread in a new tail, put the various pieces of the mechanism back together and back into place, and hopefully snap her head and body back together to brush and grow another day. Quite an undertaking! If you're set on preserving her gimmick, you might want to take a second look at restoring her original tail. ^^; Or not! It's entirely up to you!

Offline rosierjay

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 02:21:49 AM »
piggy backing on all this info.
this is great stuff.
i got several ponies that look like ww3 happened inside the bodies. gleef.
they are for customs, so i'm not as worried about the hair or color, but really want the inside clean before i start. mostly so nothing comes out and eats me while i sleep. *shudders*

can't wait to see how your ponies will turn out!!

Offline retrogradenova

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 07:24:30 PM »
Thank you for the tips. I will have to look into a drying rack or something, I'm running out of room to dry everything. XD

It's my husband's money that is buying me these G1s to start with, so the first several customs I make are all going to be his OCs and his ideas. So if he wants a BBE Borg baby with LED eyes, I'm gonna find a way to make it for him. But the BNG is also kinda a project for him. He's an ASE master class auto technician so when he saw we had a BNG that still worked he wanted to make sure it still worked when I am done customizing it. Last night I got another box of bait ponies in that had two BNGs in it. I think they are broken since they are pretty much missing their tails. I'll show him those tutorials you linked me and let him play with the broken ones first :)  My working BNG is Bouquet, I gotta try to clean up the mess of the tail before I try anything, but really I'm not sure, as it is now, the tail colors just hurt my eyes.

Rosierjay, I'm curious what does ww3 look like inside a pony? I haven't gotten any that were super covered in mold yet or anything like that (knock on wood), they have all been varying degrees of a little bit.

Oh that's another good question: How harmful is this mold? Should I be wearing one of those hospital type face mask when cleaning ponies? I have nylon gloves I've been wearing since I have no idea where any of these ponies came from.
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Offline Mirnyj

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 07:46:29 PM »
There is also this awesome video tutorial on re-tailing a bng pony :)
http://youtu.be/fINPxQSMy1k
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Offline Baby Sugarberry

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 11:50:28 PM »
Mould is everywhere - it's literally in every breath you breathe in, there's generally no need to be concerned with sterilizing.  Living in too sterile an environment is actually bad for your health unless you already have a compromised immune system or severe allergies.  Mould does not in general come back unless you are keeping your ponies in a very unfavourable environment - vinyl is not organic, mould cannot eat it, and it requires humidity to thrive.  That's why we get mildew in bathrooms, because of the regular high humidity.

Most of the mould found inside ponies is harmless - I wouldn't rub it on my face, but it's not likely to be any more dangerous than cleaning your bathtub.  Keep your ponies <50% humidity and you'll never have a mould problem again.
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Offline retrogradenova

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 01:50:52 AM »
Thank you Mirnyj, that's a fantastic video.

I'm not concerned about sterilizing my house, but best not to add any extra dirt to the place if I can help it. But I appreciate the information. My husband came home with the flu or something the day I started cleaning the ponies. I just wanted to make sure that it was unlikely they were connected.

Thanks everyone for all the help with my questions :)
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Offline lovesbabysquirmy

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2015, 02:09:02 PM »
This is what  a really gross Sea Pony looks like inside:

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Of course there was a metal weight inside the pony to make her float upright in water...
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Offline retrogradenova

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Re: New to Cleaning Ponies: Did I Kill the Mold?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2015, 07:27:10 PM »
Wow! I haven't gotten any sea ponies yet, so I haven't seen the inside of one. That doesn't look as bad a few of the earth ponies I was cleaning earlier in the week. Though I might be misjudging the picture.  Is it typical to have mold if there is rust like from the sea pony's weight? Should it just be expected?
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