Best Way to Dust Figures & Collectables: Take Care Of Your Collection

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  October 20, 2020
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Dust can easily settle on things that we do not normally touch or move around in our homes.

That includes action figures, figurines, and other collectibles that are intended for display.

Most figures do not come cheap. Limited edition action figures, for example, can cost you a few hundred dollars.

How to dust figures and collectables

Some rare finds like the Star Wars action figures produced between 1977 and 1985 can cost up to $10,000 or more.

So, if you are an action figure collector, you know full well how important getting rid of dust and dirt is in keeping your figures in pristine condition.

Can Dust Damage Action Figures?

Dust can not damage your action figures and other collectibles.

However, if you let thick layers of dust settle on your figures, removing it can become difficult.

Not only that, dust can make your collection look dull and dingy. Keep in mind that dirty-looking display figures are not pleasing to look at.

How do you Take Care of Action Figures?

An important step in taking care of your action figures is regular dusting.

This can help maintain the cleanliness of your figures and keep their colors vibrant.

In the following section, I will share with you the best way to dust figures.

Materials for Cleaning Figures

Let me start with the dusting materials that you should be using.

Microfiber Cloth

I highly recommend that you use a microfiber cloth for dusting or cleaning your figures.

Unlike other fabric materials, microfiber is soft enough that you do not have to worry about scratching the surface of your figures.

You can buy microfiber cloths, like the MR. SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, in packs of 8 or 12 at an affordable price.

Soft Bristle Brushes

Aside from soft cloth, you will also need soft bristle brushes like makeup brushes.

I do not recommend using paintbrushes because they might scratch the paint of your figures or the stickers attached to them.

Makeup brushes, on the other hand, are generally soft. You can get a powder brush, like the Wet n Wild Powder Brush, for less than $3.

Alternatively, you can get a set of brushes, like the EmaxDesign Makeup Brush Set. This will help you choose which brush to use for a specific dusting task.

For instance, smaller brushes are more useful in dusting narrow or hard to reach areas of your action figures.

Also read: how to dust you LEGO collection

The Best way to Dust Figures

Now that you know what materials to use for dusting your figures, let us now move on to the actual task of dusting them.

Here are the steps:

Determine What Dusting Material Suits Your Figures

Microfiber cloth is more useful in cleaning large scale action figures that have fixed parts.

It is because you can easily pick up these figures and wipe away the dust off their surface without worrying about damaging them in the process.

On the other hand, you may use makeup brushes for smaller and more delicate figures. A brush will help you dust your figures without touching or picking them up.

Remove Detachable Parts

If your action figure or figurine has detachable parts, make sure to take them off first before dusting it.

Doing so will eliminate the risk of you accidentally dropping and damaging these parts while wiping or brushing the dust off your action figure.

Dust Your Action Figures One at a Time

Always dust your action figures one at a time. Also, make sure that you dust them in a place away from their display corner.

Dusting your figures at the same time and in one place is counterproductive. The dust you wipe or brush off one figure will just end up settling on another figure.

That will cause you more work in the end.

Hold Your Figure in the Body

When dusting your action figure, make sure that you hold it at its base, which is usually its body.

If your action figure has movable joints, never hold it by its limbs. That applies whether you are dusting it or just simply moving it around.

What to Avoid When Dusting Figures

If there are things that you need to do when dusting your figures, there are also a number of things that you must avoid doing.

For instance, always take your action figure off its stand before dusting it. Cleaning it while it is hanging from its stand is just risky.

Also, if you ever feel the need to wash your figures with water, remember the following:

  • Do not use hot water.
  • Only use mild soap (dishwashing soap is perfect).
  • Avoid strong chemicals, especially bleach.
  • Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth if you need to do some scrubbing.
  • Do not dry your figures under the sun.
  • Never use water to wash action figures with stickers.

Also read: how to dust glass figurines, tables, and more

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.