How do I wash my tiny cheap plastic monkey?
November 3, 2017 1:21 PM   Subscribe

I have a tiny plastic and fake plastic (nylon?) fur monkey, which is very dirty. How can I clean his fur up a bit?

Here's the guy in question. UK penny for scale.

I do realise that this is a completely ridiculous question and that the monkey in question is worthless cheap junk and a frankly hideous item.

However he's older than he looks and he's got sentimental value: he came from the house of my decades deceased grandfather and I was fascinated by him as a toddler.

Obviously not the washing machine, but I'm worried that even a very gentle hand wash will fill some internal cavity, with an entrance hidden under the fur, with water which will fester.

Any thoughts at all?
posted by Dext to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Place monkey in a paper bag or plastic bag or plastic container with lid. Add a handful of bran or corn starch or baking powder. Close receptacle and gently shake. Dirty and oils will stick to powder. Remove monkey and gently using a hair dryer, blow off excess powder. May need a light brushing with a small brush.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


I would give this a very limited spot test, but I know for microsuede, rubbing alcohol works better than water. Though depending on the plastic fur, that might not be true. So very small patch test first.

Also, whatever you do, I would surface clean and not submerge. But rubbing alcohol on a white washcloth would be my starting point.
posted by mercredi at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Baby toothbrush with very soft bristles, and dilute soapy water. Gently brush the fur and blot dry in an old towel.
posted by Everydayville at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


another vote for small area cleaning with a soft toothbrush, i would use baby shampoo sparingly and allow the first small cleaned area to dry fully before continuing.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:51 PM on November 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'd do the bran thing first, and then do very dilute soap with brush if that didn't seem enough.
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


All looking like good options, thanks all. Don't think I'm going to risk rubbing alcohol because, while the fur may survive, I fear the printed/painted on facial features may well not if it spreads, and that's not the sort of thing I can spot test without potentially dissolving an eyeball.

Probably going to attempt a combination of the other ideas but not tonight. I'll be back with reports and best answer judgements once I've tried some stuff.

Maybe if I get him cleaned up a bit it will go some way towards managing my partner's "do we have to keep this out on display?" concerns.
posted by Dext at 3:53 PM on November 3, 2017


From the picture and the description of coming from an elderly person's house, I'm guessing it's covered with a buildup of airborne cooking grease. A solution of ammonia works really well for that. Mix with about ¾ water and try it with a toothbrush in a well ventilated place.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:46 PM on November 3, 2017


@bonobothegreat - that sounds good but I'd have similar concerns as to those I have about rubbing alcohol. He's got painted on facial features and is small enough I think it would be hard to avoid them. I'd worry that any strong solvent chemicals might melt his eyeballs right off.
posted by Dext at 6:03 PM on November 3, 2017


Baking soda (Ph9) is a milder base than ammonia (Ph11), so I'd favor the former.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:51 PM on November 3, 2017


I just want to say that the title of this post is poetry. That is all.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:14 PM on November 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


Place monkey in a paper bag or plastic bag or plastic container with lid. Add a handful of bran or corn starch or baking powder. Close receptacle and gently shake. Dirty and oils will stick to powder. Remove monkey and gently using a hair dryer, blow off excess powder. May need a light brushing with a small brush.

tipsybumblebee, I'm very very impressed but how the fuck do you know this???
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:21 PM on November 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


Drinking alcohol is a little less likely to dissolve inks than isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). If you have some vodka in the house you could try that, but I would do the corn starch and gentle soap first, that looks more like the kind of stain that soap would fix.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:14 AM on November 4, 2017


I fell in love with this tiny cheap plastic monkey on sight, and I think you should be very proud of him and not feel any strangeness about wanting to take good care of him and make sure he looks his very best. They're always telling you to dampen and blot with white towels. Can you dampen and blot with white towels, at all?
posted by Don Pepino at 8:48 PM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


I fell in love with this tiny cheap plastic monkey on sight, and I think you should be very proud of him and not feel any strangeness about wanting to take good care of him and make sure he looks his very best.

God I love this thread and cheap monkeys. I have had my Curious George for about 20 years, I got him after I was hospitalized and I sleep with him every night. Viva La Monkay!
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:16 PM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


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