Thrifted House

I bought this little Fisher Price house at the thrift shop, because that face was too cute to leave behind. The thing is, it is pretty dirty and I am at a loss on how to clean it. Most of the things that make it so adorable are basically paper stickers, so I am wary about using cleaners or anything that might get it wet. Any tips? I’d love to hear what you do to clean up vintage toys.

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24 Responses to Thrifted House

  1. Jenn says:

    I have a BUNCH of vintage FP and what I use is a good quality art eraser and a light hand……I don’t go crazy but it helps take off a lot of the funk without wrecking the printing…..again don’t rub too hard or it will mess with it.

  2. Katherine says:

    you might be able to use something rubbery to help lift the surface dirt. here’s a link to a preservation pamphlet that might be helpful:

    i know that i’ve used something like an artist’s eraser to do this.

    good luck!

  3. Teresa Raines says:

    Hi there. I have a suggestion about waterless cleaning. In the library we use a product called (not surprisingly) book cleaner from Demco. This product has lanoline in it and is a cream. You can rub gently with a small amount over the images & it should clean it. That’s all you have to do. Its great for cleaning really dirty books, but not book pages. Erasers usually work best for that. I would not try anything like an alcohol based product — it might damage the piece.

  4. Sigi G says:

    I’m not sure if I have an answer for you, but I’ve found my old fisher price toys clean up pretty well with just warm water and a bit of soap. I try to use softer, light colored rags and will sometimes just spray a bit of Windex (the regular kind – no ammonia or other ingredients in it) onto just a finger tip spot of my rag to lightly work on an area. Sorry I’m not more help – hope this one will surprise you and clean up nicely. Fisher Price toys never grow old around here with the little ones.

  5. Sasha says:

    art gum erasers?

  6. Eliza says:

    I would try a magic eraser?

  7. sally harmon says:

    You might try This Old Toy’s Fisher Price Resources page…
    Some things are more cleanable than others.

  8. caylie says:

    I’m becoming a pro at cleaning old things now, from old mirrors to wooden boxes and even a fox skull! I would suggest to use a damp but not wet sanitising cloth, like baby wipes. It will clean slowly but you can do it a little at a time and spot test it on the bottom or a less cute paper sticker character to make sure the chemical in the cloth don’t damage the printed ink. The goldilocks is so cute, good luck with the clean!

  9. rae says:

    i’ve never tried it but i’ve heard that you can clean old paint by numbers with bread!
    it might work for the house too, since you don’t want to get it wet just like you don’t want to get a paint by number wet.

  10. Heidi Kenney says:

    Tiffany, Thanks so much!!

  11. Heidi Kenney says:

    Rae, that is so crazy! I love stuff like that though, thanks for the tip!

  12. Heidi Kenney says:

    Caylie, thanks so much for the tips! Thats a good idea-the testing in a small spot!

  13. Heidi Kenney says:

    Thanks so much Sally :)

  14. Heidi Kenney says:

    Eliza, I think the magic eraser might work really well on the plain plastic parts! Thanks!

  15. Heidi Kenney says:

    Sasha, oh that might work too! Thanks!

  16. Heidi Kenney says:

    Sigi, thanks so much for the advice! I appreciate it, and its great to know that you’ve had success with just soap and water!

  17. Heidi Kenney says:

    Teresa, thanks so much! I think I need to find some of that even for the old books I buy!

  18. Heidi Kenney says:

    Thanks so much Katherine, some one else suggested erasers and those gummy art erasers, I think those might work well!

  19. Heidi Kenney says:

    Jenn, thanks! A few other people suggested erasers too! Looks like I need to give those a try!

  20. Dani says:

    I have a huge Fisher Price collection and for all the plastic parts, I use a magic eraser and sometime it looks almost new again. For the paper lithos, I usually just use a baby wipe as that will take and dust and dirt off without ruining the paper decals. I am really envious of your find as this has been on my wish list for a while.

  21. Katie says:

    I use Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom foaming cleaner for a lot of things like this. You spray it two of three times and the cleaner gets into the small pores of the plastic and gets it out easily without much damage if there is a frayed sticker end. I then rinse it off gently in the sink with a soft paper towel.

  22. Heidi Kenney says:

    Thanks for the tips Katie :)

  23. Heidi Kenney says:

    Dani, thanks!! Looks like a few people use the magic eraser! I like the idea of baby wipes too :)