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Step 1: Time For a Bath

My Little Pony Restoration Guide

My Little Pony Restoration Guide
Step 1: Bath time
Step 2: Problem Spot Cleaning
Step 3: Pony Hair care
Step 4: The Finishing Touches

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The first step in restoring your pony is to give them a bath. These tips are general tips for ALL ponies (G1, G2, and G3) unless otherwise specified in the notes.
 
Before bathing your beauties please take into consideration such factors as.
Is the pony flocked?
Does the pony have glitter on it anywhere?
Does the pony suffer from tail rust, mold, ect.?
Does the pony still have its original curls?
Does it have jewels on its body?
Does the pony have anything prone to fading?
Does your pony talk or is it a brush and grow?
Does it have any features that set it apart that may not be a good idea to get wet?

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A Simple Bath
The simple bath is the bath for the really good condition pony. Is your pony bright and vibrant, have great paint and a good symbol, have soft naturally curly hair? If you answered yes to those questions then a simple bath is all you really need to do to your pony.

Supplies: a soft bristle wooden nail brush (not a plastic one)
soap (no spray cleaning supplies, just basic soap you use to wash your hands or you use in the shower)
Conditioner.
A towel
a sink

a simple bath should consit of wetting your pony in warm water (whatever is comfortable for your hands) and soap up the pony and the nail brush. Scrub the pony with the nail brush being careful of places such as eyes, the symbol, or any other special features. Rinse with warm water. Apply conditioner to the hair. leave it on for a minute or two. Rinse the conditioner out and dry the pony immedietly, especially around the base of the tail. Let her hair air dry the rest of the way, and as the box always said "let naturally curly hair dry before brushing."
tips:
- don't squeeze a pony when giving it a bath. this will get water inside the pony and possibly cause tail rust or even mold.
- don't use a nail brush on so soft ponies, just scrub with your hands.
- try not to get glittery symbols or magic message symbols wet. Do not scrub them with a nail brush.
-after the ponies tail is mostly dry squeeze the rump to let out any possible water that may have entered the pony. (usually you will here is squeze out or the tail will be wet at the base) dry the tail at the base with a towel.

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A DEEP CLEANING BATH
Most ponies are not in that great of condition. A deep cleaning bath will remove surface dirt, some ingrained dirt, improve hair, and brighten the ponies overall appearance. A deep cleaning bath is recommended for most ponies however you must be careful about certain factors when bathing ponies. See the questions in the bathing intro.

Supplies: a soft bristle wooden nail brush (not a plastic bristle one)
Soap (no spray cleaning supplies, just dish soap or basic soap you use to wash your hands or you use in the shower)
Conditioner.
A hair brush. (use whatever you prefer. some people prefer human hair brushes. Personally I have found I prefer those ovalish Barbie brushes. I like using smaller brushes on ponies hair, and these are smaller but still bigger then pony brushes. They also are plastic so they can be rinsed free of conditioner and dry fast when wet. Most importantly their bristles are strong so they dont bend on knots and you don't ruin a good pony brush, and they have a big handle to hold.)
A Towel
A sink

Start by turning on your hot water..and letting it heat up. Get the water HOT. The water should be very hot. Not something you want your hands in for more then a few seconds. The reason for this is heat makes things expand. Just like hot water and hot masks open the pores on your face, hot water does something similar to the ponies. You will give them a much deeper cleaning and remove more dirt with hot water. This will make your ponies plastic softer but don't worry it is only temporary, as long as you are not sticking them in the microwave or in a pot of boiling water on the stove top to heat them up they are fine (a little common sense here.) The water from a faucet won't get hot enough to damage your ponies from my experience. There are some exceptions, please keep in mind any pony with light pink hair I would try and avoid getting in hot water. In general I try and keep ponies hair out of super hot water but light pink hair tends to fade to white VERY easily on vintage MLP's. Also avoid any flocking, glitter, magic message symbols, or other special things that you may not want to get wet.

Run your pony under hot water for a good minute so it's getting a little soft and actually had time to warm up. Get your pony and nail brush soapy and commence scrubbing. Use the nail brush to scrub the pony. Softly around the eyes, cheeks, and symbol but don't be afraid to push harder and really scrub on dirty areas such as the feet where ingrained dirt typically forms first, or dingy looking areas.
I find the nail brush is a perfect combination of toughness and softness. They tend not to scratch symbols but get out deeper dirt then your hands or a washcloth would. Run the pony under hot water at intervals to rinse off the soap to see where there may still be dirt, or to warm the pony up more. If there are a few small spots of ingrained dirt the nail brush cannot get off, heat the spot up and try scratching it off with your nail. Don't jab it in, just across the surface.

Soap the ponies hair and once done cleaning, rinse with cool water. This will cool the pony off and keep her colors bright.
Put conditioner in your ponies hair and let sit in for one or two minutes. If your pony has naturally soft and curly hair still just leave the conditioner sit, and rinse it out in a minute or two.
If your pony has very rough, frizzy, dry, knotted, or crinkly hair take your brush and brush the conditioner through it.
If you brush it when its wet it relaxes it and it looses its shape. This doesn't apply just to curls but to hair that is frizzy and crinkley due to being messy or knotted. The conditioner also makes it easier to get knots out, without pulling the hair out.
If the hair is really frizzy brush the conditioner through and leave it in for about 2 minutes, apply a little more and leave it sit for another 3 minutes.

rinse the hair with tepid water.

If the hair was frizzy, rinse your brush off, and brush your ponies clean wet hair smooth.

Dry the pony immedietly when done, I try to pat the pony dry, not rub, especially around the symbols, paying close attention to the tail base.

tips:
- don't squeeze a pony when giving it a bath. This will get water inside the pony and possibly cause tail rust or even mold.
- don't use a nail brush on so soft ponies, just scrub with your hands, try using laundry detergent.
- try not to get glittery symbols or magic message symbols wet. Do not scrub them with a nail brush.
- Try to hold the ponies hair out of the super hot water when scrubbing the body. (I tend to just hold the pony by their main and tail when doing this) Most hair won't fade but its better to take the precaution I say.
-after the ponies tail is mostly dry (by this I mean quite dry) squeeze the rump to let out any possible water that may have entered the pony. (usually you will here it squeze out if there was any or the tail will be wet at the base) dry the tail at the base with a towel.
- Do not bathe brush N grow or sweet talkin ponies. Wipe them down with nail polish remover. (see Step 2, Under "Surface Marker, Scuffs, Nail polish, Makeup, Ingrained dirt." for more details in cleaning with nail polish remover.)

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Extreme Bathing
These are some things you can do during the bathing proccess if your pony is in serious need of some major help. You preform these at your own risk but using a bit of logic they have worked for me. They will not fix the worst of the worst ponies.

Start by following the deep cleaning steps listed above for your pony, and follow these steps if your pony has any of these extreme problems.

Yellowing/ grungy look/ ingrainded dirt that was not removed during scrubbing/ dirty so soft ponies/ or super smelly ponies: Some ponies tend to yellow over time. What causes this I am not exactly sure but the plastic gets old. It is most common, but not limited to, white ponies.

There are two things you can try with yellowing ponies,

1. on the next page, Problem spot cleaning, follow the steps for Goof Off use under "Surface Marker, Nail polish, Ingrained dirt" (read a bit it's after the acetone)

Or you  could try bleaching your pony. Please do not bleach so soft ponies!! After giving your pony a deep cleaning bath fill your sink up with warm (a temperture you usually wash your hands in) water. Add a  few capfulls of bleach to the water.
To little bleach will do very little, so add approx. 3 for the standard size bathroom sink. (kitchen sinks are bigger and you have to determine how much water you are using.)
Do not use pure bleach. I have never tried that and cannot say what will happen.
Simply dip your pony in the bleach water and let it lay on one side. It will float on one side. let it sit there 2 and a half minutes, then flip it so it lays on the other side for 2 and a half minutes.
Just so you know I have NEVER had a pony whose hair, symbol, or body color was bleached because of sitting in bleach water. I have also not had a pony ever sit in bleach water for more then 5 minutes nor put sparkle symbols in the bleach water.
Bleach water really brightens a ponies overall color and reduces yellowing.
If the pony has hair that you don't want to get in the bleach water, or certain parts of the body you don't want to get in, you will need to hold the pony so that the part you want out is out, and the part you want cleaned is cleaned. It's a bit tiring but I have done it for older ponies with glittery symbols.
After your pony has sat 5 minutes, drain the water and rinse your pony twice with soap and warm water.
It is very imporant to soap and rinse the hair twice afterwards as the bleach water can make the hair stiff if its not all rinsed out. Condition the hair and the rest of the pony. Let it sit on for a few minutes, then rinse out the conditioner.
Tips:
- Some people say that bleach water will remove the "finish" on ponies. I don't know if this is an actual finish on the ponies or just years of hand oils built up on the ponies but bleached ponies do tend to look slightly less shiny and more dry then non-bleached ponies. A lot fo the stronget chemicals used for cleaning will do this also (including acetone and goof-off, it is hard to avoid.)
This is, personally, something that is VERY hard to notice unless you have 2 side by side.

- do not bleach hair that is prone to fading, glitter, magic message symbols, Princess symbols, or twinkle eyes stones, or other special features. If you must bleach these ponies hold these parts out and dip the parts wyou want in.

- DO NOT bleach so soft ponies

- if the hair is a bit crusty afterwards. Re-wet it, soap it, condition it, and rinse it.

Moldy Ponies:
Moldy ponies are ponies that have mold growing on the inside because it got wet inside once (probably from someone squeezing it when giving it a bath). Usually this can be recognized by spots that look similar to pony cancer but slightly more grey/black then brown. Also when the pony is wet these are more visable and you can sometimes see the greyish looking mold through the pony instead of on the outside like pony cancer. The only way to know to get rid of mold inside is to pop the head of the pony off and rinse it out.

Run the neck of the pony under the super hot water for a few minutes. Wiggle it's head back and forth. Often the glue is soft and old and with some wiggling the heads pop off. Some ponies have super stiff heads (sweetheart sisters, glitter ponies, twinkle eyes, etc.)
The best way to get these apart is to boil some water and plunge their head and neck in for a period of 15-20 seconds. Take it out, and be CAREFUL the plastic is hot and hot water may have got into the pony as well which comes shooting out when you start squeezing it to get the head off.
The plastic will be so hot you will most likely need a towel or pot holder for protection. Wiggle the head and neck around. You may have to dip it back in and take it out 2 or 3 times before you see a small opening in the neck. From there you have to just start working and prying at that part, and dipping it back in.
Just a warning doing this could possibly cause the ponies head or mane to fade slightly!!
 
If you STILL cannot get it off, the you will need to carefully (and I mean carefully) get a scalpel and cut along the neck line. I have seen people mess this up and take large and small chunks out of the neck. It is SUPER easy to do, or cut right through and slit the lip of plastic inside the neck. Not good, thats why this is extreme cleaning! It is best if you can just heat it up and find a loose spot in the neck and pry it open from there.

Once you have the head off you will need to commence washing. Use hot water and soap and rinse the pony out. Cup/bottle brushes sometimes work to get inside the pony if you have the right type that squish smaller. Bottle nipple brushes or small tooth brushes work to reach into the feet, horns, nose, and other places.
After it is all cleaned follow the bleaching steps above and clean and rinse the pony.
tips:
- Be carful opening the head. If you can get something between the neck seam, something as simple as a pair of riny hair scissors you can sometimes snip the glue that won't come undone in cunjunction to heating the glue. Remember sometimes there is glue on the main seam and on the inside lip
-Try different things to get the mold out of the small spots, even a paintbrush or tissue paper at the end of an unsharpened pencil may work if you don't have an old tooth brush.

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