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Step 2: Problem Spot Cleaning

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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This is what you do after you have bathed your pony and removed all the surface dirt you possibly could. This is the place to get rid of the more stubborn problems found on ponies such as marker stains, and more. Because they are more stubborn problems they need more extreme solutions so please be carefully. Some of these steps can be done during the bathing proccess, others afterwards while the pony dries or her hair gets styled.

Take some precautions and use all chemicals in well ventilated areas and with the proper protection. Never mix any of the chemicals purposfully or accidently.
 
Follow this guide based on what your pony has problems with.
 
Surface Marker, Scuffs, Nail polish, Makeup, Ingrained dirt: The best thing to use for these things is nail polish remover. But not just ANY nail polish remover, acetone nail polish remover (the stinky kind. Non-acetone is becoming very popular these days as people use them for fake nails and its not as harsh but you need the acetone, thats what does the job.)
I personally use Sally Hansen Salon Formula.
You will also need some cotton balls.
Just pour a little bit into the cap and dip a cotton ball in, and ring it out a little. Wipe it on the mark and start trying to wipe it away. For more stobourn marks you may want to wipe it once, let it sit 30 seconds, wipe it wet again, and then start scrubbing. Sometimes also scratching with your nail helps remove the spot.
This is the best solution to remove any marks that have not seeped into the plastic.
BE CAREFUL. This stuff will not, after just one simple wipe, remove symbols, but if left on for any period of time (say 30 seconds or over) or if scrubed, this WILL remove symbols, blush, and eye paint! I do not recommend using it on these areas unless you are cautious. I was sucessful at removing "eyeshadow" I had put on my ponies using colored eyeliner when I was little, but you have to be very gentle and wipe it dry fast.
Acetone nail polish remover works especially well at removing certain stubborn surface dirt, and cleaning G3 ponies of scuffs, dirt, and recent marks.
Acetone cleaner also seems to remove a bit of the "shine" to a ponies body making it look drier, similar to what I described on the bathing page for bleach cleaning. Again I don't think this is to noticable, and its usually better then having the mark there!
Tips
- Do not apply to glitter, so soft ponies, symbols, eyes, jewels, etc.
- If the nail polish remover drips on an unwanted spot have a tissue or another cotton ball around to pat it dry (pat, don't wipe if you don't want it smeared.)
- some people have had success removing marks with the cleaning sponge "magic eraser". Despite how much I adore my magic erasers when cleaning around the house I have never had success at cleaning ANYTHING off of ponies with these. But I put this idea here if you want to give it a try.
 
The Final Straw: If you have tried everything it is time to whip out the big guns. Goof Off is a great (but stinky) product to remove scuff marks, crayon, marker, etc from the surface of the pony. It will also remove surface dirt though not ingrained dirt. However I do not recommend this unless the spot cannot be removed other ways and it is the last option. This product is easier to use then acetone but it is also a LOT stronger. If you get a little on the wrong finger and place that finger on the ponies symbol accidently I will be smeared or gone fast. Acetone you have room for mistakes, drips, or smears, and if are careful can even work around the symbols and eye. Goof Off there is no room, if you get a little in the wrong place it removes it FAST.
The best way I have found to use this is just put a little on a baby q-tip or the corner of some thick tissue and wipe the area. Again this stuff is STRONG, you just need a little bit on your applicator, you do not want it dripping! Afterwards I recomend washing the pony with soap and water as well, not only is Goof Off strong and stinkly, it is also oily!

Also take care with this when cleaning G2 Ponies. G2 ponies tend to be the hardest to restore. They are very different materials but tend to suffer from almost all the same problems anyways. Goof Off will not remove marks as well from the body of a G2 but will remove them better then acetone. But Goof Off will also remove some of the body color/body paint from a G2 pony. I have not seen it remove enough to actually strip the color totally away but you do want to be careful.

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Seeped in Marker, Stains, And Pony Cancer.  Pony cancer is the most stubborn of these things to remove, and is not always guaranteed to remove. follow the deep claening step, followed by the extreme cleaning step to try and remove ingrained dirt.
If your pony is white you can also try this next step.

For deep stains, seeped into the pony what you need to do is buy yourself a tube of pimple cream containing benzoil peroxide. This is over the counter stuff such as Oxy 10. Get the maximum strength you can find, generic brands work fine however I have found that walgreens generic brand works much better then equate (walmarts generic brand).
This stuff, either through unknowing or mistakes, has earned itself a bit of a bad rap in the pony world, but I think it is a VERY important tool.
I have had VERY intereting results with this so I will give you a basic overhow on how to use it and then a summary of results if you want to try it. If you are afraid to test it then please play it safe and only use this on white ponies!!
 
All you need to do is put a dab on the spot or stain you want to remove. Put enough on that you cannot see the spot. Let it dry. You can let it dry and leave it on for a varried period of time, depending on the stain and how much you trust it, ranging from a few hours to a week.
After 2 days I would wash it off, at that point if the stain still shows a few signs I would apply a new layer and let it sit a few more days.

I will warn you that this doesn't work all the time (especially on pony cancer) and it CAN bleach the pony and leave a horrid white spot on your pony. The longer you leave it on the more likely it will do this.
Generally, if you are concerned, then wash it off after 3 hours or so.
TIPS:
-Do not use on pony cancer, yellow spots, wear sports, ingrained dirt, or discoloration unless on a white pony. It will only bleach these spots.
- On average do not leave the cream on longer then 2 days.
- The cream will work, FOR A PERIOD, even after being washed off. This stuff does not stop working immedietly when removed. It has seeped in a bit itself and your bleaching benifits may increase or slightly expand over the next few days or even a week or two. Please remove it earlier better then later on colored ponies! on average a few hours to 2 days for colored ponies.
- when removing cream wash spot with soap and water.
- Despite what some people say the bleach will not continue to work FOREVER, (again, I would say a week tops generally from my observations) so don't expect it to. If a month has past for example it is pretty much guarunteed to be done, there will be no further changes so don't go freaking out that this will ruin your pony forever if you use it and it worked to remove a stain sucessfully or that a bleach spot will ruin a customization.

From my test results this will not remove yellowing, browning, scuff marks, ingrained dirt, or the like, and will most likely bleach your pony if you try and use it for that!! I have found if it is put on to remove marker it does what it is supposed to do, if it is not put on for that it bleaches. It also will bleach the symbol of some ponies (especially glittery ones) if left on to long

I tested this product on 2 different G3 ponies and it has worked but only to fade the ink stains, not fully remove them. It did not leave a bleach stain on my bluish G3 pony but did not fully remove the ink. I achieved the same results with a white G3.

If you are worried, test the bottom of the foot first (it is very common for ponies to have marker names on the bottom of their feet, a great test). And remember the longer you leave it on the more likely it will bleach your pony!
For most of my tests I left the stuff on my ponies for 2 days to approx. 1 week.

My results are as follows.
GOOD
Bubbles: removed blue marker which I had colored her white diamond with when I was little, and I did not stay in the lines when I had done it so she was blue. It removed all the blue marker from her yellow body and white diamond without bleaching her body at all. Took 2 applications on for a few days each. There was an even older blue marker spot on her side (which happened when I was so little I can't even remember, I am assuming it was marker) which it did not remove but did not bleach.
Glory: I used this to remove pony cancer and mold stains on a glory. She is a white pony so I wasn't to worried. 2 applications, each left on for a week removed her spots everywhere but avoided her symbol.
Lemon Drop: Removed Mass amounts of marker, ALL over her body from a Lemon Drop I picked up at a yard sale for a nickle. I was very suprised as one whole side of her, some of her back, and some of her legs were just covered in light purple marker scribblings, and it removed it ALL, without bleaching lemon drop. It was however unable to remove the large amounts of ingrained dirt.
Cherries Jubbile: Removed big purple marker splotch on the back side of one of her back legs. No bleaching despite her bright color. One application left on around 3 days.
Princess Primrose: Faded premanant black marker on bottom of one foot (typical of people to mark their kids ponies feet) to a very light brown color in the darkest spots, and totally gone in the rest. Did not bleach pink color of pony, only removed the marker. 1 application left on 1 week.
Blossom: removed marker on old pony
Suprise: White pony, removed large neon pink spot on side.

BAD
Bow tie: bow tie got bleached when trying to remove normal grungy looking spots
Glory: bleached her symbol away, left glitter intact but symbol underneath faded significantly. 1 application 1 week
Windy: got bleached when trying to remove grungy yellow looking spots of general discoloration and wear.
Medley: got bleached when trying to remove brown pony cancer type stain and grungy yellow looking spots of general discoloration.
Nibbles (from twin set): got bleached when trying to remove grungy yellow looking spots of general discoloration on wing.
Curly Locks: got bleached when trying to remove grungy yellow looking spots of general discoloration and wear.
Blossom: bleached spots that did not have marker
Party time: lightened pony cancer only very slightly after one weeks time One application, barely noticable difference. Could not remove spots. Was begining to lighten areas where pony cancer was not present also (like a ring around the pony cancer spot.) so I discontinued use.
Banjo Blue: G3 pony with pen on face and nose. Faded pen slightly, did not remove it and did not stain or bleach pony. One application left on 3 days.

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Tail Rust
This is something that you will need to do carefully.
Supplies: CLR
(calcium, Lime and Rust Remover) This stuff is avaliable at hardware stores, some drugs stores, wal-mart, etc.
Q-tips (I prefer the baby kind because they have a smaller tip), 
Maybe some rubber gloves if your hands get irritated by cleaners, chemicals, or bleach because this stuff is BAD. (tight rubber gloves that let you use your hand are best, not big yellow ones that make you clumsy)
Plastic Washer (optional)
Towel

*Please also do this in a well ventilated area. Do not mix any of the chemicals ever. Be careful not to mix the CLR, Bleach, or nail polish removers.*

1st step pop the ponies tail out.
If you cannot yank it out you will have to pop the ponies head off. This can be done by running the neck under really hot water for a few minutes, wiggling it around and seeing if you can pry it off. If you cannot do this you will need to get a scalpel and cut it off, being very careful not to cut chunks out.

Step 2. Make sure there is no rust inside the body. Follow the steps for Mold on the bathing page if it appears to be a slight yellowing from rust.
If rust stains are bad fill the pony about  one third way with water andadd a little CLR, cover the hole in the neck and swosh it around. Scrub with an old toothbrush if needed. Rines with soap and water. Then follow the bleach washing step on bathing page.

Step 3. get some CLR

Lay the tail out flat and long with the hair seprated to it's correct side. Dip your q-tip in water and then dip it a little in CLR.
Wipe the tail connector clean with the Q-tip, being careful to not get the tail wet. You will need to wipe it on, let it sit a minute and then wipe it a few more times to get the rust off. Keep a tissue around to dry the tail if you get a little on the tail.

Tail rust stains: I have put CLR on the tails of ponies which got stained by rust. This has not damaged the ponies tails and has lightened the rust stain.
Simply did the q-tip in CLR and wipe on the tail at the base when wipping connector. Do not leave the CLR on the ponies tail for to long though. I usually wipe it on, scrub it with the q-tip or toothbrush a little, then rinse it off.

Wipe away all visable rust on the connector, rinse the tail off in warm water (just rinse it) and dry it quickly and thoroughly. Leave it out of the pony to dry!

Once it is dry you can put it back into the pony. How you do this depends on how original you want to get. The easiest way is to fold the tail back over, squeeze the rump a bit and push it back in.
If you want to do it more permanent you will need to use a washer like was originally used. I suggest buying a plastic one so it wont ever rust, but if you want to be totally authentic you will need a metal one.
Getting the tail IN the washer and the pony is hard. I found this is what worked for me, you may find an easier way to do this. I place the washer in its spot inside the pony. Then using these long, wide tweasers to hold the washer in place, squeeze the rump a little and push the tail in. Once it is in the washer a bit I use the tweezers to try and push the washer down further and slowly work it in. You can try other things then tweasers. Anything long and skinny you can get in there to hold the washer in place should work.
 
Beddy-bye Eye Rust: Thiscan be kind of hard but it is pretty similar to tail rust.
Get a baby Q-Tip (because these have small pointy tips) and gently wipe the eye clean open and then closed. Wipe clean with damp other side of the q-tip.

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Cracks and damage
Sometimes ponies will get cracks in their plastic. This is generally seen around and behind the wings of the pegasuses, the hair line seams on their mane, and on the sitting ponies back legs, where they meet the body. However these can be other places as well.
Generally if these are small enough they can be glued without anyone noticing unless they inspect very closley.
There are numerous "super glue" type products out there. Some work and others don't because they are all made for different materials.
In the past I have used: LocTite Super Glue: Gel Control

You can try other types of glue also. Take a trip to your local hobby store. Go to where they make models. (model trains, model airplanes, racing cars) and bring your pony. Ask some people who work there what to use. If they are knowledgable they will tell you it is a softer plastic and will need a different type of glue then a hard plastic would use, and hopefully will be able to point you to a good glue in stock.
 
Scratches: G3 Plastic:
The G3 ponies, though they seem more sturdy at first, tend to have a plastic that, though harder to squeeze, is pretty soft and tends to get dinged up easier. Just from kicking around in a toy box with other hard plastic toys these ponies tnd to get scratches, gouges, and cuts in their plastic.
If this happens to your pony you won't be able to replace the gouged out plastic but you will be able to remove any white plastic sticking up or rough edges.

What I use is a nail buffer nail file. These are those very soft nail files (they feel like foam) that are used to buff your nails. They usually have 2 sides and are advertised for naturally shiny nails. One side is a rougher (but still soft) side which smooths out your nail and a polishing side which makes your nail shiny. I can buy these usually for 1.99 at the local drug store.

Just take the step one, rougher side and file any rough white stuff away and then flip it over to side two and make your pony nice and smooth again (or as smooth as she can get)
 
PARTS
When all else fails and something is damaged and cannot be cleaned and restored it is best to swap parts. If a pony has a cut tail, replace it with a different one.
Heads are removable and you can save a good head.
You can take off a bad head and save a good body. As you piece them together you can recreate a pretty well off pony. Often ponies that seem in "bait" condition ,ay only have a bad head or body. If you can piece together a good pony, I am sure you will eventually find a head in bad enough condition to go with the bait pony. A good head should be saved!

See tail rust for tail replacement techniques.

After replacing the head, if you wish to you may glue the head back together. I don't recomend this, not because it is hard to do, but because it can be a LOT of work to get a ponies head off, and its usually even more work to get a re-glued ponies head off. You may want or need to get into that pony later on down the road and re-glueing the head is risking mroe damage the next time you try and remove it. As well a lot of other people like to be able to get inside thier pony as well, even ifit's for somehing as simple as to let it dry out fully after a bath. They as well can damage the ponies head trying to remove it after you just reglued it.
A pony looks the same whether her head is glued or not.
If you really want the head re-glued be careful to use a clear glue only, put the glue on the lip and a thin layer on the edge so that when you glue it you do not get any on the outside neck.
Line up the neck in hte correct position by linning up the straight lines (little notches) on the neck and the head. Wipe away any glue that oozes out (and don't put so much on next time.)
 
For Flutter pony wings sometimes you can purchase old wings and reglue them on. However there are a few great sites out there with guides on how to make replacment wings out of items as simple as vellum paper or a plastic pop bottle.
 
Broken Mechanisms:
A lot of ponies were much mroe fun because they had special mechanisms that made them do something special. Ponies like this included Brush 'N Grow, Sweet Talkin' Ponies, Happy Tails, and dance and prance ponies.

Unfortunatly when these ponies are broken, from the best of my knowledge, they are broken forever.

Sometimes if you push a brush and grow ponies head down, or pull it up a little when turning it (Depending on the pony) it will catch the mechanism right and pull the hair in again.

If you are lucky, a sweet talkin pony can be cleaned of rust a little. This doesn't mean that it will work as you can only clean the battery area not inside.
If the pony was taken in the batht here is no saving it as it is most likely wet eveywhere. If it was just rusty int he battery area (due to someone leaving batteries in to long and them leaking) then it may be able to be helped.
Sometimes it helps as the metal to metal connection can be interupted because of the rust and removing it can improve functioning. I have done this for a few rummage sale toys I have bought for my son with leaking batteries dried in the battery case. Even bad rust can be cleaned up fairly well.
Start by opening the pony by turning her head towards the way it is facing/bent and it will pop off easily.
Unscrew the battery case and using a dry q-tip wipe all areas (this is important if there is dried battery acid inside). Try and wipe away anything loose.
Afterwards dip a q-tip into CLR (calcium, Lime and Rust remover available at drug and hardware stores)
Make sure the q-tip isn't dripping wet, ring it out if it is (you may want rubber gloves) or press it onto the side of your sink to see if it drips when you wipe with it.
Wipe all rust with CLR. Let sit a minute, dip the q-tip again and wipe again. repeat this, wipping more on harder spots until and scrubbing a bit until it looks pretty clean or you think the CLR can do no more. Re-wipe with a dry q-tip.

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