Intense cleaning for dragons with possible heat damage and stubborn dirt/debris

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      I’m so happy to have recently been able to acquire my first Windstone dragons: a partial family of peacock dragons and a ruby lap dragon! They all came in their original boxes, which is awesome, but they’ve obviously been on display for a long time, as they are incredibly dusty/dirty. I suspect they’ve also been stored in their boxes in the heat, as each figure has random bits of cardboard stuck quite firmly to the paint, as well as areas where the paint is rubbed off. The ruby lap has several places where it appears the clear coat may have melted or been worn down. It’s a shame because these dragons are otherwise in good condition, whole and with minimal if any chipping.

      I’ve read on here that many of you have success with lightly bathing your dragons and using brushes or soft cloths to get rid of dust and dirt. That’s what I’m going to attempt, however the bits of cardboard seem as if they’ll take soaking and more vigorous scrubbing to remove. Will that damage the paint? I’m afraid to mess up these beauties! I’m aware that the red colors are especially delicate, so I’m not even sure I’ll try anything on the lap dragon! Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂


        The good thing is cardboard does poorly in water. Maybe just wetting it over and over again will get it to come off without damaging the paint any further.

        At my work, when I want to remove firmly attached objects from soft metals, I use a wooden stick whittled to a point. The wood is soft, so it will break or shatter if I apply too much force. You could try a toothpick, though I have found those to be a harder wood than the ones we use at work, which are medical cotton swabs with a bare end. You could also try a Q-tip with the cotton removed from one end, and whittle that end with a sharp knife. The compacted paper should be stiff enough to give some pushing power without scratching.

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          I have successfully dry-cleaned some filthy dragons using compressed air and a paintbrush to dust out the stubborn grunge.

          DON’T USE ANY KIND OF SOLVENT. It will remove the paint.

          We don’t recommend getting dragons wet, but if the cardboard is firmly stuck on, you will probably need to  dampen it thoroughly with a sponge and gently pick it off with a toothpick, or a fingernail. The finish underneath may be marred from the cardboard.

          Does the Ruby have cardboard stuck to it?  Some of the ruby red paint we used was manufactured incorrectly by the paint comapny, so it may not take well to water, but that may be your only hope for removing the cardboard.

          The paint on normal dragons ( not ruby) can withstand a quick water rinse if absolutely necessary.

          Don’t get the pads wet. Dab dry with a cloth or blow the water off immediately with canned compressed air  ( used for cleaning computers).




            For dragons who are too dirty for canned air or a soft cloth, I use a medium-to-soft paintbrush (with natural, not plastic, bristles) dipped in water.  Working in small patches, I lightly brush the water over the dirty areas to get all the grunge out of the crevices, then wipe the brush on a cloth and go back over the area to pick up excess water.  Blot with the cloth, too, if needed.

            Interested in buying or trading for: GB Pebble Sitting Red Fox in dark grey, Lap Dragon Test Paints (Water Sprite, Glacial Pearl, Opulence, Pastel Rainbow, and many others - see my Classifieds ad), Blue Morpho OW, GB Pebble Loaf dragons in blue/aqua/teal, and Griffin Test Paints (Black Rainbow or Frosted Jade).


              I’ve never had to remove any stuck on cardboard but here is what I do for my other Windstones…


              For general cleaning of my Windstones I dust them with canned air every other week or so.
              For the yearly cleaning of everything except the Rubies I dust them and then wrap their tags in cling wrap to help keep the tags dry (I also usually use a bit of string to tie the tag up to the side of the sink so the tags aren’t just laying in the sink on the large pieces) then set them into the kitchen sink and spray them very lightly with water. I then use a very old soft toothbrush and some diluted dish soap to go over them. Smaller items, of course, you can just hold upside down and clean without getting their pads wet at all. I rinse the soap off as quickly as possible then set them onto a bath towel and press down a bit to help dry their pads. I’ll move them a few times on the towel and repeat the process to be sure the pads dry well. I just gently towel off the excess water at that point and let them stay on the bath towel a few hours to be sure the pads have dried before I put them back on their shelves.

              For my Ruby Windstones I tend to use the canned air on them once a week to help prevent any dust from building up at all. They are also kept in an enclosed cabinet.
              For their yearly cleaning I dust them well. I then take the old soft toothbrush get it wet and rub it mostly dry on a towel so that it is BARELY damp. Then I go over them with the brush, rinsing and re-drying the brush any time it starts to look like its got any dirt on it. After I’m done I use a soft towel to go over them and buff them to be certain I didn’t miss any spots on the dragons.

              Hope this helps!

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                An airtight display case is the best defense against dirt and cats.


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                  Sitting young oriental dragon koi gold and white


                    Thank you so much Lisa Z, Nightcrow, and StormDancer for sharing your experiences and methods! Thank you, Melody, for the helpful information (and warnings), and for creating such lovely art! I hope to be able to come back here with good news after I give the dragons a careful cleaning using your suggestions. Here are a few pictures just to give an idea of their ailments, poor things!


                      I’ve dealt with this before and a touch of Dawn dish liquid with room temperature water and a soft bristle toothbrush or semi stiff paint brush do the trick for me in most cases.

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