How to Clean and Preserve Your Diecast Models

how to clean and preserve diecast models

How to Clean and Preserve Your Diecast Models

Many people love collecting diecast model cars. Full of nostalgia and memories, these models offer people the chance to go back in time by simply looking at a replica.

Some go to great lengths to put together an impressive collection, and when guests come over, the collection is a point of pride. Diecast cars can also be a great investment. As time passes, models are likely to become more valuable.

With all of these benefits, you'll want to make sure you take proper care of your diecast models. You should keep your collection in excellent condition to show off to friends, retain value and enjoy having it in your home. A shining, clean appearance will keep your diecast model looking as good as it was when you first got it.

However, many people are uncertain about the right ways to clean and preserve their diecast models. This article examines the best ways to clean diecast models and how to maintain their appearance for years of enjoyment.

Importance of Proper Care

Properly caring for your diecast models offers many benefits. Whether you display or race your model cars, proper care allows you to enjoy them for many years. Here are a few ways cleaning your diecast models can benefit you:

  • Aesthetics: The appearance of your diecast model is paramount. Lack of cleaning leads to dust buildup, and using the wrong materials to clean — such as solvents and alcohol — can damage the paint. Regularly cleaning and knowing exactly which materials you need to use can keep the appearance of your diecast model in great condition. With proper care, you'll be able to admire your models for years and proudly show off your collection to friends.
  • Value: Diecast models also carry value. Taking proper care of your models can help keep that value high and impress other potential collectors. An old, sought-after diecast model is one thing, but one that's in impeccable condition is rare.
  • Longevity: Sometimes collectors take actions to extend the longevity of their diecast models cars that actually damage them. Washing a model without thorough drying can lead to rust. Improper storage may lead to paint rash, fading due to direct sunlight and rust. Knowing those details about how to maintain diecast models lets you preserve your model cars so you can cherish their stunning appearance for many years.

How to Clean Diecast Cars

Though the process for cleaning diecast models might seem simple at first glance, there are some intricate details you should know. Diecast models are valuable — be as careful as possible as you clean them, using the right materials and techniques the whole way through. In the end, you'll be happy you did.

Here's the best way to clean a diecast car model:

Assess Condition

The first step you'll want to take before cleaning your diecast car is to assess its condition. Consider these characteristics to determine the next steps you should take:

  • Model design: How intricate is your diecast model? Does it include upholstery? Can you take it apart and clean each piece individually? The design can help you decide what you should do during the cleaning process. For example, you may want to avoid using water on model cars with valuable upholstery. And though taking apart your model may be beneficial, there are still effective ways to clean when it's in one piece.
  • Current condition: Is your diecast model relatively new, or did you just find it tucked away in a corner of your garage? Deciding whether you need to take care of a few external smudges or pull spiderwebs from the interior will lead you to your next step — the cleaning type.
  • Cleaning type: Determine the level of cleaning you'll be committing to. This will typically fall into three main categories — dusting, general cleaning and deep cleaning.

Light Dust

Dust is one of the most common issues when it comes to diecast models. Though it's common, it's relatively simple to solve. Get a microfiber cloth and gently wipe down your diecast model. If you want, you can add a dab of lukewarm water for some extra help.

red diecast car

Heavy Dust and Grime

It's important to regularly clean your diecast model to avoid heavy dust and grime, but sometimes dirt can build up. In these situations, use a cotton cloth and some water to wipe off the grime. If the dirt is severe, you can add a little bit of mild soap to the cloth.

Cotton swabs are also effective, but be careful about any residue they might leave behind. Plastic toothpicks can help with the hard-to-reach places — just be patient and gentle so you don't damage anything. Tweezers are useful for pulling things like spiderwebs from the interior.

Deep Cleaning

If you try these methods and your models still look grimy, you can wash your diecast cars with a car bath. For highly valuable models or models with decals and fragile upholstery, you may want to use other techniques. Sometimes, however, a car bath might be the perfect solution to cleaning and preserving your diecast model.

For a car bath, simply submerge your diecast model in lukewarm water and mild soap for around 30 seconds. After the car bath comes the important part — drying. Use a cloth to dry your car thoroughly. You can also use a blow dryer on low heat to help dry your model. You'll want to get it as dry as possible to avoid rust.

Tips for Preserving Diecast Model Cars

Once your diecast model cars are clean, you can follow these for preserving them:

  • Clean regularly: Regular, routine cleanings keep your diecast model free from heavy grime. With some simple dustings throughout the week, you can save time and prevent those heavy cleanings.
  • Be gentle: Diecast models can be fragile — be very gentle during cleaning to keep the parts and finishes in good condition.
  • Get the right materials: The right materials allow you to clean your diecast cars properly and effectively without causing lasting damage.
  • Use proper storage: Store your diecast models in a clean, cool place away from direct sunlight. Cleaner areas can reduce any excess dirt and dust from accumulating on your diecast model.

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Shop Auto World Store

Properly caring for your diecast models is the best way to extend their longevity and keep their appearance looking new. If you're looking for diecast model supplies, check out Auto World Store!

Auto World Store offers hundreds of diecast vehicles, model kits and limited edition exclusives. With an incredible selection to choose from, you can quickly and conveniently find what you're looking for.