The first thing to know about collecting porcelain figurines is they are best kept in an enclosed cabinet, or curio cabinet. Keeping your precious porcelain figurine collection safely inside a cabinet not only cuts down on the likelihood they’ll become damaged, but it also minimizes their exposure to dust.
Even though your figurines are in cabinets, they’ll become dusty overtime. The best way to clean dust from your porcelain figurines is use a makeup brush on them. Go to your local discount store and purchase a lush blush brush. These are ideal for getting into the little crevices of porcelain figurines and removing dust.
If you’ve purchased a porcelain figurine and it’s truly dirty, it will require more than a simple dusting with a brush to get it clean. Yet, before you clean it, you must see if the paint is under glaze. Simply hold the piece to the light to see if there is any shine over the paint. If there is no shine, the paint on the figurine was done after it was fired. This means if you rub it or use commercial cleaners on it, the paint will probably come off. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a porcelain figurine has a glaze because it is so dirty. In those instances, assume it doesn’t. You should use an enzyme cleaner to clean unglazed figurines.
If your dirty porcelain figurine has glaze, it’s much easier to clean. However, keep in mind that you don’t want water getting into your figurine. If your figurine has a hole in the bottom, as most do, it’s best to tape over the hole during the cleaning process. This will cut down the chances that water will get inside. If water gets inside, the inside of your figurine may soon be the home of mold!
Most people fill a bowl with warm water and a very mild dishwashing liquid. They’ll dip a very soft cloth into the water and gently clean their porcelain figurine until it’s free of dirty. It’s acceptable to use an old, soft bristled toothbrush to get into grooves and tight spots, just don’t scrub too hard.
After the dirt has been removed, take a clean cloth and dip it in water. Use this cloth to wipe the figurine free of soap. If you don’t, you may notice a soap residue on your figurine. Lastly, take a soft cloth, completely dry your figurine, remove the tap from the hole and place it in your collection.