Whether you have one special model or an expansive collection, diecast model cars are an attractive way to show off your enthusiasm for your favorite vehicles. The condition of your model cars affects how valuable they are. Even if you don’t plan on selling your collection, clean and polished cars look much better on your shelf than dusty, faded ones.
Even just learning the basics of cleaning and maintaining your model cars will help you keep your collection in prime condition so that you can always show it off proudly. Keep your collection beautiful and valuable with these tips for giving your diecast model car a facelift.
Prevent Damage With Proper Storage
When you buy a diecast model car, whether new or in excellent condition, it’s crucial to give that model a safe storage space. How and where you display your cars is a crucial part of properly maintaining them.
Let’s start with your storage solution. Glass cases, curio cabinets, and similar displays are a fantastic way to show off your collection while reducing the risk of dust and exposure. However, no case is foolproof. If you use a glass case, be wary of displaying your cars in direct sunlight, as this can cause the paint and other features to fade. If your display case needs more lighting, use LED lights. LED lighting will make your model cars sparkle without damaging the color or causing the model to melt.
Direct sunlight isn’t the only hazard to watch out for when storing or displaying your diecast model cars. Pay attention to room temperature as well. Too much heat can cause the car to melt. Excess humidity can also damage your model cars or create mildew in the display case.
No matter how you store your model cars, make sure you open the case and check on our model cars from time to time. Keeping an eye on your collection lets you stay on top of dust and keep an eye out for issues like melting or tarnishing.
Pro Tip: Preventing Tarnish
Tarnish can dull your diecast model and cause your car to look faded or worn. Exposure to air and moisture increases your risk of tarnish, so it’s important to keep your model cars in a safe, dry space. Regularly removing and dusting your model cars will also help prevent tarnish. You can also use anti-tarnish bags to minimize exposure and keep your collection safe.
The Pros and Cons of Packaging
Every collector faces a crucial decision: whether to remove the product from its packaging or leave it as is. There are good arguments for and against keeping your model car in the packaging. At the end of the day, the choice is completely up to you. Do you want to keep your diecast model cars in Mint in Box condition? Do you want to take the cars out for personal use? Both packaged and opened model cars look great on display. They can also both last a long time with the proper care.
Keeping your model in the original packaging can help protect it from dust, tarnish, and other damage. However, damaged packaging—like a damaged car—can reduce the overall value of the model. No matter what, you must take diligent care of your model car to keep it in pristine condition.
Pro Tip: The Best of Both Worlds
Are you struggling to decide between preserving the packaging of your diecast model and taking it out to see the car in all its glory? Many collectors get around this dilemma by purchasing two models. Keep one in its original packaging to preserve its full value, but open the other to display and use at your leisure.
Cleaning Your Model Car
There are several methods you can use when you need to clean your model car. Remember not to overdo it; if your car only needs some light dusting, there’s no need to get the cleaning kit out. However, having the right products on hand can make things easier when you do need to perform a deeper clean.
Always use soft brushes or cloths when cleaning your diecast model car. A clean makeup brush and soft paintbrush are great for gently getting rid of dust without damaging the paint or other details on the car. You can also use a microfiber cloth to dust or wipe down the model.
If you use cleaners, be sure to use gentle products. Avoid harsh chemicals or alcohol-based cleaning products, as these can strip the paint and damage your model car. Soft solvent cleaners will help you take care of dirt or blemishes safely. Use a damp cloth but avoid using too much water, especially if your model car has carpeted or upholstered features. Finally, a soft paintbrush or cotton swab can help you clean those nooks, crannies, and other hard-to-reach details.
Detailing and Polishing Your Model
When you want to clean or restore a full-size call, you can wax and detail it. You can do the same with miniature car models by purchasing or making a car detailing kit. Detailing and polishing are great for restoring an older model car. Here are a few of the tools and products you need to make your diecast model car shine like new again:
- Applicators (such as soft cloths or brushes)
- Cleaning cloths
- Gentle, safe-to-use cleaning products
A detailing kit is a fantastic tool for cleaning and restoring your model car inside and out. Use cleaners to get rid of dirt, dust, grime, and other kinds of buildup. Finish the cleaning by using wax and polish to make your car shine and protect it from future dust and damage.
Disassembling and Restoring
Some model car owners completely disassemble their model cars so that they can more easily reach all the little parts to clean and restore them. This is a careful and thorough process that can achieve impressive results if you do it correctly. However, never take apart your model car if you don’t feel completely comfortable doing so.
There are a few general tips to keep in mind when performing any of these tricks to give your diecast model car a facelift. First and foremost, take your time. Cleaning and restoring your model car can be a satisfying process, so enjoy it! You’re also less likely to make mistakes if you slow down and avoid rushing through the process. Another tip is to invest in the right tools. Softer brushes, gentle cleaning products, and other tools make model car maintenance safer and easier.
Are you working on building your beautiful model car collection? Find makes and models from your wish list at LiveCarModel today. Our high-quality, reputable collection of diecast model cars contains licensed replicas of some of the most famous vehicles throughout history. Find your favorite or buy for a friend when you visit us today!