Sudbury Hall NT

Sudbury Hall NT Blog

Cleaning toys from the 70s

In preparing for our forthcoming exhibition ‘From Playmobil to Puppy Love …. Growing up in the 1970s’, we have selected some fantastic toys that we have been dying to put on display for you to see.

But before we let you see them and reminisce, we decided that they needed a little bit of conservation cleaning.

If you have attended any of our Pest, Polish and Ponyhair events last year, you would have seen how we clean the ceramics of the Hall. We use the same method in cleaning any plastic toys we have in the collection. Cleaning toys within the museum is very different to how we clean toys at home.

  Before we get started cleaning the toys, we have to prepare our work station, as shown above.


The toy we are using as an example is from ‘Space 1999’ and has gathered some fluff between the gaps on the top. To get these pieces of fluff out we would use a pair of long tweezers and pull as much out as we can.

We will use 100% pure cotton wool, which we will wrap around cocktail sticks to make our own cotton wool buds (100% pure cotton wool has to be used, so it does not have any imperfection and be abrasive on the object).


We will use two different solutions to clean the object, first a mixture of de-ionised water with a mild detergent, then we would wipe the object again with de-ionised water (to make sure no detergent has been left on).

 Can you spot the difference?


This is one of the many toys that will be on display, in our Museum of Childhood. If you want to have a sneak peak at other objects and test your knowledge why not a go of our facebook page ( and do our 1970s toy quiz!

‘From Playmobil to Puppy Love …. Growing up in the 1970s’ exhibition will run from the 19th February – 12th June 2011.

Feel free to share with us any memories you have of your childhood in the 1970s!


About this Sponsor

Content to follow...