Whether you just started or have been collecting model horses for decades, one thing is certain, you have to care for them and keep them clean. Caring for model horses is nothing like taking care of a real horse, but it still requires some time and attention.

Let me tell you a story that to some seasoned collectors may sound like a horror story, but hey, we were all newbies at one time. When I first started collecting Breyer horses at the age of 10, I would get out the Pledge furniture polish and shine my horses up every month! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that! Thank goodness it never seemed to hurt them and I sure loved the shine it put on their coats. The crazy things we do as kids.

Today, I wouldn’t recommend using Pledge to clean your precious collection, but a damp, soft cloth would be completely acceptable. You don’t want to use harsh detergents on your horses, but if you find they need more than just a damp cloth, you may use some gentle dish liquid and wash them in warm, soapy water. Try not to leave your horses immersed under water since you may run the risk of water entering the blow hole that keeps your horses from bloating. A quick rinse under running water is perfectly fine, though.

Be careful not to scratch your horses with any scrub brushes or by rubbing dry dust across their coat. If you have stubborn stains or marks to remove see my blog on how to properly handle those issues.

Remember that your horses are a work of art, painted by hand and delicate. Treat them gently and keep them clean and they will shine for years to come. Safe washing!