How to Clean Porcelain Figurines

Updated February 21, 2017

Porcelain figurines are a collector's item for many, but it takes regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. If possible, display figurines in a protective case or curio cabinet, which will protect porcelain from damage and dust build-up while minimising the time you need to spend cleaning your porcelain. If dust and dirt become problems with your figurines, mild soap and a delicate hand can restore your figurines' beauty.

Remove dust from figurines by brushing with a microfiber cleaning cloth. Microfiber cloths can be washed with your laundry, making them a great choice for sustainable living. "The positively charged microfibers attract dust, which has a negative charge, and the tiny fibres are able to penetrate the microscopic surface pores of most materials," according to a University of California Davis Medical Center report. In addition to providing maximum dust attraction, microfiber cloths are soft and won't scratch porcelain.

Mix 1 tsp of mild soap with 1 gallon of water to make a cleaning solution.

Dampen your microfiber cleaning cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe away dirt on the figurines. Do not scrub at the porcelain because this could wipe away the paint on your figurine.

Soak figurines in the cleaning solution if some spots give your trouble. Soaking can break up the dirt, making wiping more effective later. If you have a lot of figurines to soak, fill your sink with hot water and mild soap and gently place the figurines in the water.

Set figurines on paper towels to dry. Many porcelain figurines will have a hole in the bottom, allowing you to shake out excess water.

Clean the entire surface of your porcelain figurine display area using a microfiber cleaning cloth sprayed with a dust and allergen reducer. Removing as much dust as possible from your curio cabinet or shelf will reduce the dust build-up on your newly cleaned porcelain figurines.


Never use a scrub brush or tooth brush when washing your porcelain figurines. This may remove the paint from the porcelain. Line the bottom of your sink with bath towels before soaking; this will protect your figurines against the bottom of the sink. A soft-bristled paintbrush is great for removing dust from tiny crevices in porcelain.


Never use household cleaners on porcelain because they contain harsh chemicals that could strip the finish off of your porcelain figurine.

Things You'll Need

  • Micro-fibre cleaning cloth
  • Mild hand soap
  • Paper towels
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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.