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How to Clean Tom Clark Gnomes

Updated February 21, 2017

Tom Clark gnomes are collectable figurines that Clark creates as the lead artist for Cairn Studio, LTD. Although Clark makes other figurines, collectors have made his gnomes and other woodspirits the most popular items. The book "Gnomes" by Rien Poortvliet inspired the creation of the first gnome and other themed forest-dwellers. Crafters hand-cast gnomes in a resin medium or bronze and hand-paint them to create an antiqued finish. Work cautiously when cleaning Tom Clark Gnomes in order to protect the paint and maintain the value of these collector's items.

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  1. Brush the figurine with a soft-bristled brush, such as a new paint brush, to remove built-up dust from the gnome. Small artists' paintbrushes work best for accessing small crevices.

  2. Line the bottom of your sink basin with a bath towel. The towel provides a soft surface that will protect your figurine from breaking in the bottom of your sink.

  3. Fill the sink with two to three inches of warm water and approximately one tablespoon of dish detergent. Use more or less water, depending on the height of your gnome.

  4. Soak the gnome in the soapy water for a few minutes to loosen and remove stuck-on dirt. If your gnome has felt on the bottom of the base, place the gnome in the water upside down so you don't get the felt wet.

  5. Brush the dirty spots of the gnome with the soft-bristled paintbrush to remove the dirt. If the dirt doesn't come off easily, gently rub the spot with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

  6. Dry the gnome on a clean paper towel.

  7. Display your gnomes in a glass case or curio cabinet to protect them from dust.

  8. Tip

    Use this method to clean any other figurines in your home.


    Never use a hard-bristled brush or abrasive cleaner because these could remove paint from your gnomes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled paintbrush
  • Bath towel
  • Warm water
  • Dish detergent
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Paper towels

About the Author

Amelia Allonsy

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.

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