In this tutorial, I will be explaining a very good, quick, and easy way to clean designs off of your figures to get them ready to apply custom decals and paint. For this example, I will be explaining how to do this with a torso, but it works for any element with a LEGO printed design on it. This tutorial will take you ten minutes from beginning to end, and I promise that you will not harm the piece in any way (would I do that to you?). Although I do not use gloves, it can get messy so feel free to, and you should definitely take off any jewelry you might have on your hands.
Here is what you will need:
Brasso (available at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc.)
A clean cloth at least 8" x 12", but the bigger the better
A scrap of wood that will fit comfortably in your hand from palm to fingertips. My piece is 4" x 1.5" x 0.5" and works great.
PART ONE - Preperation
1) Take the cloth, and wrap it around the scrap of wood as tightly as you can. Make sure that there are no wrinkles and that you can hold the wood and cloth in your hand without the cloth unraveling.
2) Shake the Brasso and open the top.
3) Take the arms off of the torso and set them aside for now.
4) Place a plate next to you because the torso will be "gunky" after you clean the design and you will want somewhere to put it that will not detroy your desktop.
PART TWO - Removing The Design
5) Place the wood and cloth in your non-action hand (not the hand you will be rubbing with).
6) Place a dallop of Brasso onto the center of the wood/cloth as shown.
7) Grasp the torso on its sides, hold very tightly.
8) Rub torso (printed side down) vigorously for 10 seconds.
9) Check to see if design is removed, if not, repeat step 8. The harder you rub, the quicker it will come off.
PART THREE - Cleaning Up The Piece
10) Place torso onto the paper plate once the design is removed. It will be "gunky" with a foam that will be the color of the design you removed.
11) Bring torso to the sink, turn on hot water, and run the piece under the water. Wipe the gunk off with your fingers and place on a clean paper towel.
12) Using the paper towel, dry and remove any gunk that made it through the water cleaning.
13) Put the arms back on and you have a clean, blank torso ready to have any decal, sticker, or paint job you want!
I hope this has been helpful, it works well for me when I need to do fifteen or twenty torsos at a time. Just remember to rotate the cloth to keep a clean spot to rub on. If you have any questions or comments, they are always welcome!