How to Clean Your Model Ship

You’ve had your model ship for months and you love it! But after a few months, you start to notice it’s not as vibrant as it was when you first got it.

You realize it’s because of dust that has settled on your prized possession. If only you had put it in a display case, your model ship would be dust free and as pristine as the day you got it.

But it’s ok, I’ll show you how to clean your dusty model ship so that it looks like new.

What you will need:

  1. Baby wipes (they have no harsh chemicals and won’t dry out the wood)
  2. Small/medium paint brush
  3. Extra small paint brush, preferably a soft bristled watercolor paintbrush
  4. Small vacuum
  5. Q-tips
  6. Pop stick
  7. Toothbrush
  8. Canvas cleaner with mildew remover


  1. Gently brush off any loose dirt and dust from your model using a small/medium paint brush. Follow the brush with a small vacuum to keep dust from resettling.
  2. Using the extra small paint brush, brush and trace along small nooks and crannies and crevices.
  3. Wipe down the hull and as much of the small spaces as you can with baby wipes
  4. In more severe cases, if the sails have stains or dirt on them, wet a toothbrush with canvas cleaner and gently brush a small amount of it into the sails to brighten them up. Use a Q-tip if needed, along with the toothbrush 
  5. Moisten a Q-tip with a baby wipe and get into all the little details to make it look brand new.
  6. For fine crevices, wrap a baby wipe over the edge of a pop stick to really get in there. For extra fine crevices, you can sharpen the pop stick with a piece of sandpaper.
  7. Congratulations, your model ship looks amazing again! Depending on the severity of the dirtiness, it’s a good idea to repeat any of the steps above a couple of times. 

Here's a video by an experienced modeler that shows you his method for getting great results when cleaning his model ship:

    Video made by YouTube channel: PaulKilpin

    If you’ve went ahead and followed the steps above, you might have noticed that it took longer than you thought. There are many fine details in a model ship, that’s part of why they are so interesting to look at.

    However, if you don’t cover your model ship with a display case, all that hard work and time will immediately start going to waste as new dust settles on it again. That’s why I always suggest to place your model ship inside a beautiful display case.

    I would buy the display case along with the purchase of your model ship to protect it from day one, saving you time in the long run from having to clean the model later. A quick wipe down of the beautiful model ship display case will keep the whole display looking pristine all year long.

    Thank you for reading! You can find the perfect display case match for your model ship here.

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