Monday, 19 September 2011

How to strip paint from a plastic and metal miniature using Dettol

I have painted over my test mini shown above a few too many times and it was in need of cleaning. I have seen many tutorials on cleaning paint off mini's using 'Simple Green' and 'Dettol' as 'Simple Green' is not available where I live I went for 'Dettol', household antiseptic, which you can get from supermarkets and pharmacies etc. Now I am told you have to use the regular kind as its the one that works, so that's what I bought and had a go at cleaning him up.

To get started take your desired plastic mini, a glass jar with lid and your 'Dettol'. An old toothbrush and toothpick (not shown) is required for the final clean up.

Place mini in jar and pour appropriate amount of 'Dettol' into jar to cover the mini. Seal jar with lid. Now go away and do some stuff, for the whole day or night.

After about 5 hours this is what the mini looked like, sorry for the poor quality picture.

You can see that almost all of the paint has come away from the mini. You can use your brush and toothpick at this stage to help get rid of the stubborn bits. A note here is the paint that comes off turns into a gluey substance and sticks everywhere so be careful. It will clean off with soapy water so don't worry.

After a whole night of soaking and cleaning up with the brush and toothpick and a good wash in warm soapy water, this is the final result.

You can still see some paint on the mini but I can assure you that it is virtually ingrained into the plastic and would not hinder any new painting.

The mini all primed and ready for the next test. here you can see there is no ill effects from the small amount of paint that did not come off from the soaking in 'Dettol'

To clean metal mini's just follow the same procedure. The best part of 'Dettol' is that you can reuse it!

I think it worked even better on the metal mini. It looks brand new.

Hope this helps you out if you ever need to clean a mini in the future. As always leave a comment below with your thoughts.



  1. You wouldn't believe how many test mini's I did trying to figure out a colour scheme for my Chapter (actually you probably might do!)!! This is a great tip which may save me a good couple of boxes of marines and probably some scouts too. Thanks for this!

  2. Slick! I've heard about this stuff too, but never was fully convinced about the quality. Thanks Vitor!

  3. Great Tutorial!!

    Greetings from Spain!