If you’re an anime fan with a treasure trove of merchandise from your favorite shows, you probably take certain precautions to keep your collection looking nice. Putting DVDs or Blu-rays back in their cases when not in use is a no-brainer, as is storing manga and art books in a place where they’re not being bathed in color-fading direct sunlight. You may have even picked up a few advanced techniques, like turning anime T-shirts inside out before washing to extend the life of the print, or using thumb tacks with a large enough head to sandwich the edge of a poster against the wall so you don’t have to put a hole in the paper itself.
But what about the dirt and grime that anime character-shaped rubber keychains and straps accumulate though daily use? Actually, it turns out there’s a simple trick to get them looking like new, and it doesn’t involve any soap.
Rubber straps have become a pretty standard part of the product mix for popular anime franchises, and it’s not hard to see why. Usually priced at less than 1,000 yen (US$8), they’re affordable enough for budget-minded anime enthusiasts, yet cute enough to satisfy hard-core ones. Casual fans can appreciate the fact that they don’t take up much space and have a touch of practicality, while full-on otaku enjoy assembling a complete set, since rubber straps are usually released as a series of different characters or poses.
▼ Some vocaloid straps from Good Smile Company
But after spending enough time in your pocket or swinging from your bag, you’re going to end up with a thin layer of dirt, oil, and other unwanted substances on the rubber surface.
▼ No wonder this guy looks so depressed…
Don’t worry, though, because Twitter user Marutokidoki Onichan has an easy way to remove all of it.
まるときどきおにーちゃん (@maru3_RA6) July 14, 2015
All you’ll need (aside from a dirty strap, of course) is some wood glue, the same kind you can get at just about any home center. Remove the cap from the bottle and slather on enough to completely cover the side of the strap you want to clean.
Next, you’re going to need to let that dry and sit for a day. While you’re waiting, feel free to park yourself on the couch and burn through a chunk of your anime-watching backlog, confident in the fact that you’re not being completely unproductive because you’re cleaning the strap.
As you might have guessed from its name, wood glue isn’t really designed to bond irreversibly with rubber. According to Marutokidoki Onichan, once 24 hours have passed and the wood glue has dried, you should be able to gently peel it off the strap, and when you do…
…it’ll take all the grime with it!
So there you have it, a simple and effective way to have your gear looking fresh for whatever anime events you’re planning to go to this summer. And really, when you’re in the middle of a packed convention hall, where inevitably a portion of the attendees will have been without a shower the whole weekend, you’ll be happy to have a small oasis of cleanliness in your spick-and-span strap.
Top image: Twitter/@maru3_RA6 (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Good Smile Company , Twitter/@maru3_RA6