How to Clean Rubber Keychains in the Easiest Way

Going to anime events or conventions isn’t complete without getting a souvenir or two. You can get art prints, shirts, figurines and plushies—but one of the best and easiest souvenirs to collect are keychains!

Whether it’s plush, laminated, keybie-fied or rubberized, it’s easy to grab your favorite anime characters in all their cute (or hot) glory as a keychain you can display on your bag or at home as part of a larger collection. It’s also a great way to support local artists who design their own fan merchandise.

How to Clean Rubber Keychains in the Easiest Way
Kaneki Ken in all his rubber, keybie, laminated, and plushie glory!

Unless you keep your anime keychain collection locked away in a safe, dry space though, there’s no avoiding dirt and grime accumulating on their surfaces. Rubber keychains in particular can look especially worn out and old when they’re all dirty, but did you know there’s a trick to to clean rubber keychains and make them like new again?

The best part is that this trick doesn’t even need soap!

How to clean rubber keychains without soap

There’s just one thing you need to make your anime rubber keychains look like they’d just come out of their packaging: wood glue. Japanese Twitter user Marutokidoki Onichan posted about this simple method with the following tips.

1. Make sure your rubber keychain is dry. Don’t worry about how dirty or dusty it is, that’ll all go away soon. This will work on any rubber keychain too. It’s also useful to do this with several keychains at once, since there’s a waiting process that will take a while.

How to clean rubber keychains

2. Cover the surface you want to clean with wood glue. You can get this from any hardware store, or buy it online in Shopee. You can also lightly stretch or bend your keychain to let the glue seep into any thin lines more easily. Just let this sit for a day, then chill in the meantime. Maybe watch some anime from your backlog, read a new manga or Webtoon chapter, or even look up some casual anime outfits to wear to the next convention.

3. Once 24 hours have passed, peel off the dried wood glue. Wood glue is a thicker consistency than regular white glue, but you can use white glue too. Wood glue just has a higher chance of getting peeled off whole for a satisfying reverse image of your keychain, like the one below.

How to clean rubber keychains

4. And that’s it! The wood glue takes off all the stubborn dust and grime with it to clean rubber keychains like it was nothing. Your keychain will look fresh and clean, and ready to be showed off at school, work, or any event!

How to clean rubber keychains

Cleaning keybies

Unfortunately, this wood glue method wouldn’t work on keybies. Wood glue would stick to the keybies’ sides, and make them come off entirely. Unlike rubber keychains, keybies can be cleaned with a damp (not wet!) rag (not tissue!).

Keeping keybies clean and looking new isn’t hard if you follow 3 simple rules.

A cute black cloud keybie with "okay" from the Fault in Our Stars on it

We’re always working on new methods to improve the keybie as you know it, but until then, caring for your keybies is easier than you think!

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