How To Clean Collectible Popcorn Buckets

Collectible popcorn buckets are an increasingly popular purchase, not only at Disney theme parks worldwide but also at movie theaters. Big-budget movies such as "Dune 2" and "Barbie" have both featured these take-home treasures. These keepsakes are extremely varied in both design and shape — from Disney's Donald Duck and R2-D2 figures to the unusual offering from "Dune"  — and they boast a pretty wide price range, too. Some Disney collectibles, for instance, can sell for as cheaply as $5, while others fetch upwards of a thousand dollars on the secondary market.

Given their amazing designs, these collectible popcorn buckets are meant to be displayed, but of course, you can use them to hold popcorn. However, cleaning them afterward is a concern for many owners who either want to reuse them for movie nights at home or sell them to the highest bidder. Fortunately, there are several easy methods to ensure your container remains in pristine condition. These methods basically fall into two, excuse the expression, buckets: handwashing with soap and wiping without the use of water.

Hand washing is the way to go

You might think that almost everyone who buys a collectible popcorn bucket at a Disney theme park or movie theater would just leave it empty to keep it in pristine condition. But Disney does offer discounts on refills during your time in the park, and as we all know, it's hard to resist the allure of cheap popcorn (or popcorn in general). Just keep it away from the fan-favorite cheese crawl at Disney World during the annual EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival if you're planning to resell it.

Using soap and water to clean these collectible buckets afterward is certainly a better option than trying to put them in the dishwasher. The latter method is never advised, as it can lead to damage — not only to the bucket itself but to some of the cool features that are often built inside (music boxes, lighting, etc.). Using dish soap and water also seems as if it could prove damaging to these delicate items, of course, but washing them very carefully by hand should result in a clean collectible bucket with no discernible damage. 

An even safer method, however, to remove butter, oil, and salt is by using dishrags (or paper towels) to wipe them away. A wet dishrag is more than a match for any remaining kernels or crumbs, while a dry dishrag removes any potentially damaging moisture. And just like that, you're ready for your next movie night or eBay.