I'm a terrible pack rat! I admit it! I am okay with throwing away my own stuff but my kids stuff, that is the hardest things for me to let go of. I have eight years between my two daughters so, if I was a normal human being I shouldn't have that much stuff from my oldest. But I'm not a normal human, I'm a toy hoarder.
I kept just about every toy my oldest has ever owned. It all came in handy when I babysat my friends' twin girls. Then those toys were outgrown all over again and put away.
Now my youngest is really starting to play with toys. I brought out the baby toys again and all the Little People. I was so happy to still have all these toys in such great condition. Most just needed a good scrubbing but there were some that needed a bit more love.
One of the biggest issues were battery erosion. I made the mistake of leaving batteries in a few toys and the exploded. The worst case was the Little People Plane.
I took a magic eraser to the outside on the white areas. My oldest had gotten Sharpie on the face which I got off with some rubbing alcohol. Then I went to add the batteries.
I took one look at the bottom and went "Oh no..." There was crusted battery acid on the outside which had rusted everything. The nasty battery acid that was all rusty leaked all over one wing. (I was wondering why one wing was discolored.) When I opened it up, my first impression was the plane was a goner. But with some work I was able to clear off enough of the rust crusted on battery acid to get it to work and I cleaned off any leaked rust.
I used rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and held it against the connecter. It took it off a little bit but I didn't feel like it was doing the job. So I went to old faithful...vinegar. I did the same thing. I held a cotton swab soaked in vinegar again the connector for a while. Then I used a flat head screw driver and chipped away at it. Then I cleaned it with more vinegar. It did just enough for it to work again.
So don't throw away that toy just yet. Give it a second chance at life. Try cleaning it with a little vinegar and some elbow grease.