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Catnip's Cleaning Kit

Catnip the kitten helps Peachy in the Grooming Parlour. She's quite a practical cat, and her job is to make sure Peachy has all the tools she needs to make her clients look beautiful. Peachy thought it might be nice if Catnip told you what she uses here, so you can try it on your ponies too.

Because I'm in the UK, some of the products and shops I may refer to might be unavailable to you. If that's the case, I'm sure you can find an alternative!

Pony Cleaning

Pony Cleaning
Duck Soup helped Catnip out with this bit - Catnip and Peachy work closely with him and Cascade, as some of the cleaning is done at the Waterfall, and some is done here.

Shampoo and Bubble Bath
Gentle is good. Superdrug do a range of baby products in travel sizes, and Linnie uses the shampoo and bubble bath. The smell enhances any real pony smell on ponies, and washes them squeaky clean.

Linnie uses whatever she has in the bathroom. She has sensitive skin, so if it's ok on her, it'll be ok on ponies.
At the moment, it's Lush's Coolaulin. It smells yummy. Coconut and flowers.

Cotton Wool Pads
These are indispensable. I like to use the pads rather than the balls, as then you use up less cleanser. But the balls work well, too.

Cotton Buds
Great for cleaning gunk out of ponies' ears, and for dabbing spots, like ink, with stronger cleaners.

Cream cleanser
Removes most surface grot and grime. Also gives your pony a nice smell. I like the Body Shop's almond oil cleanser - it's sweet-smelling, cheap and natural.

Nail polish remover
Regular acetone remover takes off lots of stains and spots, but be careful, it takes off pony symbols, eyes and blush too. Can also leave a pony feeling a little dry - Peachy always wipes the pony down with cream cleanser after using this, which seems to help dryness.

Peachy has become quite the expert on hair over the years. She has tested many products under laboratory conditions. In fact, she makes Linnie spend more on pony hair products than Linnie does on herself. (Ok, so that isn't hard.)

Hair Accessories
I like both the Lady Jayne range (from independent chemists - cheap and good quality) and Superdrug's own brand range.
Lady Jayne is great for hair clips and combs.
Superdrug is good for rollers - we like the ones with the elastic bands on to hold them in place overnight.

Frizzy Hair
The best thing I've found for frizzy hair is a combination of curling tongs (I got the cheapo £5 ones from Argos - they looked at Linnie funny because her hair is so straight) and defrizz products.
We were wary of using tongs, but find them invaluable, and so far they have been safe to use. Be wary too, though. And my friend Gemma swears by the steam ones. (Ours are normal.) The only time I had an accident was with some replacement hair. Melty cheese strings.....
I plan to write up our method in full very soon, but until then, we have had great results with John Frieda Frizz-Ease Wind Down Relaxing Creme, spray in conditioner and curling tongs.

We know some people don't touch pony hair, but if there are a few stray strands longer than the rest, we trim them with nail scissors. It's up to you: Peachy thinks it looks neat, and she can be somewhat anal about things like that, so Twinkles and I just go along with her.

Ouch! I haven't sorted this out yet properly. Hopefully our next trip to the USA will bring us back some of the magic dental floss that ponypeople swear by when rerooting manes. We're still stuck swearing at needles which leave Linnie's fingers all sore!

Essential for pulling out manes and tails. Sometimes the pointed-end ones are better for manes.

No, not the big clunky ones! Jewellery pliers are great for encouraging big things through small holes - like tails, needles etc.

Some people swear by real pony hair. (Ew!) I've found that fake hair works well, as long as you don't try and curl it... Try shops like Claire's Accessories, chemists and market stalls (the cheapest for me). Look for long hair. You'll generally need more than you think, too. At the moment I'm using brightly-coloured hair pieces which apparently are fashionable amongst the young people (though I wouldn't know anything about that).

Tail washers
I always remove tail washers if I'm customising a pony. Yucky rusty things. A piece of string tied tightly round the new tail often works, but if the pony needs to stand up to playtimes, then I've heard plastic ties work well. You can get these from hardware shops, like B&Q or Wilkinson's.

Symbol Paint and Glitter
I haven't painted any symbols yet. I was never talented at art at school, so I'm nervous. But I have tried glitter. The best thing I've found is Barry M's Fine Glitter Dust, available from Superdrug. It's not cheap, but, as it promises, it's fine.
I've stuck the dust on with clear nail polish. It worked. I use nail stencils for the symbols. Yes, I'm chicken.

Oooh, those ponies like to preen!

Peachy has a soft spot for ribbons,and they exploit her, they really do. So far, haberdashery counters, market stalls and cake decorating shops (strangely enough) have been the best source. She's always on the look out for new colours.
7mm seems about the right width for ponies. Mountain Boys sometimes like wider ones. Princess Ponies like sparkly ones.

Hair Clips
As if ribbons aren't enough, Peachy has a soft spot for other hair accessories. The ponies encourage this. I spend ages tracking down little clips small enough for ponies.
Again, Claire's Accessories is good (try the children's section). We also found some extremely cheap and pretty little clips in Wilkinson's. 29p they were, for 6! Markets are good. We've found Boots and Superdrug to be overpriced though.

Hmm. Original accessories are hard to come by, but I have had luck in charity shops and at car boot sales. Often, pony dealers will miss the smaller items.
I also like Barbie combs, and dolls' house accessories. Sylvanian Family things are good but expensive unless you can find them second-hand. Cheap toyshops and stocking-filler shops are good too!

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Catnip likes to be squeaky clean!
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