How do you care for a Timeless Crane Mobile so that it will last for years? Well, as I mentioned in a previous post about Mobile Durability, making sure it's out of reach of children and pets is the most important factor, but you must also take good care of your mobile in other ways too. Cobwebs, dust, flies, and sunlight can all detract from the beauty of your mobile. This picture shows cobwebs and dust all over this paper crane.
The biggest problem I've had with all of my mobiles is that they get dusty - which is completely normal - everything in life gets dusty with time. When cleaning my personal mobiles here at home I just blow on the models and use my fingers to wipe the dust off, but if I damage something I can always fix it.
The most important thing to remember here is that you must handle the models with care as they are made of paper, and paper can tear. The safest way to clean a mobile is to use a soft (and clean) artist paintbrush to dust off the models. The bristles get into the little nooks and crannies of the origami to remove the hard to reach dust. You could also use a tissue, or blow gently on the origami to remove some dust. Here is another picture of the same dusty mobile.
Where you hang your mobile will certainly affect it's longevity. Most paper will fade if you keep it in direct sunlight. My parents have one mobile that they keep in a very sunny spot in their kitchen, and although the mobile looks perfect in that spot, the direct sunlight it receives every afternoon has caused the colors to fade over the years. When customers let me know that the mobile will be receiving direct sunlight I use Fadeless Paper by Pacon. It's a special type of paper that, as the name implies, is "fadeless" even when kept in direct sunlight. The colors in this mobile were once bright and bold, but with its sunny home in the kitchen it has faded over the years.
I have encountered one pesky creature that can cause a lot of damage to a mobile despite its small size - the house fly. When a fly lands on anything, it leaves behind brown/black spots (feces) that stain your mobile. Fly dirt can be seen all over this map print paper crane. This mobile was temporarily displayed at a local coffee shop, and the flies that flew into the open door loved sitting on it and completely destroyed it. There isn't really a way to clean fly dirt, but you can prevent it by only opening windows and doors that have screens on them.
I mentioned in a previous post that I have mobiles I made over 10 years ago, and they still look great! If you take proper care of your mobile it should be a part of your home for many years to come as well.