Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

Dusting your tiki bar! Yes, no, ain’t never gonna do it?

Pages: 1 15 replies


Dusting? Yep it sucks. What’s even worse is dusting the basement bar. So many “smalls”. Man it’s a huge chore. I’ve gone as far as breaking out a shop vac with a soft brush attachment to tackle all of the Coco Joe and associated figures. What’s your view on dust in the bar? Good, bad or indifferent? Kind of a slow morning so I thought I’d float the question.


I just dusted my large pufferfish from the Kahiki the other day that can be a pricky task. Used a smallish paint brush then wiped some parts with a damp towel.

Do not get them wet!

This would work on most rattan and matt type stuff as well.

But we don't do a lot of dusting really. We really should though.

Mostly because we do so much cleaning of the outside that we are so tired by the time we come inside to clean inside as we should.


I know what ya mean Skip. I made two puffer lights. Had to cut the holes in the top with a dremel tool and then pick out the bladder 🤮 definitely not for the squeamish.

We spend a lot of time in our yard and garden here in Michigan. Gotta soak up every bit of summer while it lasts.


Wait so you had a pufferfish with the guts still in it? Like where did you get that?

AND next time you get one of those have a globe all cut and ready to put that fish in when you stuff and dry the fish. As in small globe big fish, so a real pufferfish globe light it would be.

Hey how did you dry the fish?

Yeah, summer is going so fast, and winter goes so slow. It has been odd here tons of rain then tons of sun then cold then hot.

The garden is loving it though.

Love dusting and cleaning all the wood pieces with Howard’s wax, mugs get washed after drinks, hate using a soft paintbrush on my black velvet paintings, pufferfish get left alone, :-)


Not for the faint of heart, but…I use the Bill Murray / Caddy Shack method of dusting. Rechargeable leaf blower. Wear a mask and goggles are a good idea. Big giant fan at the doorway set on high and then start at the back of the room and sweep forward…floor, ceiling, walls and use a little finesse on the shelves. I have not broken or bent the goods and when all done the place is squeaky clean !

Skip, I bought the fish already dried from a shop down in Florida. I actually flew home with it on the plane. It even went through the X-ray at the security check point. Unlike old fish you find now and then these didn’t have stuffing inside. They were gutted and had an animal bladder of some type inserted and blown up to hold the shape while it dried. After cutting the hole in the top for the lighting the apparatus I had to remove the bladder piece by piece with kitchen tweezers. NASTY.

I actually have a large vintage netted green glass float with a whole already cut. Just need to find the time to get it lit and hung.

Since I haven't had anyone over since the beginning of the Pandemic, and I barely drink any more, I'm less inclined to keep the Hai'deway dust-free, but I do clean the bar top, chairs, and mug shelves with a Swiffer[tm] when it gets bad enough for me to notice in the dim light down there. I've never dusted my mugs or carvings, however, and there's no way I'm going to even attempt dusting the pufferfish lamps.


Oh, ok the whole guts thing threw me off, I have had to take out that cotton stuffing before never heard of the bladder thing. You can see on some of the old starfish lamps that they did use fish that were not dry yet and they could then form the fish to make the feet of the lamp etc.

"there's no way I'm going to even attempt dusting the pufferfish lamps."

You know some of the lights I have are form the Kahiki egg roll plant that's where they were when I bought them, used to be that you could tell if the light was from the Kahiki by the peanut oil smell they had on them from being around all that frying of who knows what.

Damn did they hang them in the place where they made the food, the smell was strong. But that smell has gone away after all these years.

One thing that did not go away was the oil on the light, so I wanted to clean that off a bit as well what with the oil and then dust it was like being tar and feathered.

We once helped decorate the Windward passage for Christmas one year and my wife was on the bar top hanging decor and the fish traps up there had SO much dust on them.

In a video we took of the last night at the Kahiki party I was zoomed in on a light and you can see a roach climbing up the chain the light was hung from.

But the restaurants must clean that stuff as dust bunnies can fall into your food. They made me replace the tiles in my restaurant as the had faded a bit just yellowed some, and I had to fix that, so I don't know how some of these places get away with what they do.

The pest control would be a nightmare in these tiki bars, I think impossible.

I like the Swiffer dusters for most tiki bar surfaces and also for getting the cobwebs up in the overhead floor joists.

Thinking more about the pufferfish dusting conundrum, I realized that a can of compressed duster gas that you can buy at electronic stores would do the trick, although you'd probably want to do it outside, otherwise you'll just blow crud all over your bar.

[ Edited by MrBaliHai on 2022-07-11 11:11:33 ]

I'm with Hottiki, LEAFBLOWER!! Just like my mentor Carl Spackler LOL My Tiki space is outside in the dusty desert so that's the best way for me


Dust? Why would we dust? Any good Tiki bar worth its salt has a nice layer of dust on the Tikis and the plastic plants!

👍😂 Duke, I knew a purist would chime in soon.

The Lagoon of Mystery is an outdoor tiki space, so dusting is an unfortunate necessity. We generally do a deep clean in the spring, once the weather is consistently nice. This usually takes a day, maybe two, and may or may not involve hosing things out with a jet nozzle. Once that is accomplished, maintenance cleaning can often be accomplished by judicious application of a leaf blower. I will wipe down the bar and table tops on occasion.

We don't have much for soft surfaces in the house, so nothing traps too much dust in general as long as we keep the floor vacuumed.

But once every 14-16 months or so I'll go through and pull all the mugs down, shelf by shelf, dust the shelves and mugs, and re-assemble.

For the hanging stuff I usually use the exhaust from the vacuum cleaner to blast down any dust or whatever. (I do this before I dust the shelves, LOL).

Then all the surfaces get a wipe down, barring the antique masks- which would end up losing their pigment.

Pages: 1 15 replies