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Cleaning Vintage Doll Clothes

Old doll accessories can become discolored with age. Cleaning the clothing can take special care. This is a guide about cleaning vintage doll clothes.


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By 0 found this helpful
April 27, 2009

I have a doll that has been in a cardboard box for years, in our garage. Once I opened it, I saw that there are light brown stains on the doll's clothing. How can I carefully get these out? The doll's dress is mostly black and white (nun doll). I don't feel comfortable putting it in the washing machine.

By KathyQ from Owensboro, KY


May 1, 20090 found this helpful

My mom swears by biz, it is an oldie but a goodie and I remember her soaking items like that in a basin. I am pretty sure you can find it in a larger supermarket.

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May 1, 20090 found this helpful

I used to work in a doll repair shop, so I hope I can help.First, check a hidden area of the black part to see if the dye will run. Many older doll clothes are not colorfast and will bleed, especially dark colors like red, black, blue and purple. If it is not colorfast, do your best to work around that part, or take it to a professional doll repair store. If it is colorfast, start with the least invasive and work up.


ALWAYS rinse well with cool water between steps. Here's the order I would try:
Baking soda/water paste
toothpaste (non peroxide formula)
baby shampoo
denture tabs
hydrogen peroxide
If none of those work, you may have to try a commerical grade cleaner such as Perk from Twin Pines of Maine ( We used their products all the time! I hope this helps.

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May 1, 20090 found this helpful

Try oxyiclean and hand wash gentle enough for the finest of fine colorsafe.

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October 18, 20090 found this helpful

If the doll clothes are white, I would try hand washing it in bleach, but if it is all different colors, I would use pinesol and hand wash the stain out.

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