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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
March 5, 2018

My mother crocheted beautiful dolls clothes that I can't remove from the doll. How can I clean them?

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March 5, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

You really need to know what the dolls are stuffed with. If it is a foam stuffing like they use in some stuff animals this might work. But there are a few foam stuffings in pillows if washed will destroy them completely. However, come can be washed fine and make it.

I was almost thinking if you can actually clean the doll and clothes at the same time this might work for you. But like I said this will all depend on what the doll is stuffed with.

You could try encasing the head of the doll in a plastic bag and taping it around the neck of the doll to protect the hair and doll makeup. Now if the doll can be submerged in water you can use a small wash tub with mild soap to soak the doll and clothes in. You might need to gently rub the dress to clean the really bad spots on it. After you can take the doll and hang it up to drip dry. That is, providing the stuffing is the right kind to get wet.

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Other than this if the dolls are valuable, then you might need to go and see a person who restores dolls and ask them to clean them for you. They'd know the best way to do this.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 17, 2018

I recently acquired a doll from the early 1960s. She has a velveteen top and waistband. I'm hesitant to wash it because I'm afraid the color will run. Any suggestions?

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February 17, 20180 found this helpful
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Wash in cold water with a little salt added

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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.

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By KathyQ from Owensboro, KY

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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

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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 (www.twinpines.com). 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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August 4, 20130 found this helpful

Hi, I tried Perk on an Ideal Toni doll dress. It did not remove the yellowing from the overlay of the dress. I soaked it for an hour and a half like the bottle says. Is there anything else to remove the yellowing?

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