Legs on a Vintage Barbie Doll Have Changed Color

My vintage Barbie is in pretty good shape. However, her legs turned from the cream color to brown. For quite a while she has worn an outfit with pants. Could this have something to do with it? The brown color didn't come off when I washed her. Why did Barbie's legs turn brown?


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January 30, 20190 found this helpful

This discoloration you describe just happens even to dolls that have no clothing. I have never found any way to get rid of it, but then I am not adventurous when it comes to restoring old dolls. For example, there are people that swear by Benzyol Peroxide to bleach the color back to normal, but I am too sensitive to chemicals to ever try it.

I can clean hair (a drop of baby shampoo, a wig brush and warm water) and most of the time get pen off (a drop of non-aerosol hairspray on a qtip) but that is my limit.

Maybe one of the other doll gurus on this site has a tried and true method!

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January 30, 20190 found this helpful

The plastic oxidizes with age. Extremes in storage temperatures can cause it also.

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January 31, 20190 found this helpful

this is because the Barbie leg material probalby oxidizes as said but also it is very porous so it absorbs impurities and dirt and discolours from the environment.

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February 2, 20190 found this helpful

Your question is why do Barbie doll legs turn brown..
But are you interested in how to fix them or just why they turned brown?


Of course, some sort of chemical reaction causes this to happen just as the green ears, and yellowing skin happens. Air, humidity, age, storing conditions, exposure can all cause different degrees of change to plastic.

If you are interested in trying to reverse the damage then it may be possible with this process:

Take a weak (10%) solution of hydrogen peroxide, add a dash of Oxy (not Oxy 10) (just a small amount), apply (you can paint it on) and leave in the sun for an afternoon.
This may take more than one time but clean it up between sessions to see if it is working.

This discovery was made by a chemist and later tested and it worked (for the doll collectors who tested it).

You can read about it on this link but please read or go all the way to the bottom for the final results. You will see that several say it works and others not so much.


Be very careful and make your own decision as any type of solution could cause unrepairable damage.
I have never tested this method so I have no idea as to what effect it will have.


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