Cleaning and Protecting Dolls

The kind that comes in a can with a long tube / nozzle and works great for getting potato chip crumbs out of the keyboard. Also works on doll clothes. May be all you need to freshen up a doll’s clothing.

Kind of the same thing as compressed air -just going in the other direction. To really do it up-fancy, for delicate fabrics and all, make yourself a frame and staple nylon screen-door-screen around it. This will involve a trip to the hardware story and a little wood-work, but it can’t be helped. If making a frame is the beyond you, get a smallish piece of metal screen and fold a few layers of duct-tape around the edge. Be a shame to have neglected this step and ruin something all pretty and satin by catching it on a ragged metal end of screen. If you have skin – and all the best collectors do – the duct-tape will also make it easier to keep your blood inside your skin because these ends are ever-loving-sharp. Vacuum through this and buttons and bows will stay on whatever you are cleaning.

Look closely at what I’ve written – not the water, but the SUDS*. Make yourself a sink full of suds, dab them onto the dirty parts of the fabric, and work them in with one of your brushes. Vacuum it all out again.

Get rid of it by moistening the stain in lemon juice and salt, let it dry in the sun, (mildew hates the sun). Use your brush and vacuum set-up to get out whatever is left. If this doesn’t work, try hydrogen peroxide more sun, but expect some fading.

Dandruff shampoo ain’t gonna get it. Being as it’s at the top, dust is apt to settle on your dolls hair to a fair-thee-well. A tooth brush will remove the dust and–what the heck– try out a new hair style! TO do more than this, you had better know exactly what you are doing.

In general, distilled water and Q-tips will not hurt anything, unless the doll is celluloid. (See below.) If this don’t get it done, add a tiny squirt of detergent (shampoo). Beyond this, you run the risk of cleaning off more than just dirt. Go slowly, but try – in order of aggressive solvency…

Alcohol. If you don’t have some shellac thinner on hand, use vodka. (Seriously -liquor is little more than a mix of alcohol & water.)

Paint thinner. Or label remover -same stuff but smell like lemons.

Lacquer thinner. Only on glazed porcelain and be VERY careful around the painted parts.

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