Keep Dolly and Her Clothes Dazzling!
~ Learn the basics of cleaning doll clothes to keep them looking like new every day~
In today’s world, your time is money and money equals your time spent. Because you’ve chosen to invest your time and money in making specialized clothing for Dolly, it is important to choose the best patterns and fabrics for the outfits, understand laundering techniques for cleaning doll clothes, and know how to take the best care of Dolly herself.
Since each of Dolly’s outfits are custom designed for her, carefully choose the fabric you are going to use. The fabric’s visual design or pattern can make the difference between “like” or “love” before the texture of the material is taken into consideration. Be aware of this when choosing fabric so that dolly will always look her very best for any occasion.
Cleaning Dolly’s clothes will take a bit more care than your clothes. Take note that washing them by hand will prevent the wear and tear of a washing machine and keep them in best condition for a longer period of time. For the best results, fill a tub with warm water and use a mild dish soap, like Dreft, or even baby shampoo. As with washing your clothes, consider the colors that you put together. We certainly don’t want to turn Dolly’s beautiful white nightgown into an off pink nightgown because we washed it with her red shirt. This is a great teaching moment because as adults we know the basics of laundering, but it is imperative that we also work with and teach our young up and coming launderers what is important too.
To clean, take a soft cloth and gently wash out any dirt or stains Dolly may have picked up while on a picnic or out with friends. Rinse in a tub of clean warm water and lay out on a rack to dry in the sun. Do not dry in your regular dryer as the heat may affect the appliques and other embellishments.
If you choose to wash Dolly’s outfits in a washing machine, invest in a mesh laundry bag. You may already use one for baby socks or undergarments, but it works well for any item that needs a bit more extra care. A plain old pillow protector that zips on one end can be used as well. Either of these work whether you are washing or just rinsing off. Place the clothes into one of the above mentioned bags and add a small amount of cleaner. Add fabric softener as you would to your clothes, but just a small amount. Wash on the delicate cycle and then lay out to dry.
If Dolly’s special outfits have beads, bows, sequins, etc. on them, make sure these are hand washed. It takes far less time to do this than it does to remove all the pretties and re-apply them after washing. Many of them may be difficult to replace.
If you do not have the time to wash with soap and water or if Dolly’s clothes are just dusty, place a nylon stocking over the end of your vacuum cleaner hose and gently run it over her outfit.
Should you discover some antique and vintage clothing on one of your outings, take extra care and do research on how best to handle a vintage garment. There are many antique and collectable doll specialists listed online that can answer your questions.
Remember, Dolly needs just as much, if not more care than her clothes do. Look up specific techniques on how to clean dolls of stains, but the best way I’ve found to keep her fresh and new and in the best condition is to store her in a non-moist environment and keep the dust to a minimum. You may choose to invest in a cabinet with glass doors to help preserve her. Doll cleaning will help to keep her in the best condition possible for a long time. Even Dolly likes to look beautiful!
Common sense and the above tips will ensure that Dolly and her wardrobe are kept in the best shape and that your investment of time and money are both rewarded with the joy of future generations able to dress dolly and take her on many adventures.