Most doll collections are made of hard plastic and vinyl materials. No matter how careful you are about storing your doll collection in a cool, dry area, there are inevitable color spots that can arise due to weather changes and natural aging. Sometimes when you are also looking to add an item to your collection, these dolls may not have been properly cared for by the previous owner. However, the need to buy it is there due to its rarity. The only solution to your problem is to simply clean it and hopefully recondition it to a more attractive state.
The list of supplies you may need for this cleaning job includes Q-tips, cotton, soft white muslin cloth or towel, toothpicks, pure petroleum jelly, vinegar, Remove-Zit stain remover, vinyl polymer silicone cleaner such as of STP, dishwasher, acid-free tissue paper and toothbrush. These are just a few of the products you need for your regular doll cleaning season. Never use thinners or other strong chemicals.
For dolls in vintage clothes, always hand wash them and place them lightly on a white muslin or soft towel to soak up the water after frying for several minutes. Then let it air dry while you gently reshape the pleats so there is only light ironing if necessary. Markers or stains on the doll can be cleaned with dish soap. If you plan to use Remove-Zit, please note that it is only used for vinyl. If you are not sure if the doll is made of plastic or vinyl, you can try it on a test area first. If bubbles are seen, wipe it off immediately as this is the usual chemical reaction if the material is plastic. Alternatively, use baking soda on a damp cloth to clean up some stains and even crayon marks.
For the doll‘s hair and body, you can also use a vinyl polymer silicone cleaner if dish cleaner doesn’t work. Vaseline is also a good alternative specifically for darkening and other sticky stains. Use a toothpick to remove dirt from crevices and small spaces, especially around the eyes. To dry the doll‘s hair especially with curls; Carefully air-dry or blow-dry hair on a controlled low temperature to prevent fading and melting from excessive heat.
Now that it’s clean and dry, the next thing to do is properly store the doll in non-acid tissue paper if the storage box is where they’ll end up. If you choose to store them in a curio or glass cabinet, make sure it is away from direct sunlight and moisture. Make sure the cabinet doors and lids are securely closed and that the cabinet is in a cool, dry interior space of your home.