I was recently asked how you clean a porcelain doll‘s hair. A porcelain doll requires special care. Porcelain is a ceramic that is made by heating raw material (clay) to an extremely high temperature in a kiln and is generally a collector’s item. Porcelain doll hair is a glued-on wig made of either a synthetic material or real human hair. Cleaning the hair is not complicated but it is a process that will require patience and delicate handling.
This is what you will need to do:
For dolls with synthetic hair:
Using just your fingers, remove the wig base from the doll. Using a tool will scratch the porcelain. Slowly remove the wig from the head. Take it easy and carefully, spraying a little water if necessary. Once you’ve removed your wig, soak it in cool water.
Once your hair is completely wet, use a “window cleaner” that will remove the dirt. Gently work it through hair and rinse well.
Then use a hair conditioner and gently work it through your hair. Rinse well.
A pet brush is a good option as the metal teeth are less likely to damage the base. A wide tooth comb will also work.
Allow hair to dry completely.
You will need to paint on a thin layer of white glue and gently place the wig on the doll. Make sure it is in place and hold it down until you feel the glue go tacky. Clean up any glue you can see. Set aside and allow glue to set.
For wigs made of human hair:
Remove the wig in the same way; with your fingers and gently remove the wig. If you get to a stubborn spot, spray with water and continue pulling the head. Be patient and work slowly.
Once removed, use a hair comb or wide tooth comb to work through the hair. If you have trouble combing your hair, you can use a spray detangler. Again, be nice.
Let the wig soak in a detergent for about 10 minutes (one designed for delicate garments is best).
Remove the wig and set it aside on a towel.
Using fresh cold water in your sink, add capful of white vinegar and gently rinse the wig. The vinegar will help remove all the detergent.
Transfer the wig to a towel to dry. Use a towel large enough that you can fold the sides/ends up to blot up as much water as possible. Transfer the wig to a dry towel. I like to gently run a wide-tooth comb through the wig before letting it dry completely.
Once the wig is completely dry, you’ll need to reattach it to the doll. Using white glue, paint a bit on the dolls head being careful to only put the glue where the hair covers it. Slide the wig over your head and hold it in place until you feel the glue become tacky. Clean up any excess glue that may be visible. Set aside and allow the glue to dry completely.
You won’t need to do this often, but good maintenance will ensure the longevity of your precious porcelain doll.