Friday, 9 March 2012

Charity Shop Doll Finds, & Washing Dolls

Hello there,

Everytime I pop into a charity shop these days I always check the toy section as I am convinced some day I will find a collection of Sindy dolls just waiting for me. Alas this has never happened. I think the people of Ireland are firmly keeping their dolls in their attics.
So apart from a matted hair modern Barbie its very rare I find anything.
This week I happened to be passing a charity shop and spotted a few dolls in the window, nothing too vintage but nice enough to buy! They were stuck in the middle of a pile of Bratz dolls and I just had to rescue them.
A Barbie doll, a small Steffi doll, Strawberry Shortcake!

This is a Mattel doll, have to figure out which one yet, still has string from box in hair
All in good condition, not chewed or damaged, nothing a little wash won't sort out. So the first thing is to take all clothes off  the dolls and any hair elastics out of the hair, there is always plenty on the modern dolls, presumably to keep the hair in place on the ship from China! Then get your rubber gloves on.

Next, add a small bit of non-bio powder to a basin (or sink) and add in some boiling water to dissolve and then cold water. I say non-bio because thats what I keep in the house, no other reason!
You can safely add the clothes in and usually the dirt will lift off easily. These are modern dolls clothes,all synthetic materials so there is very little chance of them running.

I use the same method for vintage clothes. However you have to be a lot more careful with regards colours and materials. Some colours are destined to run, such as red (especially red), or blues or yellows. If you are washing vintage test a piece at a time and wash similar colours together. Sometimes the item bleeds colour the minute it touches water and sometimes it takes a couple of minutes so don't presume you are safe!
The one item of vintage clothing that will always run is a Sindy 1960s Weekenders top, red, blue and white, the mess, always..
The main rule is if it is vintage or if you simply just love it, do not throw it all in the wash together. Take your time and treat as you would your own clothes. I can say this because I some of the dolls clothes are worth a lot more than mine!!
If something does start to run, take it out of the water immediately and rinse.
Really dirty vintage clothes may take a few washes, trust me I have seen the water turn some disgusting colours.
Whites may need some extra care with a small bit of powder that is especially for whites as it contains mild bleaching agents, approach with care.
Some people use denture tablets for this but I have yet to try!
I also keep a small soft brush handy for gentle washing of stubborn stains.

Once the clothes are washed and then rinsed in water, leave flat on a towel to dry.

I leave them on a towel to dry as if you hang them they can stretch into the wrong shapes.
If the item did have colour run then don't dry it on a good towel as it will leave a colour mark on the towel as well (I learnt this the hard way).
The dolls have had a bath too, so everything is smelling a lot fresher.
Will add a picture when they are all dry!

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back with pics of Easter decorations.

Take care,

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