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How to Clean a Stuffed Cloth Doll

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By CarlyVaitkevicius

My Laundry Question

My mom's old doll is dirty

This is what I know about her:

It's a Russ Berrie and Co., Inc Rebecca doll

It's hair appears to be made of a very thin purple yarn. The hair is in two pig tails on either side tied with white ribbon.

The doll itself is made of a white fabric covering shredded clippings

She has whiteish pink dress that is now very thin and a thick white apron. I can't remove her dress to wash it because her head is too big.

Share a Little Background Info

She has some yellowing stains on her apron, but I think that's just because of age. However, my Mom's had her since she was a kid, so.... you never know. Sorry I can't be more specific. I can't ask her any questions, since this is sort of a surprise for my mom.

Lessons Learned

  • I haven't tried anything yet. The doll seems too fragile. Her dress is see through in some areas and her feet are worn.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

You are very sweet to clean up Rebecca for you mom! We have some treasured creatures that are really a part of the family. Here's what to do:

Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach)and water following the package direction. Mix it in a plastic container that is large enough to completely submerge the doll. Place the doll in the solution and allow it to soak overnight. You can weigh down the doll with a plate or heavy bowl.

After soaking, remove the doll and check to see if it is clean. If not, repeat the process with a new batch of solution. If it is clean, fill the container with clear water and rinse the doll. Do not wring, do not twist, just gently squeeze. After rinsing, wrap the doll in a heavy towel and remove as much water as possible. You will probably need to use several towels. Allow the doll to air dry in a breezy spot but out of direct sunlight. It may take several days. During the drying time, you can "fluff" the dress and hair to allow it to dry as smoothly as possible. You may be able to carefully touch up the ribbons and apron with an iron to make them look crisp.

Good luck!

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