-A plastic tub or container
-Laundry detergent (I make my own)
-Stain remover (if the clothes are very stained–I use Oxy Clean powder)
-Clothespins or doll hangers
-Wire hanger or a clothing line
#1: Place all the dirty doll clothes in a plastic tub or container. You can also do this in a sink, but I prefer using a plastic tub. This way, my sink stays available while my doll clothes are soaking.
#2: Place a Color Catcher into the plastic tub with the doll clothes. Depending on how many you are washing, you might only need half of one, or perhaps you will need to use two.
#3: Measure out the desired amount of detergent and place it in the tub. This is really up to your personal discretion. For really dirty clothes, I use quite a bit, but for mildly dirty ones, I use detergent sparingly.
#4: If the clothes are very stained, I recommend using stain tablets. Follow the direction on the tablets. I love the Oxi Clean brand–I swear by it. I’ve gotten out dye stains, mold stains, and all other kinds of stains!
#5: Fill the container with COLD water. Unless you are washing all white doll clothes NEVER use warm water. NEVER EVER use hot water! I have learned from a lot of bad personal experiences that hot/warm water will make the doll clothes bleed, which is disastrous. Cold water does not make fabrics bleed nearly as much.
#6: Let the clothes sit for however long you feel they need. I usually let my doll clothes soak for about 2 hours minimum. For really gross clothes, I might let them sit over night. Sometimes I even have to rewash them.
#7: Once the clothes have soaked, rinse them in COLD water.
#8: Now it’s time to dry the clothes. Wring out the excess water from the clothes. Using doll hangers or clothespins hang each item up. I hang my doll clothes from a wire hanger since it is thin enough to accommodate the doll sized hangers. You could also make a doll clothing line if you prefer.
#9: Place a fan in front of the doll clothes. This really speeds up the drying time. I hang up the wire hanger with the doll clothes off a dresser handle, and then place the fan directly in front of it.
#10: As the clothes dry, remove them from the hangers. Now they will smell fresh, and hopefully all the stains will be removed.
*There are a variety of ways you can wash doll clothes. Some people like to use their washing machine and dryer, and place the doll clothes in garment bags or pillow cases. This is my personal technique. I’ve had very negative, disastrous experiences washing doll clothes, so I am extra cautious. Use whatever technique you are comfortable with.
*Make sure to clean the plastic container/tub between each load of doll laundry. Like with a regular washing machine, the plastic tub will get an odor after a while. By cleaning it after each use, it won’t smell.
*Be very careful about which doll clothes you choose to wash. I find that generally speaking, most items can be washed without any issues. However, higher quality clothing tends to bleed, as well as red fabrics. This is why I recommend only using cold water. American Girl, 60s Barbie, and Bratz clothing I have found bleed the most. Use extra caution with vintage Barbie clothes–they seem to bleed the most of all. In terms of vintage clothes I only wash what is absolutely necessary.
*Vinegar is also a great product to use. It will remove stubborn smells, like cat urine. It is also very safe, and natural. I’ve heard it is also a natural color catcher, but I’m not sure if that is true.
*The Color Catchers are optional, but I never do doll laundry without them. They really do work–you will see the dye stains on them. Sometimes I reuse them if the clothes didn’t bleed at all.
*You can also use bleach on white doll clothes. I use hot water when bleaching. If you want to spot treat a white portion on an outfit that has colored fabric, I recommend using a cotton swab to apply the bleach. This will give you more control over where the bleach goes.
Tagged: , how to wash doll clothes , doll laundry , washing doll clothes , barbie , bratz , american girl , monster high