From Head to Stiletto: How to Clean Your Barbie Doll

From Head to Stiletto: How to Clean Your Barbie Doll

Follow our guide on how to clean Barbie, including her hair and accessories, as well as tips and tricks for keeping her and her friends looking their best.

The 30 Days of Cleaning with Puracy

Why Your Laundry Detergent Should Be 1,4-Dioxane-Free Reading From Head to Stiletto: How to Clean Your Barbie Doll 5 minutes Next The Ultimate Bedroom Essentials List

Barbie can do anything – but she still needs our help when it comes to keeping her hair and plastic accessories in pristine condition. Follow our guide on how to clean Barbie, as well as tips and tricks for keeping her and her friends looking their best.

Cleaning Barbie’s Hair

You don’t need a cosmetology degree to keep Barbie’s hair in good shape. Follow these easy steps to maintain her ‘do.

What You’ll Need:

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Wash Barbie’s hair using shampoo and lukewarm water.
  2. Apply conditioner and rinse well.
  3. Gentle comb hair to remove any tangles.
  4. Air dry.

Pro tip: For extremely tangled hair, soap your doll's hair in a solution of hot water and fabric softener, brush it out, and then rinse.

Cleaning Barbie’s Clothes

Whether she’s hitting the red carpet or enjoying a night in, Barbie’s clothes can stay neat and tidy with these easy steps.

What You’ll Need:

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Create a 1:1 solution of lukewarm water and dish soap. If the fabric is delicate, use laundry detergent.
  2. Gently hand wash each article.
  3. Lay them on a soft towel and pat them dry.

Pro tip: Wash and dry your hands before handling doll clothes to ensure your natural oils don't damage delicate fabric.

Cleaning Barbie

Keep Barbie herself clean with these easy tips and tricks.

What You’ll Need:

  • Lukewarm Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Clean Cloth
  • Toothpicks or Cotton Swabs 

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Create a 1:1 solution of lukewarm water and dish soap.
  2. Dip the cloth in the solution and gently wipe the doll.
  3. Lay the doll on a towel and pat her dry.
  4. Use a toothpick or cotton swab to remove any dirt or stains from joints or hard-to-reach areas.

Pro tip: Do not fully immerse the doll in water, as this will leave the inside water-logged and may result in mold or mildew growth.

Cleaning Miscellaneous Stains

Tackle various stains on your Barbie, whether they’re on the doll or her accessories.

What You’ll Need:

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. For stains on the doll’s body, most stains can be removed using water and dish soap. More difficult stains can be removed using rubbing alcohol.
  2. For fabric stains, apply Stain Remover to the affected area, and let it sit for up to 5-10 minutes, then rinse with water.

Pro tip: Do not apply rubbing alcohol to the doll’s face, as that can remove any makeup or other features.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

If your doll has been exposed to moisture, she may have mold or mildew stains.

What You’ll Need:

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Create a solution of 1/4 cup color safe bleach for 1 gallon of water in a sink or basin.
  2. Detach the doll's head by blowing hot air from a hair dryer to soften the plastic.
  3. Submerge the doll in the solution for at least 2 minutes.
  4. Scrub the doll using the scouring pad. Use gloves to do this.
  5. Repeat step 4 on the doll's head, avoiding the facial features to avoid erasure.
  6. Rinse the doll well with water.
  7. Allow the doll to air dry overnight. 

Cleaning Any Stickiness

Whether it’s glue or sticker remnants, here’s how to clean adhesives off your Barbie.

What You’ll Need:

  • Dull butter knife
  • Stain Remover

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Ensure the stain is completely dry.
  2. Scrape off any remaining adhesive using a dull butter knife.
  3. Put the stained item in the freezer to make the stain easier to detach.
  4. Spray the affected area with Stain Remover, and let sit for 15 minutes, or up to 8 hours for older stains.
  5. Rinse with water.

Cleaning Dust, Dust Mites, and Other Household Allergens

If your doll's clothing or accessories have been infested with dust or dust mites, follow these steps for removal.

What You’ll Need:

  • Freezer
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer

Step-By-Step Guide:

  1. Freeze the accessory overnight.
  2. Wash the item using laundry detergent.
  3. Tumble dry.

Pro tip: Manage the humidity in your home to make it less habitable for dust mites by aiming for less than 50%.

How to Restore a Barbie

Want to restore a Barbie doll to pristine condition? Here are a few tips for bringing her back to perfect shape.

  • Glue Any Cracks

For superficial cracks, use a clear epoxy glue to repair them. You can find this glue at your local hardware store. If the doll’s head has detached, you can also try rubber cement.

  • Repair Her Makeup Job

You can use acrylic doll paint to apply blush or eye makeup that has faded on your doll's face. Be sure to apply the paint first on a spare sheet of cardstock first to ensure the paint's smooth application.

  • Straighten Crooked Limbs

If your Barbie has crooked legs or arms, tie the limbs together tightly using a soft cloth. Then hold the legs or arms in hot water for a few minutes. This will straighten the legs out -- but refrain from immersing the body entirely in water to avoid mold or mildew.

  • Tighten Her Waist

If your doll has a loose waist, you can use plastic cement to tighten it. You can use a heat tool such as pyrography, but you'll need someone to hold the doll as you apply.