Cabbage Patch Kids were the must-have toys of the 1980s, and many toy collectors search for these vintage toys at garage sales, collectibles stores and online. Some Cabbage Patch dolls have wool hair, while others have more delicate cornsilk hair. Whether you've purchased a cornsilk hair doll and you're looking to clean it up or you want to restore an old friend from your childhood, follow these steps to bring your Cabbage Patch Kid back to its original glory.
Using a toothbrush and a gentle household cleaner, carefully scrub stubborn marks from your Cabbage Patch Kid's face. Watch out for the painted parts of the face. They're resilient to scratches, but some paint might give way with repeated rubbing.
Apply acne cream to any magic marker or pen marks on your doll's face. Leave him in a sunny area of your house for a couple of days. Repeat this process a few more times, and you'll notice that the marks gradually begin to fade.
Do not apply acne cream to your doll's face if he is Hispanic or African-American, because the chemicals tend to lighten the pigmentation of darker Cabbage Patch faces. Try petroleum jelly instead. It's gentler, but requires more applications to achieve the desired results.
Remove your doll's clothing and place him in a pillow case, tied closed with a rubber band. Wash your doll and his clothes in the washing machine, using regular detergent and hot water.
Pretreat body stains to prepare your doll for a second washing if necessary. Second Chance Orphanage recommends soaking stubborn Kids in a gallon of hot water and a quarter cup of gentle liquid cleaner for 24 hours. After the doll is finished soaking, put him through a second round in the washing machine.
Put your doll in the dryer, once again placing him in a closed pillow case. For extra scratch protection, tumble the doll with clean towels or other laundry that needs to be dried. Remove from the dyer after about 25 minutes on medium heat. Your doll will still be slightly damp. Allow the doll to air dry the rest of way. It's important not to leave hair.
Shampoo and rinse your doll's hair. Next, apply conditioner, working it through from the roots toward the tips. Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes, and then comb out any tangles. Give your doll's hair a final rinse. If your doll had curly hair originally, wrap her hair up in rollers before allowing her hair to air dry.
Apply a vinyl cleaner/protector to your doll's face to restore the vinyl and add some luster.
Keep your doll out of the sun for long periods of time (weeks or months) when storing and displaying her. Eventually, you'll notice that her clothes start to fade with prolonged light exposure. Avoid storing dolls in clammy or humid environments, such as basements.
Do not machine wash or dry dolls with battery pouches. Instead, hand wash these dolls with a soft cloth and mild detergent.