How to Clean an American Girl Doll

By Hillary Marshall
All dolls need occasional cleaning from dirt, dust and grease.

At one point almost every little girl wants an American Girl doll. These dolls are a bit expensive, so while you want your daughter to be able to play with hers, you also want the doll to remain in relatively good condition. Cleaning an American Girl doll correctly is essential to its longevity.

Wipe your American Girl doll's vinyl parts first, such as her arms, legs and face. Try using a baby wipe first, which should remove most of the dirt and stains.

Dampen a clean cloth and wring out any excess water. Use the wash cloth to wipe tougher stains that did not come off after using the baby wipes.

Dip your moist wash cloth in baking soda. Use the baking soda as a gentle abrasive to remove any remaining stains.

Use a soft bristle toothbrush for the smaller crevices of the doll's face, such as the nose and ears. Dip the toothbrush in the soapy water, and the baking soda if necessary.

Wipe the doll's face clean with a clean wash cloth and warm water. Make sure it is wrung out, so water does not drip on your doll.

Use a small vacuum to clean your doll's soft cloth body. You can also periodically dust your doll with cornstarch, leave her sit overnight and vacuum her to absorb any odors, and keep her fresh smelling.

Blot stains out with a damp sponge or wash cloth dipped in a bowl of warm soapy water. Make sure you wring out any excess water first.

Spray your damp wash cloth or sponge with hairspray and use it to blot any stubborn stains or ink stains. Then, use a plain wet wash cloth to soak up the hair spray.

Brush your American Girl doll's hair with an American Girl hairbrush. You can also use a wig brush or a brush with metal bristles set in a rubber base. Add a little bit of leave-in conditioning spray to get out mild frizz and tangles. If your doll has curls, use your fingers to comb her hair.

Wash hair that is knotted and tangled beyond brushing. Cover your doll's body with a plastic bag. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Use a few drops of wig shampoo, Woolite, or baby shampoo. Add a teaspoon of baking soda if your doll has smelly hair. Dip your doll's hair in the bowl, and swirl it around for 30 seconds. Then, leave the doll propped with the bulk of her hair in the bowl for 15 minutes.

Rinse your doll's hair free of the cleaning solution. You can do this by carefully pouring clean, cold water over her hair, or you can use the spray nozzle on your kitchen sink.

Blot your doll's hair dry with a towel. Make sure not to swirl or tangle it. Get the excess water out, wet your doll brush, and brush your doll's hair.

Pour 1/2 cup of fabric softener in a large bowl with cold water. Soak your doll's hair for an hour and then rinse.

Use a clean dry towel to remove the excess moisture from your doll's hair. Use your doll's hair brush to remove any tangles and knots.

Use a clothing steamer to dry your dolls hair. Make sure to use your brush to keep working through any tangles.