How to Clean Rubber Dolls

Dolls are loved by collectors, young and old. For some, dolls are favorite toys that are used for play. For others, dolls are keepsakes worthy of tender loving care and proper display. Some people purchase dolls new and others collect older dolls. Newer but well-loved dolls as well as older ones are sometimes in need of a good cleaning. To respect the integrity of the materials and avoid damaging the rubber doll (and to avoid using harsh or toxic cleansers with which a young doll lover might come into contact), it is important to do this properly 2.

Dip a cotton rag into warm, soapy water, wring out the excess, and wipe the hard areas of the rubber doll 2. Rub stained or marked areas and avoid getting stuffed areas and hair wet. More stubborn stains might require additional attention.

Wipe marker and pen marks with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Use cotton swabs to clean crevices and hard-to-reach areas. Remove crayon marks by rubbing them with a damp rag dipped in a bit of baking soda. Rinse with a clean, damp rag.

Dust freshly cleaned and dry areas with baby powder to prevent them from getting sticky.

Remove stains from doll clothing by hand-washing in a mild detergent. For more stubborn stains, soak them in peroxide. Rinse, and lay flat to dry.


Rubber will deteriorate with age, so store rubber dolls away from extreme temperatures and sunlight as they will speed up the aging process.

A rubber or vinyl doll that has a foul smell, much like sour milk or vomit, cannot usually be rid of that odor. It comes from a breakdown of the plastic.

To store dolls that are not in use or on display, wrap them in fabric. Never store dolls in plastic bags or tissue paper.

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