How to Repair Barbie Dolls. Vintage Barbies light up any doll collector's life. With their bob hairdos, poodle skirts and freckles, these dolls are a conversation piece in any home. But after years of display and storage, Barbie's delicate vinyl suffers from the ravages of age. Repair your Barbie dolls by following these basic tips.
Clean your Barbie with a mild detergent, like a natural dish-washing liquid or other safe, environmentally-friendly cleanser. Dip cotton balls in the cleanser or a diluted mixture of cleanser and water and wash the Barbie. Use cotton swabs dipped in the solution to clean lips, ears and face.
Shampoo Barbie's hair with mild dish-washing liquid or baby shampoo. To detangle hair, use diluted, dye-free fabric softener and gently comb through the hair to repair it.
Repair splits in Barbie's limbs with vinyl repair compound used for pools or spa covers. Special gel glues available from hobby shops and supply houses are also suitable for repairing splits in vinyl Barbies.
Replace damaged Barbie limbs by boiling the arm or leg and torso in water. Remove the arm slowly after it has loosened sufficiently. Find another doll with same type of limb, and perform the same procedure on it. Then replace the damaged limb with the new one.
Straighten bow-legged Barbies. Dip the doll's leg in boiling water until it softens. Hold the affected leg in its original position, then tie a ribbon around it to keep it there until the repair sets while the leg cools.
Repaint lips and eyebrows using acrylic paints from your local hobby shops. Paint carefully, making sure the paint doesn't bleed onto the rest of the doll's face.