How to Untangle & Clean Doll Hair

By Mackenzie Wright

Children often tote their beloved dolls around, but the hair can easily get dirty and tangled on the playground, in a yard or in the bathtub. It's not difficult to clean and untangle doll hair with a few simple household items.

Remove any rubber bands, ribbons or other items that are binding the doll's hair. If you have to cut these items to remove them, be careful not to cut the hair; move the hair aside and cut the band or ribbon into small bits until you can pull it out of the knotted mess.

Remove as many tangles as possible with a wide-tooth comb. Comb from the bottom ends of the hair, beneath the knots and tangles, working on just a few strands at a time. Don't comb from the "roots" to the bottom, or you'll just tighten the tangles. Be gentle so that you don't break or pull out strands of hair.

Pour warm water into a bowl and add 1 to 2 tsp. of a mild dish washing liquid. Turn the doll upside-down and dip the hair into the bowl. Gently massage the hair to loosen any dirt or debris. Swish the hair around to saturate it. Rinse it with warm water until all of the suds are out.

Comb the hair again, and once again start from the bottom to work out any tangles that have loosened.

Submerge the doll's hair in fabric softener. Twist the doll's body so that it stays in place with the hair submerged, or use cans or containers to hold the doll in position. Allow the hair to soak in the fabric softener for a few hours, or overnight.

Rinse the doll's hair. Comb it out to remove any remaining tangles. Wrap the hair in a towel to blot it. Allow the hair to air dry, combing it about every 30 minutes to smooth it down.

Things You Will Need

  • Comb
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Fabric softener
  • Towel

Tip

You can attempt to restyle the doll's hair when it's dry; braid it, put in small curlers or pull it back in an elastic band.