Hints on Keeping Your Doll Dollection In Tip Top Condition
To keep your doll collection in near original condition, there is a few things you should be aware of. Read on for tips on how to care for and store your collectible dolls from modern porcelain to antique.
- When you purchase a doll, be certain to save all packaging, inserts and tags.This enhances the value if you ever decide to sell. Remove the tape from her hair bows. The tapes glue discolors fabric. Also remove any metal that can rust. With collecting modern dolls with investment in mind, this is extreemly important. A modern doll without original packaging has virtually lost its value. With antique dolls of course this is not an issue. For an antique doll to have its original box is indeed a rare thing.
- When storing dolls for an extended period, a layer of acid free tissue should be put between the doll and her clothing. This prevents fabric colors from bleeding into the dolls body. If your doll has inset eyes, store her face down. Be sure that the storage area is clean and dry and cool.
- If the body of an antique doll leaks sawdust, put a few drops of glue on the hole. If the hole is large, cut a round patch out of kid or muslin and glue it in place. Only antique dolls were stuffed with this material.
- Check dolls that are in storage on a regular basis. Inspect them carefully for insects in sawdust and clothing. Also be sure that they are dry and are not being squashed.
- If yours is a sleep doll,clean the eyes with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol diluted one-half by water. Lay the doll on her back, hold her eyes open and drop enough solution into the eye to cover it. Open and close the eyes several times. Turn the doll face down. This allows the fluid to drain. When this has been accomplished, stand the doll up and hold a soft, clean cloth to her eyes as you tip her forward.
- Never change the original hair or clothes.Keep the doll in her box in a dry place. If you wash her hair or clothing, the value of the doll is lowered. Of course if you are not concerned about value, or if the doll comes into your hands in less than perfect condition, enjoy performing "makeovers", there is no worry about loosing value, you will only add at that point.
- Always clean your doll with a soft cloth dipped in distilled water.Soap residue can cause discoloration.
- Wooden nesting dolls sometimes stick together.If this happens put a few drops of baby oil in the space between the dolls. This should allow them to come apart easily. Remember to wipe the oil off immediately.
- Be sure to check wooden dolls for insect infestation. If you find a doll is infested, isolate her until she has been chemically treated. Insects will travel from one doll to the next. If insects arent detected immediately, your entire collection is at risk.
- Never wet a wooden doll. If you must wash her, dampen the cloth and then clean her. Water that is put directly on a wooden doll will leave a stain.
- When purchasing old cloth dolls, put them in a closed box with an insect strip for two or three days. This will kill any insects that may have come with her. Do Not let the strip touch the doll.
- If you want to vacuum a cloth doll,do it through a layer of nylon netting. Never vacuum silk.
- Clean a cloth dolls body with cornstarch or talcum powder.Never use water. Rub the cornstarch into the fabric. Leave it for about 8 hours, then gently brush it off.
- Always store vinyl dolls in a cool place.Heat darkens the vinyl. If you have to remove dirt or pencil marks from a vinyl doll, wrap her in a towel with only the marks visible. Apply vegetable oil to the dirt and leave the doll in the sun for five hours. If you do this for several days, the mark will vanish.
- Soft vinyl dolls were popular in the 1950s. These dolls are often stained with black and green marks. This is usually mold. Use a commercial mildew remover that is chlorine free but be sure to test it somewhere on the body of the doll before applying it to areas that can be seen. If the test goes well, wipe the entire doll, then wash with warm, soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Remove mildew from hard plastic dolls with a chorine free bathroom cleaner.
- Never use chlorine bleach or products containing chlorine on a vinyl or plastic doll. This will destroy the skin coating.
- To keep your dolls clean,ideally, valuable dolls should be kept behind glass, however this is not everyone's choice.Many people are happier when their dolls share their homes in the form of decorative items.This being the case, keeping your dolls fresh and dust free becomes an issue. I have found that the best method for cleaning dolls, is to keep them clean in the first place.This can be done with regular dusting with a big, soft paint brush. Dust the clothing as well as the porcelain areas. The hair can even be dusted in this manner.Dusting your dolls, when you dust your home, will go a long way to keeping them fresh and looking like new.
- Keep your dolls out of the sunlight! Probably the most damage done to modern collectible dolls today is a result of harmful sun.The clothing will most surely fade, and even the hair and facial colouring can change with exposure to the sun.In displaying your dolls, keep this in mind and try to place them away from windows.Long exposure to florescent lighting, can also lead to damage, particularly when displaying antique dolls. Many lit cabinets use florescent lighting, so keep this in mind and do not leave the light on all the time, but only when you are viewing or showing off your collection!!
- Your dolls hate the smoke! If you have smokers in your home, you really must store your dolls in airtight display cabinets if you wish them to maintain or hopefully increase their value.If you have a room with an open fireplace, this is also not a good choice for a display area. Many advertisements for secondary sales of dolls will include the phrase "smoke free home", and many collectors will not consider purchasing a doll, if the circumstances are otherwise.
Tip: When buying a doll as an investment, keep her in the original unopened box. This keeps manufacturers instructions intact and keeps dust and dirt out.