Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Removing stains on vinyl dolls

 How do you remove stains from vinyl dolls? 

 Whether you have a Monster High or a Barbie or another kind of vinyl doll, you may find there is a stain on her face and you want to know if and how it can be removed.

Dark clothing is notorious for staining dolls.  Color can bleed from paper towels, newsprint, colored tissue paper- basically anything that has color on it can potentially stain a vinyl doll. Once, after I ate some raw carrots ( by hand ) I noticed to my horror that one of my Monster High Dolls had orange coloring on her..that wasn't there before. It took a while before it dawned on me that the orange from the carrots had stained my fingers, and then I touched a doll. FYI- I would avoid Cheetos too!

Some of the Monster High Dolls that are white vinyl, such as Spectra Vondergeist and Catrine Demew can pose problems when repainting due to the fact that they stain so easily.

 Spectra and Catrine are two of the Monster High girls with white vinyl. Every time I repaint one of them, I have to be extra careful that I don't have a speck of pastel color on my hand that may inadvertently touch their face. Because they are white, anything that touches them can stain them.

As a rule, I draw on the eyes and mouth prior to repainting with a watercolor pencil, using a very pale color like pink or light grey. Sometimes I don't get it right the first time, and I have to wipe off my work with a wet Q-tip. On a white skinned doll, even if you wipe the lines off, you can see a residual outline or color because the colors stain quickly.

With this in mind, make sure you know what colors you want to use on your white skinned Catrine DeMew or Spectra Vondergeist. If you change your mind and want to wipe it off, you may find that the color has stained the face and you have to go to great lengths to disguise it.

I love color, and like to use vibrant shades of pastels for eye shadow on my dolls sometimes, but never again would I use them on a white vinyl Spectra or Catrine due to the staining issue. I repainted a Spectra last year, and used super bright colors for her eye shadow. I really didn't like the doll after she was done, so I wiped her face clean of  her repaint. When I did, her entire eye area was stained yellow. Was my doll ruined?

My doll might have been ruined if I didn't know about the little secret product that doll artists rely on when they have a doll with stained vinyl. Actually there are several products that remove stains from vinyl dolls. The one I use is Clearasil Daily Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream which has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. A commission customer of mine sent this to me many years ago. I have used it to remove stains on Barbie dolls, as well as Monster High Dolls.

How to remove stains from vinyl dolls: Take the product and apply a tiny bit just to the stained area. Please note that because these kinds of products have peroxide in them, the can bleach the vinyl in areas where you didn't want. So, only apply to the stained vinyl on your doll.  You will have to leave the treatment on for a few days. Wipe it off with a damp cloth and check how the stain looks. If it is still there, add more cream. Wait a couple days and check again. This is not a quick procedure.

There are a couple other cream treatments that work just as well, according to my doll friends. One of them is Oxy Maximum Action Spot Treatment, 0.65 Ounce. You would use this the same way as Clearasil Cream.

I have removed stains from all kinds of Barbie dolls, and Monster High dolls using these treatments. It takes a few days to remove stains from vinyl dolls, but it does work.


  1. I have a Tonner doll with the whole head significantly yellower than the body. I want to clean it in a way that doesn't affect the factory paint. Any ideas?

  2. I found Remove-zit from Twin Pines works faster than acne creams.


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