Cleaning Mildew From Fabric Dolls

By Heather Broeker

Cleaning Your Fabric Dolls Will Increase Their Life

Mildew and rag dolls are a bad combination.

If you find mildew on your fabric dolls, your first instinct may be to throw them away. However, if they hold sentimental value, you will probably want to find ways to clean them to allow them to last longer. Keep your fabric dolls out of moist areas and dry them in the sun to ensure that they don’t stay damp for long if they get wet. If you catch the mildew stain early enough, you may be able to simply brush it off the fabric doll.

Make a Cleaning Mixture

One method you can use to get rid of mildew on fabric dolls is to make a cleaning mixture from lemon juice and salt. Apply the mixture generously and rub in a circular motion to get at the stain. Rinse thoroughly and allow the fabric doll to dry. You can also use a specialized mildew cleaner and spray certain areas of the doll’s body and clothing. Follow the directions printed on the bottle.

Consider Washing the Fabric

You can also consider washing the mildew out of the fabric dolls. If the dolls are hardy enough, place them in the wash with your regular laundry detergent. Allow them to dry in sun since a clothing dryer may cause damage to the doll or set the mildew stain into the fabric even more. You can also use dry cleaning methods for very delicate fabric dolls.

Warnings

These methods should remove the mildew effectively from the fabric doll. Remember not to let the cleaning solutions soak into the fabric of the doll. Instead, use water to rinse away the cleaner immediately. If the mildew stain has been on the fabric doll for some time, it may be irreparable. Typically, the only way to get deep mildew stains out of fabric is to soak overnight in bleach. Bleach may prove harmful if the doll is manufactured from colored fabrics.

About the Author

Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.