How to maintain Volks vinyl Dollfie Dream dolls.
I wanted to write a page about basic maintenance/care because many people new to the hobby will make mistakes and sometimes ruin their dolls. Here I aim to offer a simple and easy list of basic care and maintenance for the new collector. This is a separate Dollfie Dream edition, because they are different in some ways.
Staining: Dollfie Dreams can get stained very easily, this is due to them being made of vinyl. Any stains are actually often absorbed into the vinyl which in some cases can make it impossible to remove. Staining is usually a result of poor dye on their clothes/wigs, or stains due to where the dolls has been placed (for example grass and mud stains may occur if photographing your doll outdoors) With Dollfie Dreams there aren’t many ways to prevent and remove stains. Staining mainly occurs with clots that are either very dark (blacks, navy blues and mahogany) and colours which are very bright (fire engine red, bright blues and greens).
- To prevent clothing stains: You can now buy from Volks a natural toned body stocking, these have become very popular as a way to keep stains off the doll, but because the stocking is a very fine natural tone mesh it doesn’t interfere too greatly with the look of the dolls. This is probably the easiest way to keep your doll stain free and is well worth looking into, especially if you like dark clothing on your dolls
- If you can’t/don’t want to buy a body stocking then another option would be to give new clothes a good wash and rinse before your doll wears them, this sometimes removed excess dye and can prevent future staining, although it’s not a guarantee. You can also buy products to lock in colour of you prefer, or you can use the old fashioned method of a vinegar soak and rinse. For the Vinegar method soak the clothes for a few hours in a mix of about 1/2 water, 1/2 white vinegar. Rinse thoroughly after to remove any leftover dye and wash out the smell. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.
- Another way to minimize staining is to put the Dollfie Dream into dark clothes when doing a photo shoot, or taking it to events, but when displaying it at home, keep her in light or soft shades of clothes.
- To prevent wig stains you may also want to use a wig cap, but stains can bleed through a silicone cap so be careful. Volks sell white fabric wig caps especially for dollfie dream’s, if you want you doll to have dark or bright hair I recommend the Volks wig cap. Also cool cat sell DD wig caps too which I have some of and can personally recommend.
- To remove existing stains: If the doll is already stained then you probably want to remove it. If it is a surface stain then first try using some rubbing alcohol, or colourless acetone free nail polish remover on a Magic Eraser.
FYI Magic erasers are those cheap white foam household cleaning sponges. Be careful when using them around painted or coated parts though as it could remove the paint or coating. You can buy them online from some doll supliers and also in supermarket cleaning aisles.
- If the stain has badly soaked in, your only other option is to get a Benzoil Peroxide based spot/acne cream. You will need to rub some on the stained area and leave it in a semi thick layer. The put the doll up and leave in the sun all day, if you have a Garden or Balcony that gets the sun then that’s perfect, if not leaving her on a window sil would be fine too. It may not take the stain away first time, but it should at least fade it. You should reapply the treatment and do it again daily until you are satisfied with the state of the stain.
Eye putty: Best things to use for eye putty are
- Clear silicone ear plugs
- Artists kneaded erasers
- White uncoloured poster tac
- DO NOT USE Super sculpty or similar craft clay products. They can damage and even ruin several types of eyes. Don’t run the risk.
Wig stoppers: It’s annoying when your doll’s wig keep dropping off, so how can we keep it in place? You’ll be glad to know there are a few ways.
- Putting an elastic band around your dolls head, but try to avoid coloured bands as they may stain. This gives the wig a thick rim to latch on to.
- Using a wig cap of appropriate size. You get many wig caps from cloth, mesh and even silicone. It’s usually personal preference which is best.
- Anti slip mats. You know those waffle like rubber mats for the car and home to stop things slipping about? I hear those cut up and placed inside a wig works a charm.
- Velcro, you stick one side on the wig and the other side on the dolls head. It makes positioning the wig a bit tricky at first, but one you get the hang of it, nothing holds better.
- Brushing: Use a small tooth brush for brushing the wig hair to get rid of stray hairs and tangles.
- Styling: To actually style the hair, you can use people hair products like gel or spray on the wig, just be careful and use it sparingly. Also try not to get the products onto the face or the vinyl as it could harm it. If you want just a short term styling solution, just damp the wig with a bit of water, press to required style, take pictures as needed then it will just dry out and go back to normal.
- Washing: If you ever want to wash the wig, then carefully hand wash it in some warm (not hot or boiling) water. Carefully work the shampoo into the fibers of the wig to remove any styling product residue, then rinse thoroughly and put it up to dry.
- DO NOT ever use a hair dryer to dry it as it could burn and ruin the synthetic fibers of the wig. If you towel dry it, be very careful not to crush or damage the fibers.
- If you get the doll wet or submerge it in water, make sure you take the doll apart and dry the parts otherwise mould could build up inside, stain and ruin your doll forever.
- Clean the doll, surface dirt will build up on the doll if you play with it a lot, a simple sponge bath with a magic eraser will bring your doll up brand spanky new in no time.
- Wash the clothes, after time and wear, doll clothes can become creased, dirty and faded just like human clothes. An occasional hand wash will bring them up a treat, or wash them in the machine, but put in a delicate washing bag, like the ones for bras and socks.
- Regular Checkups. Every few months or so, I’ll give my dolls an inspection, just to make sure there are no stains, marks or anything else to be concerned about.
- Never touch the doll with dirty, oily or greasy hands. It’s not pleasant and does the doll no favours either.
- Don’t touch the face often. If you touch the face a lot then you will break down the face up and it will become damaged and will need to be redone.
- Never ever EVER use a SHARPIE or similar marker on a doll. NEVER. It will ruin the doll forever.
- Do not paint doll nails with human nail polish.
So now that you have brushed up on basic care, you can sit back, relax and have fun with your dolls.