Dirt. It’s a fact of life. Everything gets dirty after a period of time. And Annalee dolls are no exception. How to keep your Annalee dolls clean and in good condition is one of the most-frequently asked questions we receive.
The beauty of an Annalee doll is in the clever design, the unique smile of the face, and in the felt used to create each design. That felt makes the care of your dolls more complex, but not difficult. With a little TLC, you can keep your dolls clean and in great condition.
First, we recommend a regular light dusting for dolls. Preventative care is always best when caring for your dolls. This will keep them fresh and dirt free. You can also use a mini-vacuum or compressed canned air to clean the dolls. You should also keep your dolls out of direct sunlight to avoid fading and discoloration. If you plan on keeping a doll (or several) on display for longer periods of time, we recommend placing your doll under or behind glass.
Can You Wash an Annalee Doll?
Yes! The felt used on Annalee dolls can be washed. Felt is a strong, textured cloth that can be cleaned. Dolls that become excessively dusty, dirty, or lightly soiled may be cleaned simply with a white cloth dampened with cold or warm water. You can also use cotton swabs. Lightly apply pressure to the soiled area and rub gently to remove the dirt or stain. If a spot is excessively dirty, you can also use a small amount of delicate hand-washing detergent. Some of our designers recommend using a diluted borax solution for difficult stains. But be careful. If you have any concerns about using detergent, we recommend spot testing it in a non-visible area first.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes spills happen. Food stains can become a problem for dolls displayed on dining tables and in the kitchen. The best way to tackle these problems is to remove any excess from the stained area as soon as possible and then follow with a general cleaning. You can also use clear or masking tape or a lint roller to pick up any extra dirt from the doll. A soft toothbrush also works well for cleaning soiled areas. Brush the surface gently and slowly whisk away the soiled area. Patting the area again with tape after brushing will help remove smaller particles left behind. Always let the doll dry after cleaning and before storing.
Be Careful How You Clean
Never fully immerse your dolls in water or use harsh chemicals or bleach for cleaning. Do not use hot water for general cleaning. Hot water can shrink felt. We also recommend using a white cloth to clean dolls so you can see what the effect is. Are you lifting off the dirt from the doll or also lifting paints? And only work in a very well-lit area. Daylight-corrected lightbulbs are ideal for visibility.
If you have a seriously soiled doll, we recommend that you contact a professional doll cleaning service. Annalee Dolls does not repair dolls. Other customers happily recommend, Linda Wolf*, an independent contractor. You may text Linda with your inquiry at 775-455-2438. *Please note: Linda Wolf is not affiliated with Annalee Dolls.
Repositioning and Fluffing is Important!
Key Tools & Tips for Cleaning
- Soft toothbrush
- Cotton swabs
- Masking or clear tape
- White cloth
- Canned air
- Test fabric first in non-visible area
- Work in a well-lighted area