Cleaning Your Cabbage Patch Kid

For basic whole-body cleaning, use a sink with laundry detergent. If you have sensitive skin, use gloves. Laundry detergent is hard on skin. Try not to get water in the head. If you have to, take the head off by snipping the zip tie. You will have to replace it with a new zip tie when you reattach the head. Avoid the washing machine, as this tends to wear down the body and ruin the hair. If it does not need whole-body cleaning, lightly dampen a wash cloth and put a tiny bit of laundry detergent on it, then rub the areas that need cleaned. Choose a hot summer day to air dry the 'kid outside, or put him in a dryer (if the head is detached). I have used the wash machine spin cycle to drain most of the water out.

For difficult stains, use M30 on each stain.  (This is a hand cleaner much like that that car mechanics use to remove oil and grime off their hands.)  Leave it caked on and place the body in a plastic bag so that the cleaner remains moist. Leave this on for a few hours depending on how stubborn the stains are. Then without rinsing, soak body in hot water with a little liquid detergent that has Oxy Clean and additional straight Oxy Clean powder for a few hours. Then throw the body and water it was soaking in into the washer, add a little more detergent and put it on a normal cycle. Oh and before doing all this,  remove the head to avoid face damage as the body will be going through a very aggressive regimen!

For hard-to-clean spots on the head, (including white scratches) on the head, use Magic Eraser. There are other brands, but Magic Eraser works the best. Again, use gloves if you have sensitive skin. Very lightly dampen the Magic Eraser. I like to pull off a chunk so that I don’t use the whole eraser on one doll. 

Hair - Fill a sink full of warm or hot water, dunk the hair in the water, gently work shampoo into the hair, then dunk to wash it out. I use shampoo rather than laundry detergent because it's gentler on the hair than laundry detergent, and I like the smell. To dry the hair, I wrap a towel around it to get most of the water out, then let it air dry. If there is a lot of hair and it's really wet, I quickly swing the doll back and forth, holding onto the body so that the hair goes back and forth. This throws the water out of the hair. Make sure you do it in a place that doesn't matter if it gets wet, like outside or in a shower. Water will go everywhere when it flies out of the hair.

For clear rubs and scratches on the head, use Bar Keepers Friend (BKF). Dampen a wash cloth, and put a tiny bit of BKF on it, then rub the area until you are satisfied what it looks like. Be careful around the eyes, eyebrows, and cheeks. It will take off the paint. It does make the face shiny, which makes reblushing difficult. I have also used pure acetone to get clear rubs and scratches out.  This works faster than BKF but still leaves the face shiny if used a lot. It will take off all paint, though, so keep it away from the face paint. I use q-tips.

For ink removal on vinyl, use 10% Benzoyl Peroxide (Oxy 10 Zit Cream or ZapZyt). Place just enough cream to cover the ink and place it outside in the sun. Placing it in the window does not work as well. I tried placing it outside on a hot sunny day after it was inside by the window and it made a difference of several hours. Placing it inside takes several days, placing it outside takes a few hours or a couple days depending on the severity. Check each day to see if it is gone. If it’s on for too long, it could fade the vinyl. Some people have used this also for the removal of pox, however I have not had any luck with that.

For ink removal on fabric, use pure acetone. lightly pour it on the affected area, then wash out with water and soap.

For strong smells such as cigarette smoke, soak doll in a sink with water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. You may have to change the water every few hours, depending on how bad the smell is. You may also replace hydrogen peroxide with vinegar or lemon juice. Depending on how strong the odor is, it could take a few days to get rid of the smell.

To add fragrance, dab a tiny bit of fragrance on a cotton ball and stick it inside just before replacing the head. Or you can use aroma beads. It doesn't take much since they are concentrated. You may want to try one at a time to see how strong the fragrance is. I would put them inside a tiny bag, similar to a sachet, then place it inside before replacing the head. You may also use fragrance spray, such as Glade. Just spray a little bit on the doll at a distance of about arms length.

Pox -  Caused by an interaction between the vinyl ingredients used to make the mold, pox are tiny dots (either dark or light) on the vinyl. P and PMI factory kids, and BBB (Bean Butt Babies) are most susceptible to get Pox. They are also more susceptible to forming in humid environments. Pox is irreversible, but some collectors have had luck with diminishing them by using Twin Pines Remove-Zit Stain Remover. It can takes months to notice a difference. Apply evenly over the face, avoiding the eyes, eyebrows, freckles, etc., remove it after a few days, then reapply.

Yellowed Shoes - Use Oxy 10 Zit Cream or ZapZyt (anything with 10% benzoic acid). Apply it just the same as the directions for ink removal on vinyl. I have used many different things to get the old yellowed shoes to become white and this was the only thing that has worked for me.

Helpful links:
http://opencabbage.com/index.cgi?board=tutorials

16 comments:

  1. I Just Got Out My Old Cabbage Psych Doll From When I Was Young. I Noticed Half Of Its Body Is Black. Do You Think This Is Mold And I Should Throw It Out? Of Course Its My Favorite Doll.

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  2. Hello! I was wondering if air drying the dolls inside (winter time!) instead of putting them in the dryer would be okay? Thanks!

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    1. It should be okay. Just make sure you use a towel to soak up any extra water. If you have central air, you can place the doll on or in front of a heating vent.

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  3. My cabbage patch has yarn hair pigtails. How do I clean that?

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    1. Take the pigtails out. If the are the original rubber bands, they will need replaced as they become brittle with age. Then follow the directions above for hair.

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  4. Hello!
    Could you please tell me how to properly remove and reattach the head? I'm nervous to just try it since I don't know what I'd find and I don't want to ruin the dolls, just clean and restuff them! Thanks!

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    1. I know I already replied to your email, but I thought I'd post this for others to see:
      http://cpkdiana.blogspot.com/2012/10/growing-hair-restore.html

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  5. How would you recommend cleaning CPK clothing? Unearthed a huge box load from the basement and many have stains.

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    1. I've had some good luck with Oxy clean stain remover. I would just spray some one, let it sit according to the directions, then wash them in the washing machine. Some stains never come out, depending on what it is.

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  6. My dolls face is turning blackish grey. Like rubbed off news print all over his cheeks, nose and ears. Its pretty dark. I've tried magic eraser, oxy clean and bleach but it is getting darker. Other ideas?

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  7. Will any of this affect fading or bleeding of the signature on their butts?
    When I was a kid I put mine through the wash and the signature faded. I just obtained a new (1982 Appalachian with great quality signature still prevailent. I'd like to wash her though, as her body is quite dirty but I'm worried that bathing her in the water with detergent may ruin her signature. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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    1. The aggrivation of the washer may fade the signature. I have also had detergent completely wipe off the ink on a Hasbro side tag. Just be careful around the signature and bath it in the sink and it should be fine. Maybe instead of detergent, shampoo would be better.

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    2. Thanks a lot for your quick response! I'm going to give it a try now. So anxious!! :D

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  8. I need help! My oldest and favorite cabbie has recently turned dark black/dirty looking and I cant correct it . Ive tried magic eraser and it didn't work.

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    1. This is called the "spud" affect. Some vinyl darkens to the point that it looks like an African American doll head. You could probably try the zit cream with benzoyl peroxide, but it may fade it to a white color.

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