A Guide to Cleaning and Fixing Toys
Health and Hygiene
Primping: Shampoo those flowing locks with a little clear dishwashing liquid and warm water, says Doctor Krista of DollRestoration.com, whose company specializes in vintage-Barbie repair. (Skip the blow-out—her hair will melt.) If she gets unwanted dreadlocks, soak them in hair conditioner overnight, then gently work at the knots with a fine-tooth plastic comb. For dirty skin, try De-Solv-it, a gentle citrus-based household cleaner ($9, orange-sol.com), and a cotton ball or swab. Be careful around her face and nail paint.
Major mess: Barbie may never get zits, but benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in many acne creams, can help clear up ink and Sharpie stains. Dab it on, then let Barbie sunbathe in a window for a day, keeping the unaffected areas covered. Repeat if necessary.
Bad smells: If Barbie has been languishing in the basement, remedy any musty scent with this luxury spa treatment, courtesy of Krista: Wrap her in white tissue paper, then tuck her into a shoe box filled with dryer sheets for a few days to draw out the odors.
Cuts and wounds: Repair leg splits and other ouchies by dabbing on a little Super Glue with a toothpick.