Caring For You American Girl Doll – Hair & Vinyl


Did your little girl get an American Girl doll or another vinyl doll for Christmas? We had a Bitty Baby in the family already but this year we added big girl  Isabelle from American Girl.  Lots of beautiful long, silky hair with a more grown up look. So if you got a new one or have an older one that is looking a little worse for the wear lets talk upkeep- hair and “skin” care tips and tricks.  These pretty and pricey girls need at least occasional maintenance to keep looking their best.


Hair- It is not recommended to comb their hair with just any brush.  Dolls with long, realistic hair should be brushed with a small wire wig brush. Lightly mist the dolls hair with water before brushing and always brush gently, grasping hair near the roots securely where hair is especially tangled.  For hair that is severely tangled combine 4 parts water and 1 part fabric softener in a spray bottle, shake well, dampen doll’s hair generously with this mixture, gently brush through until all tangles are removed, rinse doll’s hair well, and allow to air dry. I don’t recommend using heat- a dryer, even on a low setting may damage the synthetic hair.


✳Take care to not get water in your dolls eyes!

Check out this entire salon set! I am drooling (I a not sure who was more excited about the “big girl doll” this year- my daughter or myself).

If your doll has curls you are trying to restore- while hair is wet curl small sections tightly around a pencil and hold for 30-60 seconds, slide pencil out and allow to dry.

To clean the vinyl the should it become dirty with pen marks, deep dirt smudges, or other general  marks first try a baby wipe, if that doesn’t work you can try one of these other methods.

  • Make a paste of baking soda and Dawn dish soap-gently rub into marks then wipe away with a damp cloth.
  • A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser- Dampen and wipe at spots.
  • NON ACETONE polish remover- Wet a cotton swab with polish remover and swirl on blemish, this is good for removing ink.
  • 10% Benzoyl Peroxide- This is a tube of acne cream, while I haven’t tried this many people swear by it for removing heavy stains such as ink.  Apply to affected area and leave in direct sunlight or under a lamp (taking care it is not too close to doll to get hot and start fire) wipe away.
  • Vinyl cleaner for cars- Buff out the skin with a good quality vinyl car cleaner/conditioner.

To clean cloth body- Use a slightly damp cloth and give it a good surface cleaning.

To keep their clothes lasting longer I hand wash them with just a touch of a gentle soap like Dreft.