Here is a list of supplies I keep on hand and find very useful.
** Cotton Balls
** Q-Tips: for cleaning eyes, eyelids ears and lips.
** Tooth Picks- I use these for removing grime from fingers & toes, eyes, mouths ears and other detailed areas. I also use these for mixing paint.
** Tooth Brush: Use old brushes for cleaning
** Clean White Towels and Wash Cloths: for wiping and drying.
** Dawn Dish Soap
** Doll Cleaner
** Vaseline: for darkened vinyl and some stains
** Oxy-10 (acne Medicine): For stains
** Vinegar: for setting dye, cleaning eyes and for killing mold
** Removezit (Made by Twin Pines): Stain remover. Works on vinyl dolls
** STP Son of a Gun: use on doll hair and bodies.
Storage and Misc. Tips
I always hand clean vintage garments. After cleaning and rinsing completly, let drip dry in the sink for several minutes. You can then place garment on a white towel. Blot dry or roll in towel to soak up excess water.
You can let air dry or blow-dry with a hair dryer set on cool setting. For either of these methods you can hand manipulate the piece, fingerblocking and coaxing it into shape. This way only a minimum of ironing is needed if at all.
To clean blood stains on clothes, just pour a little peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off the blood. To remove marker or ink on vinyl dolls (if the mark is fresh) use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Crayon marks on boxes will come off with a damp rag dipped in baking soda. To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your atrificial flowers looking like new!
Never store your dolls in plastic bags. This can cause condensation. The best way to store dolls is to remove the clothing and jewelry so that is doesn't stain. Put these items in baggies and mark the baggies and store with doll if possible. Always mark baggies so you know who they go with.
Wrap the doll in Acid Free tissue paper and put them in a box or container standing up (this helps to keep the sleep eyes working properly)A doll that has eyes that open or close should never be stored, or laid down on its back. Dolls with such eyes should be stored standing up or laid on their faces.
Dolls need to be stored in a climate controlled area. Avoid direct sunlight, or heating and cooling vents. Storing in a basement or attic can cause serious problems unless the rooms have heating/cooling with no moisture or humidity problems.
This can be a tricky. It depends on what is causing the smell, and what type of material the doll is made.
For vinyl dolls there are several methods you can try. Cleaning the doll really good, and airing it outside for awhile will sometimes work.
You can buy a product like Lysol, Fabreeze or others to spray on them to speed up the process.
You can also put the doll in a bag with baking soda, kitty litter or charcoal. This will help extract the odors (make sure to protect the doll if using charcoal).
If the small is coming from inside then you can either clean the inside of the doll or spray inside and try the methods above.
If it is a stuffed cloth doll then replacing the stuffing will help. If the doll is stuffed vinyl then it is more difficult to replace the stuffing. I have NEVER tried this so not sure of the result.
For hard plastic dolls that smell like soured milk or puke then I have found there is not much that can be done. This is called leaching and is actually coming from a breakdown in the plastic. Several doll collectors have been experiementing with methods to fix this. I will add these tips as I do more research.