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Doll Cleaning Tips
Doll Face Care

doll repair
Tips for general face care including enhancing painted features, cloudy eyes, doll eye repair, eyelashes and more.

Listed below are some of the technique I use on dolls faces. Please note that I do dolls as a hodbby and am NOT an expert. Always test an area first.

Supplies for Face Care

** Craft acrylic Paints & Enamels

** Quality fine detail paint brushes in several sizes (buy the good ones - they work best)

** Clear Sealer

**Lip Stick, Cream Rouge, Eyeliner pencils (brown and black)

** Doll Eyelashes

** Vingegar ~ for killing mold, cleaning eyes, and setting dye

** De-Solv-It (cleaner found in the cleaning section of Walmart and other stores) For cloudy eyes

** Son-Of-A-Gun ( Vinyl protectant found in the Automotive section of stores) ~ For conditioning vinyl

** Toothbrushes, Q-Tips, Toothpicks

** Elmers Glue - For eyelashes


Adding cheek color is easy. I use lipstick or a cream rouge. Keep a few colors on hand and make sure to get the ones one that do NOT have shimmer, sparkles, etc or other affects. I apply a little to the cheeks with my fingers and then blend with a small sponge or cotton ball. Sometime I will slightly dampen the sponge to help blend better.

If you make a mistake you can always wash off with soap and water.

On hard plastic faces I pray the Son of a gun on first and rub in... then apply the cheek color.

Lips are a bit trickier. I found a fabric dye that is in the form of a thin tipped Magic marker. I found this at Michaels Craft store. I like the Red the best and use this to make minor touch up's on vinyl head dolls with Red lips.

The other way to do a touch-up or repaint is with acrylic paints. You can use enamels and they look better but if you make a mistake they are hard to remove. I use the Artist acrylic paints which can be found at any craft store. I bought several colors in many shades to match the different dolls lips. Get a quality narrow fine tip paint brush. You have to be careful with Red paints as they can sometimes bleed into the surrounding vinyl. On hard plastic this is not a problem.

I always use a clear sealer after they have dried for 24 hours.

Eyebrows and painted lashes can be touched up with eyebrow pencils or eyeliner pencils.

You can also use these to touch up molded hair and blend like you would on the blush technique.

Scratches on Eyes / Dull Eyes

This is a neat little trick if you dolls eyes have some light scatches to the glass. Put a coat of the clear sealer on them. Make sure you do it evenly.

A coat of sealer will also brighten up dull eyes that are "not" cloudy but dull.

Cloudy Eyes


When I have a doll with cloudy eyes first I clean the eyeball with doll cleaner or vinegar and a toothpick and Q-tips. This way you can see if it is just film is on the outside or has spread to the inside. If it has spread inside then the first thing I try is the blow dryer method.

Hold the dryer so that it blows directly on the eye(s). This can take awhile and you may want to do it for about 10 minutes at a time to see what happens. If it looks like it is working then you can do it longer. I usually do this a few times in a day.

If they do not completely clear up then I use a combination method


I use a product called De-solv-It. I like this product best but am told Orange Glow works too. I have used other cleaners but a oil based cleaner seems to work best.

This method does involve getting the eyes wet. I have only used this method on vinyl heads.

** Do not use this method if the head is hard plastic or the eyes are set on a metal rocker.

First I lay the dolls head back and spray the cleaner filling the eyes. Then I start flushing with hot water for several minutes keeping the head tilted back. I turn her over, let the eyes drain and repeat the process. Sometime I will alternate between cleaner and vinegar (which helps to kill the mold). This process can be repeated several times until they clear up. After they are clear lay dolls face down on a towel for about 10 minutes to let the water drain out. Then I follow this by using the blow dryer method again (see above). On rare occasion they will cloud back up after a few days. If this happnes start the process again.

This method has worked on 95% of the dolls I have tried it on with NO damage.

Another alternative is buying a vintage table top hooded hair dryer. Long story but a friend of mine accidently stumbled on this for curing her dolls cloudy eyes. Set doll under the dryer for about 30 minutes checking periodically. She swears it clears them right up !!

Doll Eyelash Repair