How to Care for Your OOAK Doll
You’ve finally made the big move and purchased your first OOAK doll. Or maybe you’ve managed to buy a few and are starting to become the budding collector. You want to protect your investment. Learning how to properly care for your OOAK doll can help you preserve the quality of the doll so you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Here are a few tips for how you can properly care for your OOAK doll:
Keep Dolls Out of Direct Sun
Displaying your OOAK dolls is a nice way to enjoy them day in and day out. Though you might be tempted to give them a place of prominence on your mantle or a shelf in a main area of your home, you should be careful that you do not display them in a place that gets direct sunlight. The exposure to the sun every day will damage the vinyl and cause it to fade. Over time, your pretty OOAK doll’s face will start to look pale and mottled.
Make sure that if you display your OOAK dolls, you keep them in an area that is kept shaded throughout the day.
Make Sure Dolls are Temperature Controlled
Extremes in temperature can cause a lot of damage to your OOAK dolls. Heat, humidity, condensation and other side effects of extreme temperatures can cause your dolls to mold, mildew or start to rot. You should always keep your dolls inside where the temperature is kept steady.
Keep Dolls Free of Dust
Dust can be the long-term enemy of your OOAK dolls. Over time, dust can accumulate to make your dolls dirty, dingy, and damaged. It is important to keep your dolls free of dust to protect the vinyl, the hair, and even the clothing and accessories.
If you display your dolls, keep them in a case to minimize dust, and then use a feather duster regularly. If you keep your dolls in boxes, take them out from time to time and wipe them down carefully with a clean, soft cloth.
Give Them Room to Breathe
Some collectors like to use clear, plastic bags to protect their dolls, either when they are on display or inside their boxes. The bags keep them free of dirt and dust. However, the bags can also cause the vinyl to yellow and decay over time. Be sure that you let your OOAK dolls “breathe” a bit and keep them out of the plastic bags.
Approach Cleaning with Extreme Caution
Most OOAK dolls are created with delicate fabrics like silk and chiffon, carefully handcrafted jewels, and meticulously hand-painted faces. If your doll becomes dirty, attempting to clean it could easily damage any of these items. Fabrics could shrink, lose their shape, or stain if you use the wrong approach to cleaning a mark. Jewels could fall apart from the chemicals found in the wrong cleaners. Paint could wipe away (even if it’s been sealed) or could take on a “cloudy” look if you use cleaners on the face.
If your doll becomes dirty, your best bet is to use a soft cloth with nothing but warm water on it to wipe away any surface debris. If your doll experiences more extensive soiling, contact the artist to find out what types of fabrics, paints and other materials were used on the doll and consult with the artist on the best course of action.
Caring for your OOAK doll is not complicated, but you must use caution. With the right care, your doll can last for many years. Without it, you can see hundreds of dollars go down the drain in just a matter of months.