Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cleaning vintage doll shoes

Sunday and Monday were doll project days at my house. I have a whole list of things that I fixed and that I will blog about in the coming days, so be sure to check back!

One of the things I did yesterday was to clean a pair of vintage doll shoes, the vinyl or plastic Mary Jane types that fit Ginny-sized dolls. They were seriously the filthiest pair of doll shoes I have ever seen, but they were one of my Ginger doll's originals, so I wanted to try to salvage them.

They had a lot of play soil on them, as well as some kind of glue or varnish that had made shiny discolored spots:

A pair of white vinyl Mary Janes before I cleaned them

I started out using a little of my favorite doll cleaner, but even that stuff — as good as it is — wouldn't cut through the glue or varnish that was on the shoes.

I happened to be soaking some doll clothes at the time, so I decided "Why not?" and threw the doll shoes in with a dress. They soaked overnight in Biz (I'll blog about my clothes washing method another time). When I rinsed them off the next day, I scratched the spots a little with a fingernail and found that I was to peel up the varnish or glue.

The shoes were still a little discolored, especially under where the varnish had been, so I used the doll cleaner on them again. I was surprised and delighted at how white they turned out!

A pair of white vinyl Mary Janes after I cleaned them

It's definitely worth a little time and effort to clean vintage doll shoes!

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