Here are a few
ideas on how to clean up an original Soft Sculpture (all cloth)
Cabbage Patch Kid. This isn't the only way to clean up a rescue
soft sculpture, other collectors will have their 'best' way
of getting the job done, but this is the method I use, it works
for me. Hopefully, any kids you get that arrive with a personal
freshness problem will respond to the bathing and cleaning tips
given here. :)
Bathing and Cleaning Your XR Original Soft Sculpture Cabbage
In my bitter experience
washing by hand isn't a good plan.
Immersing a soft sculpture into a bath or sink of water makes
it waterlogged, heavy and difficult to handle. The really old
soft sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids were not always filled with
fibre fill. You're risking messing up the inner filling, which
with older XRO babies will already be 'tired'. There's a high
chance you'll end up with 'lumpy' filling and a kid that's very
much the worse for wear :( The less the doll is handled during
washing the better it is....so a washing machine is the safest
way to clean up that cutie.
Before you put the XRO into water check the body fabric to make
sure there are no snags, pin holes or stitch runs that could
get worse with the action of a washing machine.
If you do find a small flaw in the fabric prevent it running
by dabbing or spraying one of the fabric treatments onto the
area or apply a tiny blob of clear nail varnish to the area.
Let that dry properly before washing.
For longer runs in the material, take a fine sewing needle with
thread that matches in colour as closely as possible to the
fabric. Find the stitch that is 'running' and catch it with
your needle and thread ( in the same way as picking up a dropped
knitting stitch)....this will prevent the run getting any longer.
Now draw the two sides of the run together with small fine stitches.
The other option is to send your Kid back to BLG for repairs...
Next do a quick check for any stains or dirty areas that you
think may need a pre-wash. Use your favourite stain or dirt
remover or just plain toilet soap and a soft toothbrush. Products
containing bleach are best avoided. Some biological cleaners
contain bleach, avoid those.
Once all heavy stains are sorted you can move on to the hair.
I honestly believe that this is the most important part of the
Kid to get clean.
If you think about it you will agree that the head/face and
hair areas are the parts of the Kid that most comes into contact
with people's hands and face and nose. When someone picks up
a softie to cuddle the chances are they will either touch the
yarn hair or move their face down towards the Kid's head. Fabric
and yarn hold germs and dust mites, plus dormant viruses - it's
unlikely they will harm you if they came from you in the first
place..but someone else's germs and dust mites going straight
up your nose and into your eyes when you cuddle a pre-loved
unwashed Kid that's travelled a lot, ain't really such a good
Especially if the rescue doll is for a child. Use the leg from
an old pair of tights to cover the head and hair of the kid,
this will prevent the yarn hair from getting tangled and too
messed up during washing.
Fit the doll as
near as possible into the short end of the pillow case without
jamming it down and compressing the fibre fill. If you bring
the legs up toward the face and carefully tuck the doll into
the pillow case it'll find it's own safe - 'no flopping about
when in the machine' - position. Tie the end of the pillow case
close to the doll as possible - secure with a strong elastic
band or tie with a strip of cloth.
Place the kid into the washing machine so that when the drum
is rolling (I'm assuming you have a front loader) your kid is
rolling over side over side rather than putting the kid in so
that it's rolling head over heels during the washing cycle.
That placement can make a huge difference to the success of
Go for a delicate
fabric wash cycle - a small amount of non-bio, non bleach detergent
will be ok. Add your favourite fabric conditioner to the final
rinse. Give the Kid a fast spin cycle when the wash has finished.
Best to get as much water out of the fibre fill as you can.
Leave the Kid in the machine when the delicate cycle has finished
and go right into the fast spin cycle without removing the Kid
from the machine.
An airing cupboard
is a perfect drying place, or a shady spot outdoors. Try and
keep the Kid in an upright position or if you do lay it down
then lay it on it's back rather than face down. You won't want
water hanging around the eye area as the acrylic paint could
lift off or crack.
Drying in a tumbler drier is ok too, just set the heat setting
as low as possible so the eye paint doesn't get cracked or start
At the end of all
this your Kid will be dust and germ free from it's travels,
will smell wonderful and be great to cuddle. :)