Washing your handmade Doll

Aloha friends. I have had these blog posts in my drafts for a long time. Since there are many of my dolls enjoyed by young children and recently made in my doll workshops now I decided to post a few of the issues that can come up with your doll along the way.

Posts in this series are:

*Washing your doll (below)

*Mending your doll

*Changing your doll

I made the doll in the pictures below for my daughter when she wasn’t even born yet. The natural and soft look of the bamboo velour fabric I chose was great for a young baby but as she got older and used the doll more I realized that she got dirty easily. Weather it is a trip to the playground, dirt, bodily fluids, or washable paint. Try the steps below to clean your doll Its worth it, gather your little ones and together you can give your doll a little bath.

Waldorf dolls are made out of all natural materials. My dolls are no different. The body fabric has a high natural content and the stuffing in the body as well as in the head is 100% wool. Therefore i suggest an all natural wool wash. I use eucalan and as an added perk it has lavender essential oil added. It will leave your doll cleanvand wool smelling lovely. Essential ingredients in the wash should be lanolin which is needed to wash wool

Fill a small bucket or sink with luke warm water. Not too hot and not too cold. Use your hand and child as a guide for a good warm temperature sort of like their first baby bath.

When I am ready to wash my doll I usually gather a few other wool items we have around the house. Wool blankets, socks, or diaper covers can be washed in the same water after you are finished with your doll.

If you want to wash the entire doll don’t shy away from submerging it entirely. I have noticed that this way I avoid watermarks from solely spot treating e.g. an area in the face on the skin fabric. Spot treating a part of the velour body is easier.

Most importantly be very gentle with the doll and give it time. You can talk to your little one about bath time for the doll and emphasizing gentle hands because of the materials she is made out of.

After you have submerged the entire doll it will feel much heavier. Don’t worry she’ll be fine.

Use a small brush (i have one for my dolls sort of like one you use for scrubbing) and gently rub it along the velour. A little bit of this is usually enough to clean any dirt that has set into the fabric. You will be able to tell from the darker color of the water that the doll needed to be washed.

If there are larger stains on your doll body such as this one ensure that you do not rub too much. You can add extra all natural soap to treat a spot.

Furthermore, good cleaning can be achieved by gently wringing the dolls head and body with your hand a few times. Wringing gently will allow the water to exit and the movements clean the soft velour body fabric.

This dolls head didn’t have any stains so I left it alone.

Pictured above is a great way to hold the head supportive when squeezing (wringing) the water out gently.

The squeezing (wringing) of the body. Just squeeze once and not in different directions. This isn’t good for the wool fiber.

After you did this for a few minutes and most of the water is squeezed out of the body (don’t force it too much otherwise the wool will felt and get bulky) lay it flat on a towel.

Pat the doll dry gently. Do not wring in opposite directions. just simply pat the doll from head to toe as she is under the towel. Repeat this step if you feel like there is more water in the doll or the towel is soaked. Use the dry sides of the towel or a new one.

When you are done air dry her. The sun outside is perfect for this.

The sun helps with spots such as the one she has under her leg. It can help bleach them out naturally and has great antimicrobial features. A great way to dry your cloth diapers too.


I hope this helps you to clean and maintain the beauty of your handmade waldorf doll. Weather you have bought one of my dolls or made one during one of my workshops I hope that this blog post can be of help to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Mahalo for allowing me to be part of your childs doll.


Posts in this series are:

*Cleaning your doll (above)

*Mending your doll (coming March 23)

*Changing your doll (coming March 30)


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