How to Clean Mildew From Rubber Doll Parts

R Asks: My daughter’s American girl doll was in the basement for some time and developed what appears to be mildew on its rubber arms. How do I remove it without  damaging the doll?

If rubber or vinyl doll parts are exposed to mildew long-term, it may be impossible to get the mildew completely out, but if you’ve caught it in time, you can save the doll using these simple steps. Be sure to clean your dolls regularly as to avoid this happening to any others in the future.

You Will Need

  • One cup of warm water
  • One tablespoon liquid laundry detergent
  • Two soft cloths (perhaps microfiber)
  • A small amount of Baking Soda
  • A towel (for drying the doll)

Steps to Clean the Doll Parts

  1. Add one tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent to the cup of water and mix well.
  2. Dip the soft cloth in the mixture and wipe down the affected areas of the doll.
  3. Take the damp soft cloth and dip it in baking soda, and rub it on the spots that remain after the initial cleaning. The abrasiveness of the baking soda should help remove the spots that remain while leaving the doll parts unharmed.
  4. Using the second damp cloth, wipe down the parts to remove excess soap or baking soda residue.
  5. Dry your doll thoroughly using a towel.

Additional Tips and Advice

Rubber and vinyl baby dolls need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of harmful mold, mildew, and other dirt that they attract. These simple steps could save you from parting with a cherished memory from your youth, or a memory of your own child. They are cute to look at, but do not slip on maintenance and you should be fine.


  1. Adesanya says:

    Please; how do I manage a window and door with brown rubber in it?

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