Oh golly, it's been a while!
But, to be fair, it was slow going in the vintage Barbie department over the winter. Now that we're back to flea market season, and "good for photographs outside" season, I can get back to writing a bit.
I've been cleaning up Barbie and her clothes for as long as I've been collecting Barbie. I've tried, failed, tried again, and kept going. Like many collectors, I'm no mint-condition obsessed person. I'm happy enough finding slightly messed up dolls and clothes and doing what I can to make them better.
One of the lovely things about vintage Barbie clothes is a lot of them were made out of sturdy fabrics and remain very washable to this day. Yeah, they're old, but a lot of their flaws are still repairable.
So, I've used products from Twin Pines of Maine for cleaning up dolls for about 20 years. The products really work better than anything else, at least in my opinion.
I hadn't had any of their products around the house for a while, so I decided to place an order and refresh my stock.
When my order arrived, I pulled out a bunch of white Barbie items from the doll clothes bin and stuck them in some Perk (doll clothes cold water detergent) with some added Booost (detergent booster.)
Honestly, I had forgotten how well this stuff works!
Check out this before and after comparison of two "Friday Night Date" dresses that were equally yellowed/dirty.
The whiter one is after about 24 hours of soaking in the Perk/Booost solution. They were about equally dingy gray, though the left one didn't have age/dirt spots.
Close up of the comparison. Additionally, the brown spots you can see on the dirty one also came out (almost) completely with Perk/Booost. There's a sliiiiiight yellow discoloration where they were, but you'd have to be looking for it to spot it.
So, while Perk/Booost is pretty pricey, I still recommend it if you really want to clean some doll clothes (or other vintage textiles.) Though this outfit isn't worth much, it's certainly worth more now than it was when it was gross and dirty.
I've got some more before/after comparisons coming up that I can show you later.
I should also note, that Perk/Booost can't help everything. I had an orange PAK skirt with some sort of funky red/brown stain on it (possibly lipstick) and it did not come out even after 24+ hours of soaking. (But I might just dye the skirt brown I guess.) However, a satin white PAK dress had gross brown stains I didn't think would come out, but they came out completely. So it seems like luck, and just test it and see. If it doesn't work, you're no worse off than when you started. If it does work, then great! You've improved your collection.
More pics coming later.
Some late additions:
Before and after.. the brown stains on this dress came right out. (The flecked on glitter was already mostly gone. Otherwise, it would have come off, just FYI.) It came very clean! The flocking didn't come off, which was a nice bonus.
The brown stain is less visible now, still a slight spot as you can see.. also the dress had a blue color to it from a previous stain treatment and it came much more white.
I had to take some stitches out to remove the rose from the dress before treatment. The gross brown stains miraculously completely came out! Also, this dress had really funky gross white stains on the back of the train.. it looked like maybe milk or something. It COMPLETELY came out. Of course, now I need to press and re-stitch.. but who cares about that, it looks clean as new! I am VERY impressed.