Cleaning an Old Raggedy Ann Doll

Dear Donia,
How should I clean an old, handmade Raggedy Ann doll?

raggedy ann doll


Q. Dear Donia,

I have a handmade Raggedy Ann doll from 1967. How should I clean it? I think the clothes are made of cotton and she has hair made of yarn. Thank you, Paula 

A. Dear Paula,

The best thing to do with a handmade doll like this would be to do as little as possible. You could try to wash the clothes (if they come off) by hand with some Woolite, rinse well and hang to dry. Not knowing how the fabric has aged, I would hesitate to put them in the washing machine. For the doll itself, I would vacuum her through a screen while using the brush attachment so that her hair is not sucked up into the vacuum nozzle. Preferably, you would use a vacuum with variable suction and use a low setting to not damage anything. Resist the urge to throw her in the washing machine. At 52, she needs a little tenderness. Best, Donia