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Do’s and Don’ts for American Girl Doll Care

***There's a new tip from customer Julia Rice - scroll down the page.

The decision is made: you’re going to splurge out on an American Girl© Doll for your dear daughter.  After all, what Mom can resist?  Unfortunately this is only the start – once she sees all the fabulous outfits and accessories that are available, your money tends to fly out the window.  Fortunately there is good news - you have just chosen an ideal way to teach your child about personal responsibility, and she is at the ideal age to learn. 

Therefore the following tips will help teach your daughter how to care for her American Girl© Doll.  You could even print this list and post it somewhere in your daughter's room.  Or go one step further and use a method of encouragement like giving her stickers or awards when you notice she is taking care to follow these guidelines.


  • Wash first.  If you wash your hands before playing with your American Girl© Doll she will be kept clean for longer.   Not even your doll likes peanut butter and jelly in their hair!
  • Try to keep your doll out of the direct sunlight.  If she’s in the sun, all of your doll’s coloring will start to fade, including all her clothes.
  • Brush your doll's hair regularly.  Try to do this every night.  Frequent brushing with a wire doll brush helps get out tangles and frizz.  If her hair does get tangled, put a little water on the brush to smooth it out.  Leave in conditioner also works well.
  • Use baking soda to clean your doll's face.  If your doll's face gets dirty or marked, put a little baking soda on a damp washcloth and then gently wash her face.  No need to dry it let it air dry afterwards.
  • Vacuum your doll's cloth body.  Keep your doll's cloth body clean and free of dirt and dust with a little help from your Mom and a vacuum.  Carefully rub cornstarch in to the cloth, leave her overnight, and then vacuum it away the next day.


  • Eat or drink while playing with your doll.  You can have a tea party for your doll (use water for the tea), but you should not eat or drink.  Remember that juice stains or sticky jelly may ruin her.
  • Keep your doll in a plastic bag or box.  Always put your doll away when you aren't playing with her, but never seal her in a plastic box or tub.  Even if there is the smallest bit of water or moisture in the tub she may get mildew or mold.
  • Curl or blow-dry your doll's hair.  Any heat applied to your doll’s hair always spells disaster.  Instead style it with a brush and a little water.
  • Try and scrub any ink marks from your doll's arms or legs.  If ink accidentally gets on her while she is helping you with your homework, don't try to scratch or scrub it away.  Have your Mom help you put it right.  The doll’s entire body needs to be covered except for the part with the ink, then rub some vegetable oil into the stain and leave her to dry.  After a few times doing this the stain should disappear.
  • Put doll clothes in the washer or dryer.  Hand wash doll clothes only in very mild soapy water and air dry them.  If the outfit is special and you are in doubt send the clothes to the dry cleaners.

By following these simple rules your daughter should be able to pass on her American Girl© Doll to her daughter when it is her time.  Now that's a return on investment!

For American Girl© Doll storage trunks and other useful accessories visit Emily Rose - Doll Clothes & Accessories

These tips are not official American Girl© tips, or endorsed by Mattel or Pleasant Company.

Send us an email to submit  your tips here for other girl's and parents*...

"I use Neutrogena Leave-in conditioner on my American Girl's hair to get rid of the frizz.  I just spread a tiny bit on my hand and smooth it through her hair about once a month.  It keeps it really pretty"   Lisa - Age 8.

"I got crayon on my doll's face by accident and my Mom found out you can just use baking soda on a washcloth to clean it off.  Now I wash my doll's face with baking soda when I remember"   Karen - Age 7.

We just had the dreadful experience of having my daughter's face drawn on with ball point pen by her baby sister. I relentlessly searched the internet for solutions and finally found several recommendations for benzyl peroxide 10% (acne cream.) You apply to doll's face and leave doll directly under a light for anywhere between a few hours to days. Many said it took several applications. I was skeptical, but after 24 hours and a few applications, it worked! She now has a beautifully clean complexion!

Unfortunately she's still missing eyelashes from the alcohol I initially used to try to clean off the pen. - Julia Rice

*We are required to say... these tips are not tested or endorsed by Emily Rose or Mattel and we hold no reponsibility for the effectiveness, or lack thereof.

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