Cabbage Patch Treasures
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Cleaning, Washing and Restoring the All Cloth Soft Sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids

New Page Added: Things To Look Out For When Buying Jesmar CPKs

Here are a few ideas on how to clean up an original Soft Sculpture (all cloth) Cabbage Patch Kid. This isn't the only way to clean up a rescue soft sculpture, other collectors will have their 'best' way of getting the job done, but this is the method I use, it works for me. Hopefully, any kids you get that arrive with a personal freshness problem will respond to the bathing and cleaning tips given here. :)

Bathing and Cleaning Your XR Original Soft Sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids

In my bitter experience washing by hand isn't a good plan.
Immersing a soft sculpture into a bath or sink of water makes it waterlogged, heavy and difficult to handle. The really old soft sculpture Cabbage Patch Kids were not always filled with fibre fill. You're risking messing up the inner filling, which with older XRO babies will already be 'tired'. There's a high chance you'll end up with 'lumpy' filling and a kid that's very much the worse for wear :( The less the doll is handled during washing the better it a washing machine is the safest way to clean up that cutie.

Before you put the XRO into water check the body fabric to make sure there are no snags, pin holes or stitch runs that could get worse with the action of a washing machine.
If you do find a small flaw in the fabric prevent it running by dabbing or spraying one of the fabric treatments onto the area or apply a tiny blob of clear nail varnish to the area. Let that dry properly before washing.
For longer runs in the material, take a fine sewing needle with thread that matches in colour as closely as possible to the fabric. Find the stitch that is 'running' and catch it with your needle and thread ( in the same way as picking up a dropped knitting stitch)....this will prevent the run getting any longer. Now draw the two sides of the run together with small fine stitches. The other option is to send your Kid back to BLG for repairs...

Next do a quick check for any stains or dirty areas that you think may need a pre-wash. Use your favourite stain or dirt remover or just plain toilet soap and a soft toothbrush. Products containing bleach are best avoided. Some biological cleaners contain bleach, avoid those.

Once all heavy stains are sorted you can move on to the hair. I honestly believe that this is the most important part of the Kid to get clean.
If you think about it you will agree that the head/face and hair areas are the parts of the Kid that most comes into contact with people's hands and face and nose. When someone picks up a softie to cuddle the chances are they will either touch the yarn hair or move their face down towards the Kid's head. Fabric and yarn hold germs and dust mites, plus dormant viruses - it's unlikely they will harm you if they came from you in the first place..but someone else's germs and dust mites going straight up your nose and into your eyes when you cuddle a pre-loved unwashed Kid that's travelled a lot, ain't really such a good idea!!
Especially if the rescue doll is for a child. Use the leg from an old pair of tights to cover the head and hair of the kid, this will prevent the yarn hair from getting tangled and too messed up during washing.

Fit the doll as near as possible into the short end of the pillow case without jamming it down and compressing the fibre fill. If you bring the legs up toward the face and carefully tuck the doll into the pillow case it'll find it's own safe - 'no flopping about when in the machine' - position. Tie the end of the pillow case close to the doll as possible - secure with a strong elastic band or tie with a strip of cloth.
Place the kid into the washing machine so that when the drum is rolling (I'm assuming you have a front loader) your kid is rolling over side over side rather than putting the kid in so that it's rolling head over heels during the washing cycle. That placement can make a huge difference to the success of the wash.

Go for a delicate fabric wash cycle - a small amount of non-bio, non bleach detergent will be ok. Add your favourite fabric conditioner to the final rinse. Give the Kid a fast spin cycle when the wash has finished. Best to get as much water out of the fibre fill as you can. Leave the Kid in the machine when the delicate cycle has finished and go right into the fast spin cycle without removing the Kid from the machine.

An airing cupboard is a perfect drying place, or a shady spot outdoors. Try and keep the Kid in an upright position or if you do lay it down then lay it on it's back rather than face down. You won't want water hanging around the eye area as the acrylic paint could lift off or crack.
Drying in a tumbler drier is ok too, just set the heat setting as low as possible so the eye paint doesn't get cracked or start to lift.

At the end of all this your Kid will be dust and germ free from it's travels, will smell wonderful and be great to cuddle. :)




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