Doll Care Tips for My Twinn Dolls

Banner image courtesy of Marie Schwalm

Directions for loose head/neck repairs

Warning... Sharp cable ties at backs of necks reported with some dolls coming from My Twinn.   Click the green link for our 5 minute fix, neck/cable tie replacement tutorial

Eye Change Methods... for the daring & dedicated hobby collector

Prismacolor markers to change eye color?  Some doll collectors use transparent markers such as Prisma brand Prismacolor markers to color over the iris of their doll eyes if the eyes have changed color with age or if they just prefer a darker color.  I recommend against this practice.  The markers will stain the doll vinyl if it comes into contact with the vinyl, the marker color may migrate from the iris area over time coloring the whites and permanently staining the vinyl, and the marker color will likely change over time unless it specifically states it is archival quality. I have experimented with Prisma markers and found it very difficult to get a natural looking result, and near impossible to achieve a smooth glassy surface to the eye.  Dolls that have been treated with Prisma markers may photo well, but in person you can tell that the eye has been colored.  While the Prisma brand marker ink can be removed from the surface of the eye with rubbing alcohol (one collector has successfully used Lysol brand all-purpose cleaner), the surface of the eye can be permanently stained or damaged and you run the risk of permanently staining the vinyl around the eye area.  If you have a doll with Denver vinyl please take the time to do a proper eye change.  This quality vinyl is no longer made and these dolls deserve to be properly restored. I hope that the folks who are using this method to color eyes will state that they have done so if they end up selling the doll.  I guess it is a wise question to ask a seller before purchasing a doll.

When surface cleaning isn't enough Cleaning Poseable Bodies

Interesting Molding technique to repair missing fingers.  I have not done this, but share for the adventurous!  One recommendation I would make is to use the toothpick to stabilize the new finger rather than anything metal…because metal can cause discoloration of vinyl from the inside out as was seen with the bendy-legged Barbie Dolls. Here is the link:

What is an armature?

Your My Twinn doll is very flexible and sturdy just like you. Just like you, your doll has her own skeleton inside her body that helps her to stand and pose. It is called an armature. So treat her just like you like to be treated and she will live a long, happy life with you. Remember she would much rather be carried with a hug :) than dragged around by her arms or legs :( Ouch!

Note about staining of vinyl parts

Fabric dyes can stain vinyl. Pre-wash all dark colored clothing before wearing on your doll. Pre-soaking of dark blues, burgundy, purples, browns and black clothing in a basin with warm water with a half cup of table salt and a half cup of vinegar can help to remove excess dye and set some dyes. Rinse well and launder as usual.  All fabrics used in our custom creations are pretreated to reduce the likelihood of staining.

Be aware that dye transfer can still happen if your doll's clothing gets wet when on her, for example if she is playing in the rain or helping out in the kitchen. Remove the wet clothes immediately and let her and the clothes dry out before re-dressing her. When styling her hair, you may want to moisten it... that is fine... but undress her first to her undies and wrap her in a light colored towel if she is shy or chilly.

If your doll becomes stained, we recommend using  the Twin Pines products  "Remove-zit" and "Formula 911" together.  Follow label directions closely.  These products may damage painted areas so they must be used carefully. They may cause the vinyl color to fade, especially with dark skin tones, so be patient and test an unexposed area (like under the wig) first.  The Remove-zit will continue to work for several weeks after you remove the residue (it is absorbed into the vinyl) so bear that in mind.  Stain removal can take weeks. Be patient. Do not use Benzoyl peroxide pimple/spot creams on your dolls and never put your doll in direct sunlight for any length of time.  The heat and sun radiation and cause degradation of the vinyl and the eyes and may cause condensation to form on the inside of the limbs and head which could cause a mold problem on the inside of your doll a long term problem for health as well as staining of the doll from the inside out.  

Hair-styling tips

Buy a wide toothed comb available from any drug store or variety store to use on your doll. Do not use it on people hair as the oils may damage her hair. Do not use a doll brush as they can rip the hair from the wigs. To comb, take a section of hair, hold it near the bottom and start combing below where you are holding and work your way up. Then move on to the next section. Wigs with waves and curls can also be 'finger combed'. Wigs with ringlets may be combed into waves.

Many with curls and waves are factory set. The fibers will 'remember' their curl. To set ringlets in your curly or wavy wig use the end of the wide toothed comb (or a pick) to divide a section of hair beginning from the bottom of the strands. Wet your fingers and dampen the section of hair. Gently comb through the section of hair. Beginning at the top of the hair section, wrap the section around your index finger snugly, hold for a few seconds, and then allow the hair to loosen a bit and with your other hand gently work the curl down the finger... it will fall into a beautiful ringlet. Allow to dry before dressing your doll.

Washing your doll's hair

Undress her down to her undies and wrap her body in a clean, light colored towel and cover her face with a wash cloth. Rest her on a countertop on her back with her hair hanging into a basin. Gently swish her hair in cold water with a dash of mild shampoo... I prefer Pert... keeping the water away from her face. Try not to soak the wig will take longer to dry. Rinse well with cold water. Gently towel dry her hair and rotate her so her hair is hanging over the countertop. Check her body and towel dry any wet areas. Beginning at the very bottom of her hair comb through section by section. Towel dry as needed. You can set her hair in curls at this point if you like. Read her a story and allow her to air dry in this position overnight. Do not use a hair dryer or any heat appliances on your doll... they will melt the hair fibers. If your doll decides she wants a totally different style of hair there are many wigs to choose from. Email us and we can give you suggestions and instructions for changing her wig.

Re-conditioning Unruly wigs

Twin Pines makes a wonderful wig styler/conditioner product and a hair care package for dolls. These items may be purchased through Dollspart Supply.

Cleaning your doll's face

Dust can be removed with a soft paint brush. If she needs a deeper cleaning, gently blot her face with a damp cloth. Her eyes may be cleaned by gently wiping with a damp cotton swab. Avoid getting your doll's face soaking wet... it may loosen her eyelashes and damage her face paint. Do not use make-up, markers or crayons on your dolls face as they can cause permanent staining. See note below about nail polish. Do not use baby (or any other) wipes or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on your doll's face.

Eyelash Care

At Westport Dolls we use water soluble tacky glue available from any craft store such as Joann Fabric or Michaels to apply eyelashes. Do not use any other type of glue... they can damage the eyes and the eyelashes. If any of the eyelashes become loose it is easy to repair. Squeeze a small drop of tacky glue onto a plastic surface. Use a toothpick to pick up a tiny drop of glue. Use a second toothpick to lift the loose end of the eyelash. Add the drop of glue to the eyelid. Press in place. If you ever need replacement eyelashes contact us by email.

Cleaning your doll's cloth body, arms and legs

For heavy soiling you may use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on non-painted vinyl parts and for spot cleaning the fabric body. If your doll's body gets soaking wet for any reason email us for instructions.

A note about nail polish

If your doll wants to try nail polish make sure you discuss this with an adult. Even the nail polish sold by the doll manufacturers can stain your doll and the nail polish remover can damage the vinyl. People nails grow so we don't mind so much when nail polish stains our nails... but your doll has her nails for the life of her body. So be careful with nail polish. Once removed, even light colors will leave an orange stain. Use colorless acetone-free nail polish remover and wash after with water.

Car rides, Attics, Basements

So we all know that these dolls do get into mischief occasionally. Just like a child, do not leave your doll unattended in a parked car or attic. You never know what might happen if your doll feels lonely or afraid being left alone. The excessive heat and cold can cause the glue at her neck joint and wig to soften in heat and become brittle in cold. It can cause her eyes to degrade. Besides, while she likes to go for rides with you, she also enjoys visiting friends, shops, etc. so bring her with you. If she needs to take an extended rest it is best to undress her to her undies, clean her vinyl with a damp cloth, wrap her in tissue paper and store her in her doll box in an area with moderate temperature and humidity. If she needs to be stored in a basement, place her wrapped in tissue in a plastic storage container with silicon drying packets.

Dolly Emergencies

Accidents can happen no matter how careful we are. Not to worry, we will take good care of your doll if she ever needs special attention. You may even be able to help her yourself and advice is always free. Sometimes dolls like to grow up just like their mommies and we can certainly arrange special spa visits to suit her needs.

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