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Barbies have been a toy of choice for many younger children for many decades. Barbies have been played with in virtually every situation including in the rain, mud, pools, baths, and much more.
If you are new to the world of barbies then you might be wondering whether getting them wet will harm them or if it’s ok for your kids to play with them in the pool, bath, or sink.
Barbies were actually made to withstand moisture and wetness, considering that kids will play with them almost everywhere. However, although water will not directly damage the quality of the dolls, their parts can hold water if not drained well.
However, water that is stored in the joints and other corners of the doll’s body can breed mold and cause risks to your kids health so if they do play with their Barbies in water you need to make sure to fully dry them out after they get wet.
Plastic toys like Barbie dolls are prone to mold when not washed regularly or when stored in a wet or moist area for a long time so that is why drying is so vitally important.
There are toys that are specifically made for baths or pools yet even these must be cleaned/dried frequently to remain moisture-free.
Recently my wife noticed some discoloration of our kids bath toys that she couldn’t seem to scrub off only to realize that the toys had a small pinhole and water was getting inside of them. That moisture inside the toys had caused mold to grow and the discoloration she saw was actually mold inside of them!!
Obviously you will want to avoid this with your children’s toys/Barbies so that is why making sure they are dried off EVERY SINGLE TIME is so important.
To see some of the most popular Barbie dolls available you can click here.
Avoid Immersing Barbies in Water When Washing
Keeping Barbie dolls in good condition should start with washing them regularly. While they will obviously be exposed to water, they should not be completely soaked or immersed in it.
To clean the Barbies prepare a soft cotton rag and mild soapy water. To prevent mold from forming inside, wipe the body of the barbie to partially rid the first layer of filth instead of pouring or showering the toy in the sink.
You will then want to continue to wipe the doll with the warm soapy water until they are clean and then dry them off entirely before letting your children play with them again.
The mold that can build up inside a Barbie doll can cause an awful smell and create irritable rashes on your kid’s skin so avoiding that at all costs should be your priority.
Many people will even develop an allergy because of the active organisms present in the mold. However, Barbies with mold inside of them can still be saved if you know what to do. .
How to Clean Mold From Barbie Dolls
If you find yourself with some Barbies that have mold in or on them you don’t have to throw them out just yet. There are a few things that you can try to get them clean before you go to those extreme measures.
With a solution of ¼ cup of color-safe bleach, fill a sink or a washtub with a gallon of water. Add more bleach if you need more gallons of water to fill the container.
The liquid measurement is just enough to safely sanitize the dolls without damaging their components with the chemicals from the solution.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss any parts, you may remove the heads of the Barbie and put them back on later after drying.
Submerge the entire body of the doll in the bleach solution. Since you removed the head, it will be easier for you to rinse thoroughly as well.
Clean the head separately after its body and focus on washing the most intricate details on the doll’s face and inside of it (where the mold is more likely to be).
Ensure that the moldy parts are soaked in the solution.
The mold will not break down in an instant, but you’ll see the satisfying effect later on as it starts to deform and gives in to the strength of the chemical solution.
You can try to tilt the doll and check if all of the parts are fully covered.
Leave the submerged Barbie dolls for at least two minutes to let the chemicals do the job and fight the microorganisms hosted by the toy through the bleach’s full solution concentration.
After two minutes, grab a rubber glove to protect your skin just before you start scrubbing the bleached barbies with a cloth scouring pad.
Be sure and scrub all of the hard to reach crevices because those places are usually the favorite spots of mold to dominate and hide.
When you are through cleaning the Barbie’s bodies, gather the heads you removed earlier. Repeat the scrubbing process being sure to use a clean towel or cloth.
However, you need to be careful about cleaning around their facial features. Some manufacturers just use standard paint material, which is why scrubbing could distort Barbie’s face design.
Do not let the Barbies soak in the solution for too long. You should remove them immediately from the tub/sink after scrubbing.
Prepare clean water and rinse the Barbies off thoroughly. Avoid dipping the dolls into the container and fully submerging them. You should also keep shaking them to prevent water from staying in the crevices of the toys.
There’s a big chance the hair of the dolls are also covered with mold and mildew. Wash their hair with toy-friendly baby shampoo after taking the above steps.
Although the heads are already soaked with bleach, you need to wash the hair again using the shampoo to also remove the residue from the chemical solution.
Get a clean folded towel, spread the dolls, and let them dry for 12 hours or more. Check the dolls every once in a while and adjust their position to make sure they are fully dried.
When the dolls are dry and looking good as new, you can reattach the heads and dress the dolls as desired. If the issue continues to come back after going through the above process then it’s likely time to just throw the Barbies away and get new ones.
Other Ways to Protect and Preserve Your Barbie Dolls
Avoid extremes of hot and cold
Barbie dolls are made of durable plastic, but they can still be degraded with exposure to extreme temperatures.
Too cold temperatures can crack or otherwise damage the composition of the dolls while heat damages the plastic component.
If you are planning to store some Barbies for a while it’s best to not do so in the attic (because of the heat/cold) or the basement (because of possible moisture).
Don’t let dust accumulate
Dust turns doll clothes yellowish and also forms a thick layer of dirt. If your kids want to display their barbie collections in an open cabinet, you’ll have to dust-off the shelf and the dolls regularly.
Avoid natural light
Natural light can cause discoloration to your dolls and their dresses/clothes as well. It can even fade vinyl-made barbie dolls after long sunlight exposure.
You may display the Barbie dolls in a bright room, but they should be positioned where the natural light is facing away from the shelf or cabinet that they are on.
Keep dolls away from acidic chemicals
Varnished woods are composed of acidic chemicals. Instead of storing the dolls to keep their good condition, you’re maybe keeping them in a container that affects them otherwise.
Avoid setting the dolls near varnished wood to prevent damage to the Barbie dolls and their costumes.
Store dolls in closed cabinets
If you are looking for a safer and standard way of storing the dolls, closed cabinets would be the most ideal choice.
Closed cabinets can preserve the beauty and quality of the dolls as they will be off-limits to bugs, pests, natural light, and most dirt as well.
Some cabinets even have humidity control for all types of collections.
Barbies are made of plastic and over their lifetime will naturally get wet and be exposed to water spills when kids play with them near pools or during bath time.
But as long as they are not totally submerged in the water, they can get dried quite easily and mold will have no chance to form. The only way mold/mildew will become a problem with your Barbie is if you do not dry it off after getting it wet.