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Dusting Your Doll Collection

Dusting - One of the Most Necessary Activities to Preserve Your Dolls

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Cleaning a doll collection can seem daunting--so many dolls, so much to do, and it can be very difficult figuring out the best place to start. If you aren't sure where to start, may I suggest dusting? Dusting a doll collection seems so obvious to me, yet it is often a sadly overlooked, aspect to keeping your dolls well conserved and preserved. Adqueate dusing of your doll collection is one of the easiest, quickest, and most necessary things you can do to conserve take good care of your doll collection, whether your dolls were made in 1800 or 2010. So, lets get started!

Dust Your Collection!

I see lots of doll collections, and I often see what can go sadly awry with doll collections. I can't tell you how many times I've been called in to appraise a doll collection or pack up a collection, and it is obvious that no one has dusted the collection in years. Dusting is not as necessary if your dolls all live in completely closed cabinets, but in my experience most collectors have at least a few dolls not in cabinets and thus completely exposed to dust, and some collectors with the most beautiful and imaginative displays of dolls such as doll Christmas vignettes) have nearly all their dolls open to dust.

How To Dust Dolls

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If you have bisque dolls with molded hair and no clothing, you can dust your dolls like you dust your piano. Unfortunately for dusting, most dolls have hair and clothing. Some dolls are completely made of cloth. All of this complicates dusting to some degree. Most bisque and plastic dolls cn have their exposed faces and limbs dusted in a regular manner. Clothing and hair is much trickier. If your dolls are very dusty, shaking out the clothing and wigs outdoors can help quite a bit. For delicate clothing, of course, you probably don't want to remove the clothing to dust it or shake it out or beat the dust off in any manner. For such situations, a very small mini-vac can help (be careful the suction is not high enough to damage antique doll clothing), as is a can of dust-off. Dust-off is also extremely useful for miniature dolls and other dolls were dusting might damage delicate, small, hard to reach details. If you don't remove the dust from your dolls and their clothing, acidic elements in dust can damage composition and plastic dolls, and doll clothing can quickly yellow and even become brittle.

Dust the Doll Environment

When dusting your doll collection, be careful to dust the environment the dolls are in as well..the shelves the dolls stand on, the carpet, and anywhere excessive dust can accumulate. There is no sense dusting off your dolls, only to have all the local dust re-settle on the dolls nearly immediately, so keep to a regular schedule of dusting. I know there is no way to completely rid any doll not in a closed display cabinet of dust (if there is, I'd love to hear abou it!)so stay ahead of that dust so your dolls can last in great condition for many years to come.

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