How to clean your wool doll: part 1

For those of you who have already purchased one of my wool filled dolls you will have received information on how to care for your new dolly.

In particular I tell you not to put your doll in the washing machine as her insides will go all lumpy and felt.

Unlike our Grandma’s generation, we are not used to having to wash things by hand. Our washing machines are so clever they can ‘hand wash’ delicates, and what we can’t ‘shove’ in the washing machine we send to the dry cleaners.

With this in mind I have put together this how-to as washing machines will really ruin your dolly’s insides.


My daughters and I washed three of their wool filled dolls. Annabelle had a surface wash with my youngest daughter helping and I will share how we did this today.

What you will need


Soap flakes, or pure natural soap grated
Cold water
A basin
Cotton cloth
Optional: Stockmar crayon and a small piece of jersey rag

How to surface wash

Wool dollies don’t need washing often, and most of the time, a surface wash is all that is needed to lift the play grubbiness and give a new lease of life.

1. Remove all the dolly’s clothes (if they have any on).

2. Make up a mild soap solution by adding the soap flakes to a little bit of hot water and letting them dissolve – see image below. Then add this to the basin and add cold water until cool to the touch. Hot water increases the chance of the wool felting into lumps so we need to keep the water cool.

3. Using a soft cotton flannel (we used cheeky wipes) gently wipe dolly’s face and body, paying particular attention to the grubbier areas. For Annabelle her hands, feet and cheeks were grubby – we didn’t do her whole body.


4. Using cold water to keep rinsing the cloth, gently wipe to remove the soap solution.

5. Wrap her up cosy in a towel and pat dry – don’t squeeze or wring as it could cause the doll to felt.


6. Place dolly on the flat to dry, away from direct heat. We laid our dollies on top of the drying rack in the garden.


7. Once dolly is dry (which won’t take too long for a surface wash) you can reapply the blush. Rub the crayon onto the soft jersey rag and then use this to gently build back up her rosy cheeks.


I hope that was helpful and will give your confidence to have a go with your little one! My daughter enjoyed washing her dolly ‘Annabelle’, and I enjoyed the connection we shared while caring for her dolly.

Next week I will show you how to do a full submersion wash when we will bathe Dolly and Rosie. My girls found this very exciting!

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