Answers to Your Doll Care Questions

1. How should I clean my girl's American Girl doll?
American Girl dolls are meant to be played with, so now and then, they'll probably need a bit of a clean up. Check out our helpful hints for skin care in the Hair & Skin Care section to have your girl's doll looking fresh and clean in no time. You can also consult our experts at
or for tips.
2. Someone drew all over my girl's doll. What should I do?
If you've tried our basic skin care tips and the stains haven't budged, it may be time to call in the experts. We recommend you call one of our doll doctors at
or e-mail them at For ink stains, they can walk you through a removal process you can do at home that might work. If not, they can advise you on the proper procedure for admitting your doll to our Doll Hospital where she'll receive expert care.
3. Can I wash doll hair? If so, how do I wash it?
We don't recommend regular washing of the doll's hair since it can make it frizzy and damaged. However, sometimes spills happen and her hair needs to be cleaned. If that's the case, we can help. Call one of our doll doctors at
or e-mail them at and they can walk you through the steps to make sure the hair comes out looking its best.
4. What's the best way to brush doll hair?
We're glad you asked. Doll hair needs special care to keep it looking its best. You'll want to start with the right tools because the techniques are different depending on if the doll has straight, curly, or textured hair. You can find detailed tips on brushing, misting, and styling all types of American Girl doll hair in our Hair & Skin Care section.
5. Can I remove the wave from braided doll hair?
If your girl has a doll like Molly® or Kaya®, who has had braids for a long time, her hair will likely have waves in it when you take the braids out—just like your hair would. To lessen the wave, lightly mist her hair with water and gently brush it with a wire Doll Hairbrush from the bottom up. Although it may take a little time, the wave will gradually lessen. If you have other questions about how to care for doll hair or if your girl wants to learn some new styles, visit the Hair & Skin Care section, call our experts at
, or e-mail them at
6. How can I make doll curls look like new again?
Try this technique to freshen doll curls: Separate a small section of hair and brush it smooth. Lightly mist the hair with water. Fold a curling paper, book-style, around the damp section, and slide it down to cover the ends of the hair. Place a doll-sized roller in the hair and turn it vertically. Starting at the bottom, wind the paper and the hair around the roller until it's full. Close the clasp to hold the roller in place. Repeat with as many rollers as you'd like. Fewer rollers with more hair on them will give you bigger, looser curls. Let the hair dry completely, then remove the rollers and style the hair with your fingers. Be patient—it could take overnight or even a couple of days for the hair to dry completely.
7. Can I replace a doll wig with a new one?
Regrettably, our Doll Hospital staff is unable to replace wigs. To remove the wig would be very difficult and could result in damaging the doll's head. If there's a problem with the doll's hair and you would like to change it, her entire head must be replaced. We're happy to do that at our Doll Hospital. Download the admittance form and find out more about her stay in our Doll Hospital section. If you have any other questions about the doll wig, call
or e-mail our experts at
8. One of the doll's eyes won't open anymore. Should I admit her to the Doll Hospital?
Before admitting her, please call us for a consultation at
or e-mail us at We'll ask you to describe what you believe caused the problem and provide any other details regarding the doll's eye. Our doll doctors can assess the situation and give you the best advice on whether she can be fixed at home or needs to be admitted to the Doll Hospital for expert care.
9. The neck cord on the doll is cut. What should we do?
On American Girl dolls, the neck cord is used to secure the head to the doll's body. It's designed to remain outside of the body instead of being tucked in—or, oops, cut off—so that we can easily replace a doll's head if necessary or make other repairs. It's possible that your girl's doll will remain functional without the exposed cord, but we'd love to assess her condition. For a consultation with one of our doll doctors, call
or e-mail them at

If her head has already come unattached, please follow these instructions:

  • Thread a curved needle with 18 inches of long, heavyweight string similar to a shoelace.
  • Insert the needle in one end of the neck seam and push it around to the other side in a circular motion. Pull the string through so the ends are even.

To tie the head back on:

  • Lay the doll chest-down, across your lap. Insert the head into the body face up.
  • Crisscross the two ends of the string, and pull the ends tightly using slow, even pressure (so the seam does not rip out) until there is no gap between the neck and body. It can be helpful to have a second person assist by keeping the tension tight.
  • Double or triple knot the string to secure it.
  • Carefully turn the doll's head back to its original position.
10. One of the doll's legs is loose and wobbly. Can I fix it at home or do I need to send her to the Doll Hospital?
We're sorry her joint is loose. Before admitting her to our Doll Hospital, please call
or e-mail and describe the problem so we can offer our best advice regarding your particular concern. If she needs to be admitted, we'll talk you through the proper procedures or you can download the admittance form and find out more about her stay in our Doll Hospital section.
11. Our dog chewed one of the doll's arms and ruined it. What should I do now?
Sometimes major owies happen to American Girl dolls. Whether the dog used her as a chew toy or a little brother decided she needed a haircut, we can help. For a consultation with one of our doll doctors, call
or e-mail them at They can tell you more about the services available at our Doll Hospital, such as replacing limbs and even giving your girl's doll a new head. You also can download the admittance form and find out more about her stay in our Doll Hospital section.