This post is part of the dollfiehome FAQ.
Dollfies stain easily, and despite all the stain warnings on Volks’s site and doll care blogs, many of us still end up staining them. I’d like to think that it’s not due to carelessness — everyone’s careful when it comes to handling dollfies — but rather that staining often happens during the most obscure moments even after you think you’ve got everything right. This post will try to identify and provide solutions to most of these problems!
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Unpredictable stains usually occur when:
1. Not knowing part of the doll outfit lacks a stain protection layer. The outfit is then left on for too long.
2. Gripping the doll in an area where the inside of the outfit has no stain protection layer.
3. Duration isn’t the only factor for staining. Simply dressing up your dollfie can result in an immediate stain. Some clothes spread dye the moment it touches your dollfie.
4. Dollfie is placed for a long time near plants (mainly flowers) or other objects that may release some form of coloured material.
5. SEWING THREAD (thanks chun for providing this!):
“And oh! Sometimes it’s not the fabric which stains, but the black thread stains ^^; I found out the hard way o_o; Black sewing thread definitely stains, it leaves blue/purple marks ^^; But can be removed by pimple cream like Oxy10 over a few applications ^^ One other colour which is likely to stain is red, I am afraid to use red thread to sew due to that ^^; Also some of the lace trim– elastic lace etc, maybe dyed from white ones, those will cause stains too…”
6. Clothing labels/tags (thanks Smithy at figure.fm for providing this!):
Inspect the clothing labels and tags inside your dollfies’ clothes! If they are dyed in a dark colour, it might be best to remove them.
7. Humidity (from chun):
If your area or room is more humid than usual, colour on the clothes may come off quicker and easier, so it’s best not to leave dyed clothes on for too long.
Here are a few suggestions to prevent the above from happening:
If you have dark or brightly coloured clothing, ALWAYS flip it inside-out first to check if there are any areas not backed by a stain protective layer.
Here’s an example below:
At first glance, it seems like the denim skirt has a stain protection layer.
But after turning it inside-out, it becomes obvious that the waist area won’t be protected. And usually dollfies are held by the waist area.
Should also be careful of the tips of the frills. The protection layer might not cover up the hem of the skirt. Should wash the outfit thoroughly if you’re worried.
So one should provide a protective layer here to protect the waist. As you can see below, sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a bodysuit or a piece specifically made for stain prevention. As long as the outfit is not dyed a bright or dark colour. Whites are generally safe.
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Here is another case.
Sometimes, it’s not feasible to have an extra protective layer on the inside — like the sleeves of this outfit. So it’s important to remember not to hold the doll by these parts (her arms in this case) as to not rub the inside of the sleeves against the vinyl.
Alternatively, you can try to find different types of bodysuits that cover up whatever is required to be covered. I don’t think the Volks USA website provides staining outfits that cover up the arms. But if you look on Yahoo Japan Auction and sites of custom clothing tailors, they may have them on occasion.
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If possible, try to thoroughly wash and rinse heavily dyed outfits in warm water first before wearing them (“until the water rinses clear” says Otakusan). It doesn’t guarantee no stains afterwards, but at least it won’t stain the moment you try to put the outfit on. If the outfit is too difficult to wash (e.g. suits and extravagent items you’re afraid of messing up with water), you can try to apply the following technique below:
It’s wise to put on a stain protection layer first.
But some outfits, like these pants here, can actually stain your dollfie the moment you try to wear them.
So instead, you could try to wear both outfits at the same time, by placing the stain protection inside the outfit. Put it on while making sure none of the dark outfit touches the dollfie, then adjust as needed afterwards.
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Sometimes, we may place a dollfie near plants and flowers and leave them there for a long time.
Depending on the type of plant or whatever object it is, it may release very tiny coloured particles. You probably won’t be able to see at first glance, but things tend to accumulate over time. Be cautious of where you place your dollfies long-term.
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Solutions if you have already stained your dollfie:
There is an extensive guide on how to remove dollfie stains by Aquilla HERE. Also, read the comments on that page as it has some case-by-case scenarios asked by past readers and answered by Aquilla.
If you’ve tried all the methods suggested on Aquilla’s page and haven’t spent your last savings on the latest figurines, then, as a last resort, you can buy new parts from Volks or literally an entirely new body. Of course, there are exceptions like Yoko’s “Natural Bust”, which aren’t sold optionally, so please take good care of those.
Any epic staining scenarios you’ve experienced not mentioned here? Share your tales of woe and I’ll add them to this list!