Can You Wash Barbies In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Barbies In The Washing Machine

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While it is technically possible to wash dolls, including Barbie dolls, in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent, it is generally not recommended to do so. Barbie dolls have delicate features and accessories that may be damaged or lost during the washing process.

In a world filled with vibrant playtime adventures, Barbie dolls have been a beloved companion to children and collectors alike for decades. These iconic figures come in various styles, from fashionista to explorer, always ready to embark on new journeys.

However, what happens when these cherished friends start to show signs of wear and tear? Can you give your Barbie doll a much-needed bath in the washing machine? Let’s delve into this question with a balanced approach, discussing the dos, don’ts, and alternative methods for cleaning your Barbie dolls.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Barbies In The Washing Machine


  • Use the Gentle Cycle: If you decide to wash Barbie dolls in the washing machine, always opt for the gentle cycle. This setting reduces the risk of causing damage during the washing process.
  • Cold Water: Use cold water to prevent potential color bleeding and fabric damage.
  • Mild Detergent: Choose a mild detergent that is gentle on delicate fabrics and materials. Baby shampoo or laundry soap designed for sensitive skin is a suitable option.
  • Laundry Bag or Pillowcase: Place the dolls inside a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them from getting tangled or damaged during the washing cycle.
  • Air Dry: After washing, let the Barbie dolls air dry completely. Avoid using heat or direct sunlight, which can cause color fading and material deformation.


  • Hot Water: Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the dolls’ materials to warp, and in some cases, it may melt plastic parts.
  • Aggressive Detergents: Do not use strong or harsh detergents, as they can damage the dolls’ fabrics, colors, and plastic components.
  • Machine Drying: Never attempt to machine dry Barbie dolls, as the heat can distort plastic parts, melt accessories, and cause permanent damage.
  • Fabric Softeners and Bleach: Steer clear of fabric softeners and bleach, as they can harm the dolls’ materials and discolor clothing and accessories.
  • High Spin Speed: Do not use high spin speeds, as the dolls can get tangled or banged around, leading to damage.

How To Wash Barbies In The Washing Machine: Step By Step

Step 1

Preparation: Remove any removable accessories from the Barbie doll, such as shoes, clothing, and hats. Set these aside.

Step 2

Laundry Bag or Pillowcase: Place the Barbie dolls inside a laundry bag or a pillowcase. Secure it with a knot or rubber band to prevent tangling and damage during the washing process.

Step 3

Detergent Selection: Choose a mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Baby shampoo or a gentle laundry soap is an excellent choice.

Step 4

Machine Settings: Set your washing machine to the gentle or delicate cycle with cold water.

Step 5

Start the Washing Cycle: Begin the washing cycle and closely monitor the process to ensure everything is proceeding smoothly.

Step 6

Rinse: After the cycle is complete, remove the dolls from the laundry bag or pillowcase.

Step 7

Air Dry: Lay the washed Barbie dolls on a clean, dry towel in a well-ventilated area. Shape them back to their original form, adjusting limbs, hair, or clothing as needed. Allow the dolls to air dry completely.

Step 8

Reattach Accessories and Final Touches: Once the dolls are fully dry, reattach any removable accessories that were removed before washing. Inspect the dolls for any remaining stains, and if necessary, spot clean with a soft bristle brush or toothbrush using a mild detergent solution.

Alternative Washing Methods For Barbies

  1. Hand Washing: If you’re concerned about using a washing machine, you can hand wash Barbie dolls. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and mild detergent, gently scrub the dolls, rinse, and air dry as described in the previous section.
  2. Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or dirt, spot clean Barbie dolls with a soft bristle brush or toothbrush using a mild detergent solution. This method is gentle and avoids submerging the doll entirely.
  3. Wipe Down: Use a damp cloth with a mild detergent solution to wipe down the doll’s surface, focusing on soiled areas. Rinse the cloth and wipe again with clean water to remove soap residue.


Can I use a washing machine to clean vintage Barbie dolls?

Ans: Vintage Barbie dolls, especially those made of delicate materials, should not be machine washed. Hand cleaning with great care is recommended for preserving their collectible value.

How can I remove stubborn stains from Barbie dolls?

Ans: For stubborn stains, gently rub the affected area with a soft bristle brush or toothbrush using a mild detergent solution. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

Are all Barbie dolls suitable for washing in a machine?

Ans: Not all Barbie dolls are designed for machine washing. Always check the care label or packaging for specific cleaning instructions.

Can I wash Barbie doll clothing in the machine?

Ans: Most Barbie doll clothing is too small and delicate for machine washing. Hand washing or spot cleaning is a better approach for maintaining their quality.

How can I maintain my Barbie dolls to keep them clean for longer?

Ans: Regularly dusting the dolls and storing them in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight can help maintain their cleanliness and overall condition.

Final Words

While it is possible to wash Barbie dolls in the washing machine using a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent, it’s generally not recommended due to the potential risks of damage to their delicate features and accessories. If you decide to proceed with machine washing, follow the dos and don’ts provided in this guide, or consider alternative cleaning methods like hand washing, spot cleaning, or wiping down. Your Barbie dolls are precious, and with the right care, they can continue to be cherished playtime companions for many more adventures to come.


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