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Washing a Cabbage Patch Doll

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My mom saved a lot of my old toys so I asked her to send one of my old Cabbage Patch Dolls for Baby G. I am hoping we can use it to work with him on potty training and self care.

I did a web search and it seems people have washed a Cabbage Patch Doll in the washing machine so I decided to throw it through even though it says not to. It’s from 1984 and it’s in pretty rough shape so it’d be nice if it smelled a little nicer before Baby G plays with it. Note that the tag says not to wash like this… so if you chose to do it, do it at your own risk. I didn’t have any issues, nor did I read about anyone else having problems with it either. But I think mom might have put them through the wash every now and then, and the doll is pilled in some areas. Not a huge deal if you’re not trying to keep it for a collectible in my opinion.

To wash, I took off its outfit, threw the doll in a pillowcase, knotted the end, and put it into the washer with the outfit and some clothes. I’d like to get Baby G used to how to treat a “baby” for when we have another child, and throwing the doll into the washing machine seems like a bad start. So Shhh, don’t tell him! Haha. I did throw some other laundry in with it because… hey… no need to waste a perfectly good wash cycle.

I used my homemade detergent with vinegar for the rinse. Here’s my washing machine settings:

Adding vinegar too.

After putting him through the wash I hung him by his head because I read to be careful about this so any excess water doesn’t sit inside the head (I’m assuming the fear is that it’d mold). Better safe than sorry.

After Washing

I used Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads, 8-Count Box to get additional marks off his face.

After Magic Eraser:

He’s looking pretty good there! Maybe if I rub a little baby powder in he’ll have that new CPD smell too… haha…

cabbage patch
Yield: 1 Doll

Washing a Cabbage Patch Doll

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1-$5

Make an old Cabbage Patch Doll look and smell new again by washing it with this easy process.


  • Cabbage Patch Doll
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Pillowcase


  • Washing Machine


  1. Remove the clothes from the Cabbage Patch Doll.
  2. Place the doll inside a pillowcase with a knot on one end.
  3. Put it into the washer with the outfit and some clothes.
  4. Once the wash is complete, hang the doll by his head to remove any excess water.
  5. Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads to get any leftover marks off his face.
  6. Place the clothes back on the doll.
  7. Fluff the hair.

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Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Thank you for your post! I have three CPD's for 1984 and 1985 that are pretty grungy and I wasn't thrilled with hand washing them, so I'm going to give this a try.


Wednesday 30th of January 2019

Hello, Just wanted to let others know that our cabbage patch dolls successfully survived the dryer. We did not wash them. Just wanted to dry them to kill any possible bugs of any kind. Medium heat. About 40 minutes. One at a time in a pillowcase. Worked beautifully. And these are old original dolls from the 1980's. I wanted to share because I scoured the internet and couldn't find anyone else talking about this. So I nervously took a chance and am happy it worked! Thanks!


Thursday 31st of January 2019

Great to know! I know that probably wasn't your top choice, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! ;) Glad to hear it worked.


Thursday 10th of January 2019

Good luck! I didn't try braiding, but I bet it would be a good idea. :) Thanks for your comment!

Sarah Widdis

Wednesday 9th of January 2019

I know this is old but thanks for the post! I have two cabbage patch dolls circa 1986 that I would like to gift to my girl on her 2nd birthday and was wondering the best way to clean them up! They both have long hair. I might put it into a tight braid before the wash just to hold it together better.

Barbara S.

Tuesday 9th of August 2016

Thanks for the great post, I just washed two that were my daughter's from 1984! Your directions of using a pillow case is a wonderful idea, the dolls came out clean and fresh and are now sitting in the sun to dry. These dolls are perfect for a baby or toddler, so well made, practically indestructible!

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