How Do I Clean A Vintage Barbie Doll’s Green Ear?
If you collect vintage Barbies with an eye towards getting them back in perfect pristine condition, there is a very good chance that you have run into the condition known as “green ear.”
Green ear describes a discoloration on the ears of Barbie's that have worn metal earrings at some time in the past, staining the plastic and creating an unpleasant looking color. If you are concerned about green ear, it is important to realize that there are methods for removing it safely.
One commonly accepted way to remove green ear is to use a product known as Remove-Zit, though this product should not be used on the mod era dolls as it will bleach the skin to white. To use Remove-Zit, you will be applying a thin coat of it to the area affected with a wooden stick.
After it has dried down to an opaque clay color, gently remove it and then put it own again. You'll find that this can take a few months, so be patient. Remember not to get the remover on the hair or on any of the painted surfaces as this will result in discoloration.
You may also find that you are interested in getting rid of green ear using CLR, which is a calcium, rust and lime remover. This stain remover can be found in supermarkets and hardware stores and you will find that it will remove green ear a great deal more quickly.
Most people will recommend removing the head and then swabbing down the affected areas, inside and out with alcohol. Then take a sewing needle that has been threaded with white thread soaked in CLR and pull the needle through the earring hole.
Make sure that you use a very fine needle for this operation as you don't want to stretch the lobes. The thread will distribute the CLR into the earring hole. Then use a cotton swab and clean the inside of the head with CLR and then use a cotton swab soaked with CLR to cover the ear.
You can leave this set up in place for a full day. To refresh it every twenty four hours, add a few more drops of CLR to the cotton. This can get rid of the green ear in a little bit under a week! Once you are satisfied that the stain has been removed, stop and rinse out all affected areas with alcohol
When you have finished with your cleaning efforts, remember that you should not make the same mistake as the vintage Barbie's previous owner did; don't replace the metal earrings; instead find or make some substitutions at your local craft outlet. Take some time and make sure that you clean your vintage Barbie thoroughly; this can give you a show quality doll in a matter of weeks!