Removing Marks From American Girl Dolls & Other Plastic Toys

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Seriously, what is wrong with kids?  And how is it somehow always my fault that their things get ruined?

Regardless, after a large number of My Little Ponies and a brand new American Girl doll mysteriously wound up with dark marks, I had to find a way to fix things.  Fluttershy received a makeover from a ballpoint pen and was my test dummy for the American Girl doll who was wearing some cheap off-brand capris that got wet.  As the parent who paid for the American Girl doll, it was particularly devastating to me.  Probably more than it was to her real owner.

How to remove pen marks or other dark stains from your American Girl Doll or My Little Pony.

After some research, I decided to try Benzoyl Peroxide.  I was initially terrified to try this on the American Girl doll, so I first tested this method on the much more replaceable Fluttershy.  I was hesitant because I use this stuff on breakouts  and have lost many a towel & t-shirt to the stuff.  It will bleach many fabrics so be careful.  Try this at your own risk.  It worked for me, but please be careful.

“The internet” told me I had to use a specific brand of the stuff.  Not true.  It’s an acne medication and all products that have Benzoyl Peroxide as the active ingredient are thte same thing.  Different brands use different strengths.  I had Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 on hand which I had purchased because it had the highest concentreation (10% of the active ingredient.  You can buy it with Amazon Prime.

How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

I prepared my test dummy by spreading the Benzoyl Peroxide liberally onto the marked areas and covering her with plastic wrap.  The plastic wrap keeps the medication from drying which seems to improve it’s effectiveness.  I tried just one side at a time since the next step is to put her out in the sun for a few hours.  Our generation seems to have been blinded by cleaning product marketing and have forgotten about the free & powerful tool at our disposal: the sun.  It’s great for removing stains from clothing and even odors from rugs.  Now it can add “Removes the effects of children from toys” to it’s resume.

Here are the basic steps

  1. Spread Benzoyl Peroxide over marked areas
  2. Cover with plastic wrap
  3. Leave in the sun for several hours

Here is Fluttershy after one treatment.  I found that multiple treatments were often required.  I also tried leaving her in the sun for longer than the “a few hours and I’d say just keep an eye on things.  I didn’t have any adverse effects from leaving her out all day on a sunny, spring day in Texas at about 70-75 degrees.

How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Next up, I tried the American girl doll with the other side of Fluttershy.

Step 1 – Apply Benzoyl PeroxideHow to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Step 2 – Cover With Plastic
How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Step 3 – Sun
How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Aren’t they cute sunning together?  I covered the American girl doll to protect all other areas from getting too much sun.  Although it’s a miracle tool, it can be damaging or drying.  I checked on her after 2-3 hours and the marks had faded a bit but not completely so she went back out.

I ended up repeating these steps 4 times on the American Girl and an happy to report that her marks are hardly noticeable.  With another treatment or two, I’m sure she will be good as new.  The My Little Pony was good as new after 3 treatments.  I did leave them out longer than the 2-3 hours the 3rd time because it was sunny but not too hot.

How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Here are their before and after shots.

How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

Seriously, it’s hard to believe that it’s the same Fluttershy!  When I can steal the doll away from her girl for another afternoon or two, I’m sure she will be good as new.  For now, it’s hardly noticeable that she ever even had the ordeal (and I’m thrilled that she didn’t have to visit the American Girl Doll ho$pital).

How to remove pen stains from a My Little Pony or other plastic toys (works with Sharpie, too!).

PS – That’s a project nearing completion that I can’t wait to share in the  background!

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