How to Clean Your Dollhouse

how to clean your dollhouse
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It’s easy for dollhouses to get a bit dusty over time – even in the cleanest of houses! With spring right around the corner, I thought now would be a great time to talk about how to clean your dollhouse and of course remind you yes, it does need done every so often!

Cleaning your dollhouse doesn’t have to be a major labor intensive endeavor – most houses can be cleaned top to bottom within an hour. If only our real houses were that easy to clean!

In this post, I’ll share step by step everything you need to know on how to clean a dollhouse and some tips and tricks to make it easier to clean going forward!

Step 1: Take All Furniture & Accessories Out of the House

I know, I know, this step sounds counter productive. After all, we work so hard to arrange everything and set up the perfect scene! But, if you really want to tackle the dust it’s a necessary step.

If you think you might have a hard time remembering where everything was to put it back, you should take pictures to use as a reference before you take everything out. This way you can easily recreate the scene without having to rely on your memory!

Step 2: Clean the Interior Walls, Floors and Ceilings

There are many ways to do this, and really just depends on how much dust has built up in your dollhouse. I usually use a slightly damp cloth to wipe things down much in the same way I dust my real-life furniture.

You don’t want the cloth to be too wet – especially if you have wallpaper on the walls as it could potentially cause smearing or even the paper to wrinkle. If in doubt, use a spray bottle of water and mist the cloth lightly with 1 or 2 sprays.

Step 3: Dust Furniture & Accessories With Microfiber Lens Cleaner Cleaning Cloths

I’ve found that microfiber cleaning cloths that you would use to clean your eyeglasses are the perfect thing for removing layers of dust from your dollhouse furniture and accessories.

They are relatively small and something about them really helps grab those dust particles.

If you don’t have the microfiber cleaning cloths, you can also use the lens cleaner wipes they sell at most big box retail stores. These are slightly damp but dry quickly and work great at removing dust.

Step 4: Use Paint Brushes to Dust Hard to Reach Spots

For tiny detailed items where the microfiber cleaning cloths won’t work, a paint brush makes for a fantastic broom and duster!

The best part is paint brushes come in all kinds of different sizes and chances are you already have them from when you paint your minis. The brush is great for getting in between those small little spaces where your hands can’t reach!

Step 5: Wash Fabric/Cloth Materials If Possible

Just like we regularly need to wash things like curtains and bedding and pillows in our life size houses, it’s also a good idea to do the same in your dollhouse.

I’ve found that you can often soak these items in a small tub or bowl with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Be sure you rinse the items well and allow them to fully dry before placing them back in your dollhouse!

If you have fabric items that are glued to wood or paper and can’t be washed, a bit of spot cleaning with a damp cloth can also work well.

Step 6: Clean the Landscaping

If your dollhouse has landscaping, such as garden beds or tufts of grass, getting the dust out can be a challenge. Compressed air often works fairy well because it acts somewhat like a leaf blower.

Another great way to clean up landscaping materials is to use a light duty vacuum with a hose attachment. Place a pair of nylon pantyhose over the opening of the hose and attach with a rubber band to ensure nothing gets sucked up accidentally!

Step 7: Consider Whether You Should Add Protective Sealants

Depending on how easy of a time you had with cleaning your items so far, now is a good time to consider if maybe you should add some type of protectant coating to your walls, floors and ceilings of the dollhouse as well as your furniture and accessories.

A coat of clear finishing wax or lemon/orange oil can help protect wood surfaces from collecting dust in the first place.

Of course – it is always a matter of personal preference and the materials you used to build the house. This isn’t a required step and there’s always the risk that you won’t like the sealant or might run into issues applying it – so if the idea makes you nervous just skip it!

Step 8: Address Any Musty or Mildew Smells Immediately!

If your dollhouse has any weird smells, it’s important to deal with those immediately as they often can get much, much worse quickly.

There are a couple of ways to deal with smells, and the first important thing to make sure of is that you aren’t keeping your dollhouse in a place where its prone to moisture damage, such as a basement or garage.

Odor absorbing charcoal packs can often be helpful at reducing and preventing smells, but if you see any visible signs of mold or mildew, you may need to pull out the bleach to truly get rid of it. Bleach is a very harsh chemical, so be sure to dilute it and take care with items it may damage.

Another good option I’ve used in the past for mildewy books and magazines that would also work well in dollhouses is MicroChamber Interleaving Paper. The advantage of this paper is it would be easy to conceal in your dollhouse!

Step 9: Put Everything Back!

Once everything has been cleaned and dusted thoroughly, you’re ready to put everything back where it belongs!

If you took photos like we suggested in step 1 before you take everything out, you can use those photos as a great reference point to remember where everything belongs!

Step 10: Consider Protective Cases

One of the most effective ways to reduce dust in your dollhouse is to protect it by placing it inside a large display case or attaching a plexiglass door to the dollhouse so interior items don’t collect dust.

I personally don’t do this because I’m always fiddling around with moving stuff and redecorating my houses – but if you are the type of person who collects them and leaves them be once complete this is a good idea to save on how often you need to clean items!

I hope this helps inspire you to clean your dollhouse and that these tips make it easy for you to do! Like I said, it doesn’t take too long and it’s definitely a lot more fun than cleaning the actual house I live in!

Do you have any tips for cleaning your dollhouses? How often do you clean your dollhouse? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  1. Your post has been the most informative yet. Hi I was wondering if you could give me any suggestions on how you actually clean a dollhouse that is covered in mildew my pierce dollhouse that my grandmother built for me was in storage however the AC stopped working and now is covered in mildew any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    What’s the best way to clean mildew off a dollhouse?

    1. Hi Jenna! My husband and I actually used to clean out foreclosures and have a lot of experience with mold and mildew remediation. First, you will definitely want to wear a mask and gloves in an outdoor space but you will want to soak the entire thing with bleach diluted in water and then let it sit outside in the sun. Unfortunately, depending on what materials the dollhouse is made of the bleach may destroy it in the process. Talking to a mold remediation specialist near you might be able to help you restore it safely!

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