How to Clean Barbies in the Dishwasher

In the world of parenting and toy maintenance, Barbies often take center stage. These iconic dolls have been a beloved part of many childhoods for generations. However, over time, Barbies can accumulate dirt, grime, and various stains that can be quite challenging to remove. One unconventional yet effective method that has gained popularity is cleaning Barbies in the dishwasher. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to clean Barbies in the dishwasher effectively.

Why Clean Barbies in the Dishwasher?

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of this cleaning method, it’s essential to understand why some individuals choose to clean their Barbies in the dishwasher. The reasons are manifold:

  1. Efficiency: Dishwashers are designed to clean and sanitize dishes efficiently. Using them to clean Barbies can save time and effort.
  2. Thorough Cleaning: The high water temperature and strong water jets in dishwashers can reach every nook and cranny of a Barbie doll, ensuring a thorough cleaning.
  3. Sanitization: Dishwashers use hot water and detergent, which can effectively sanitize the dolls, eliminating germs and bacteria that may have accumulated over time.
  4. Time-Saving: Cleaning Barbies one by one can be time-consuming. Dishwashers allow you to clean multiple dolls simultaneously.

Preparing Your Barbies for the Dishwasher

Before you toss your Barbies into the dishwasher, some preparation steps are essential to ensure the process goes smoothly and doesn’t damage your cherished dolls:

Step 1: Remove Accessories

Begin by carefully removing any accessories or clothing from your Barbies. Items such as shoes, hats, and removable clothing can get damaged or lost during the dishwasher cycle.

Step 2: Check for Battery Compartments

If your Barbie dolls have battery compartments, ensure they are empty and the compartment is securely closed. Water can damage batteries and potentially harm your dolls.

Step 3: Secure Delicate Parts

For Barbies with delicate parts, such as long hair or fragile limbs, consider securing them to prevent any tangles or damage during the dishwasher cycle. Using hair ties or rubber bands can help keep their hair intact.

Loading the Dishwasher Properly

Loading your Barbies into the dishwasher correctly is crucial to avoid any damage and ensure a thorough cleaning. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Place Barbies in a Mesh Bag

To protect your Barbies from direct contact with the dishwasher’s water jets and spinning arms, it’s advisable to place them in a mesh laundry bag or a dishwasher-safe container designed for small items.

Step 2: Use the Top Rack

Place the mesh bag containing your Barbies on the dishwasher’s top rack. Avoid placing them on the bottom rack, as the intense heat could damage them.

Step 3: Add Detergent

Add a small amount of mild dishwasher detergent to the dishwasher’s detergent compartment. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the dolls’ plastic.

Choosing the Right Dishwasher Settings

Selecting the appropriate dishwasher settings is crucial to cleaning your Barbies effectively and safely. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Opt for a Gentle Cycle

Choose a gentle or delicate cycle on your dishwasher. Avoid using the heavy-duty or high-temperature settings, as they can damage the dolls’ plastic.

Step 2: Lower Temperature

Adjust the water temperature to a lower setting. Barbie dolls are typically made of plastic, and high temperatures can cause warping or melting.

Step 3: Skip the Dry Cycle

Once the wash cycle is complete, skip the drying cycle. Instead, remove the Barbies promptly to prevent any potential damage from the heat.

Post-Dishwasher Care

After your Barbies have gone through the dishwasher, there are a few more steps to ensure they are clean, dry, and ready for play:

Step 1: Air Dry

Place your Barbies in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. This step is crucial to prevent any moisture from being trapped inside the dolls.

Step 2: Reassemble Accessories

Once your Barbies are dry, reassemble their accessories and clothing. Make sure everything is in its proper place.

Step 3: Inspect for Damage

Carefully inspect your Barbies for any damage that may have occurred during the cleaning process. If you notice any issues, address them promptly.


Cleaning Barbies in the dishwasher can be a convenient and effective way to maintain these beloved toys. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your Barbies are not only clean but also well-preserved for future play. Remember to prioritize the safety of your dolls by using gentle settings and proper preparation. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your Barbies in their pristine condition for years to come.

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