Barbie, Clearasil and ‘Green Ear’

Note: This article was written many years ago. There may be new, better products available now.

clearasil - a fix for barbie green ears

I have a great, vintage Barbie® doll in a red swimsuit and her original box, complete with stand. However, Barbie had green spots–stains in (not just on) the plastic–where her earrings used to be. It was a developing tragedy as the green spread a little more each year.

Then, I read that Extra Strength Clearasil will remove most of the green (but sometimes the skin dye, too) by leaching out the color. To the best of my knowledge, nothing will remove all of the green discoloration. The active ingredient is Clearasil’s organic peroxide.

The cleaning process can be slow, taking up to a month, sometimes longer. First, I scanned Barbie’s head so that I’d have a permanent record.

I changed the Clearasil every few hours, after each application had dried. I don’t know if this makes any difference. The most dramatic reduction of green appeared after the first application, in about two hours.

I’ve heard that the green may get worse before it gets better, as the green inside Barbie’s head is leached out, and becomes visible. We’ll see.

And, before you choose one approach to the ‘green ear’ problem, it’s not wise to mix treatments if one doesn’t work. (The plastic can turn brown.)

Because the Clearasil may leach out dyes as well, I was advised to apply the Clearasil with a toothpick or Q-Tip, just to the stain and avoiding any painted areas, or “just fine” skin-colored areas.

But remember, most doll restorers say that the green stains cannot be fully removed from most dolls.

Important: I accept no responsibility for results you may have, so please test the Clearasil on a not-important part of any stained doll (or other vinyl item) that you want to clean. This is strictly for items where the staining is so severe, you have nothing to lose, and safer choices haven’t worked.

Also, Twin Pines of Maine makes “Remove-Zit”, a product with organic peroxide that is intended specifically for treating plastics safely.

I would not consider selling this Barbie, and I’m delighted to be able to (mostly) restore her so that I can display and enjoy her!

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a guideline, not as specific advice for your dolls. The author assumes no responsibility for your repair & restoration efforts, and speaks only from personal experience, providing opinions about repairs.

If you have any questions, please consult a qualified doll hospital.

Related Links: (From the original article – links may not be current.)

And, if you want to customize your Barbie–new hair, different makeup, rebend her arms, and more–there are the books on this subject, listed at right.

Remember that the BarbieTM name has been trademarked and is very protected by the Mattel company. Instead, use the phrase “fashion doll” when you’re searching for more information.

This website has no connection with the Mattel Corporation.

Advice about fashion dolls, including BarbieTM, is provided as personal opinion. When restoring valuable dolls, always consult a professional before attempting any repair.

The name “Barbie” is a registered trademark of the Mattel Corporation.

Let’s see… did I say enough about trademarks, Barbies and green ear to protect myself..? *LOL*

Voodoo Barbie

Voodoo Barbie
Voodoo Barbie – an experiment!

Barbie® brings out the worst in me, sometimes. This is a good example.

She’s not quite Toy Story, but she certainly is strange.

I replaced her torso with a cloth body, and reinforced the (cloth) neck so it will hold her head up.

Her arms and legs are jointed, attached at the hips and shoulders with antique buttons.

She is a new Barbie that I bought for this purpose, so she has bendable knees, too.

The reinforcement in her neck makes it possible for you to angle her head how you’d like, too.

Around her neck I’ve hung a “fetish”-type necklace that I made from glass and wooden beads, bits of fabric, and feathers.

She already has a few (removable) “Voodoo” pins in place. The next owner can decide what to do about that.

(I mean no disrespect to those who practice Voodoo, Hoodoo, Vodun, or any related spirituality. This doll is pretty far removed from those actual beliefs and practices.  She’s more closely related to the tourist-y “Voodoo” dolls sold in very commercial shops in New Orleans & Salem, MA.)

In my mind, this doll was created to amuse everyone who’s ever shuddered or sighed when dealing with airhead blondes (by nature or nurture) who aspire to be Barbie.

I also say that with the greatest respect.  In the 1960s, I desperately wanted to grow up to look like Solo in the Spotlight Barbie.  Instead, I looked more like a very skinny Pitiful Pearl, for most of my teen years

Mostly, Voodoo Barbie was made for every mom who’s spent two weeks hitting every Toys R Us in the state, looking for the exact Barbie doll a little girl asked for, for Christmas. (Not that I ever did that, mind you. Ahem.)

In this redesign, Barbie’s cloth torso is a “normal” size and shape. In other words, the chick has hips. This makes her legs far enough apart to straddle New York City, but I like the effect.

It makes her look just a little off-balance and dangerous, and perhaps more normal… whatever that is.

She now lives in the home of a doll collector who appreciates this kind of art.

I have three more Barbies that I view with a slightly deranged look, on days when stress catches up with me!