Yesterday evening, as I was preparing dinner, my daughter was telling me her wonderful way of keeping track of the days with her new American Girl 2013 calendar that she received with her latest magazine issue and how she is also using the school's lunch calendar. I was so engrossed with dinner preparations, as I listened to her telling me this great new tracking method, I had failed to see she grabbed a sharpie of the kitchen drawer and was using it to mark off the days that had passed on her calendar. Sometimes, we're just a Mom and in most cases a sharpie isn't the end of the world - especially since my daughter is relatively responsible with her choices. She did nothing bad, just check off the calendar.
After I had managed to get dinner assembled and ready to go in the oven, I went back to my computer double check the recipe one last time to make sure I hadn't forgot anything only have my daughter frantically approach me with a horrified look in her eyes. She says "What's this blue stuff on my doll?" I look up and see she is standing there, putting Saige in my face. I take the doll to examine it and discover there is blue ink covering Saige's wrist. I immediately asked her what she had been playing with and she said "nothing". She obviously had not realized the marker was on her hand when she went to pick up her doll and put her in her little play jeep. She was driving the doll around when she noticed it. Again I asked "what did you have?" and after trying to figure it out we realized she was also marked in blue. It hit us that the sharpie was the culprit.
On the way to Walmart it hits me, maybe I better see if American Girl has better suggestions as I'm concerned about this doll's well-being. They tell me the same thing - acne product containing benzoyl peroxide, plastic wrap, and sunlight. I arrive at Walmart, pick up the Equate Spot Treatment for acne, check out and return home. Now I just had to wait until morning because part of the key to this trick is UV rays given off by sunlight.
Here's what you'll need:
- Acne treatment medicine containing 10% benzoyl peroxide
- Plastic wrap
- Old towels to cover the doll
- Small rubberband
- A safe spot outside to place the doll
Begin by applying a small amount of the acne treatment to the stained areas only.
After the ointment has been applied, wrap the plastic wrap around the treated area, trying not to "double" the wrap over the parts you are trying to fade. If you bunch of the plastic wrap over the stained area the UV rays may not be able to penetrate through the plastic wrap to eliminate the stain. Secure the plastic wrap with a small rubberband (I used a tiny hair band from my daughter's accessories).
This is the part that I hated most...waiting. Saige had to stay outside for quite a few hours. In fact, I left her outside for about 6 1/2 hours. Now, Saige was left on my deck that is outside my family room and I kept a close eye on her simply because it is a overcast day in the dead of winter with a chance of rain heading our way this evening. Needless to say, I didn't want Saige to happen out of our yard, but also I didn't want her to be rained on either. After about 4 hours I decided to check on things to see if this stuff was working. The stain had faded significantly; however, I decided to add a little more time to see if it would fade away completely. So after a long 6 1/2 hours, I decided to peek in on her.
After I brought her inside from the cold (poor Saige - she is from New Mexico after all, so I'm sure the winter weather is a shock to her system, right?), I used a damp cloth to wipe off the ointment. I examined the area and sure enough the sharpie is gone! I used a clean soft cloth with mild soap and gave her arm a gentle scrub to remove any left over acne ointment. A quick rinse of the cloth, another wipe to remove the soap, a little drying with a towel, and she's as good as new!
Although this treatment worked for us today, it is my understanding that some more difficult stains may require repeated treatment depending on the severity of the stain. This could be three of four more times of applying the cream to your doll and sending her back outside to sunbathe.
Needless to say, this accident has been a learning lesson for all of us and I'm glad to be able to share my story with other people in hopes that they too can restore a smile to their child's face and remove the "tattoos" from their dolls. To all the other mom's out there who have encountered a similar situation with the dreaded sharpie ( whether accidental or accidentally on purpose), rest assured all hope is not lost!