*This is a partnered guest post
They are soft, fluffy, and cuddly. But when stuffed animals get dirty, scruffy, and dusty, you may give them the cold shoulder for a while.
As this post will show, it isn’t difficult to clean plush toys and restore them to their former cute, huggable selves. If you have a kid who is inseparable from his or her teddy though, you’ve got to make a move fast.
Inspect your plush animals to decide whether hand washing, machine washing, or spot cleaning is best. Make sure you remove batteries and mend tears or bursting seams. Give the toys a good feel; they may contain components like foam beads, plastic stiffeners, or paper that can be damaged when washed. More importantly, read the washing instructions on each snuggly toy.
Wash by Hand
Hand washing is the safest route for old, intricate, and embellished toys and those with moving joints. Wash using mild soap and cold water. Careful not to wring them out. Rinse until the suds are gone. Then leave them out to dry.
Use the Washing Machine
For toys that go to the washing machine, handle them with the utmost of care.
● Pretreat to remove stains.
● Use mild detergent.
● Use cold water to wash, as high temperatures can melt the glue that is used to attach certain parts of the plushies.
● Use a pillowcase or a mesh bag to store the toys. You can also pad the drum with towels as this blogger did.
● Select a gentle cycle.
● Check for lumps, bumps, or matted fur, and smooth them out.
● Hang outside to dry because the heat from the dryer can damage the toys.
● Keep out of direct sunlight.
Teddy Bear Care and More
Make washing soft toys a part of your regular laundry schedule. Proper care and maintenance also keep your snugglies looking and smelling fresh. Don’t wait for the next bath time to intervene, especially for toys that you can’t wash.
Spot-cleaning removes stains without washing. Do this test first to make sure the fabric doesn’t bleed or fade. If the material is colorfast, you can proceed to lightly rub the spots with a white cloth dampened by detergent.
Clean only the toy’s surface, and avoid soaking the fur. You can use a sponge to pat the cleaning solution on the affected area and use the same sponge to apply water and rinse. To dry the toy properly and not leave water marks and grow molds, use a towel to absorb the dampness or use a blower.
Baking soda absorbs the grime and the smell on plushies. You have several options to deodorize and dry-clean your toys.
● In a big plastic bag, put baking soda and the teddy bear. Shake the bag, remove the toy, and wait a few hours.
● Pour baking soda in a box, put the plushie inside, and seal. Wait for a few days before removing the toy. This option is for those who don’t want the trouble of getting the powder off the fur.
● Put baking soda directly on the stuffed animal, and cover with cling wrap. Shake and allow 20 minutes before you unwrap the item.
Use a vacuum with a hose or small attachment, or brush to remove baking soda powder. For those clumps formed by baking soda, use a toothbrush with soft bristles or comb.
Dust and Clean Fur
On a regular basis or as a preparatory step to washing, remove dust and particles from your teddy with a lint roller or vacuum. Use a soft toothbrush to take out human hair. You used to brush your cuddly bear every night. It’s a good practice to untangle matted fur and maintain the sheen.
Do your legwork when researching products, and ensure that they are safe to use for your plushies.
The Stuff That Matters
It’s a common fear that you’ll ruin soft toys when you wash them, that they will lose their shape, fade, or shrink. Those are valid concerns as these stuffy plush toys are precious to you. They may have been with you for a long time, given as gifts, or ordered directly abroad. Some of these plushies are rare and hard to find. You want them to look the same as when you first ordered them for your collection of adorable and kawaii things. Against the backdrop of dirt and smell, your toys deserve a good bath time and lifelong care.
How do you keep your beloved furry friends happy and odor-free? Drop your cleaning hacks in the comment section below!