If you’ve got kids, you’ve got stuffed toys. Every child loves a good plush and soft stuffed animal, and as every parent knows, that one toy can quickly become a menagerie of stuffed toys that share in tea parties, conquering imaginary lands, going on car rides and taking naps with the kids.
So, how can you get your child’s best friends clean and ready for some serious play? Let’s start with the basics. The first line of defense when keeping stuffed toys clean is to read the instructions on the toy.
– Many stuffed toys, such as those that are made specifically for babies, can be thrown in the washer and dryer.
– If you can put the stuffed toy in the washer and dryer, put it into a pillowcase first. This will give it a bit more of a gentle ride through the washing process. To keep the pillowcase closed, either tie the open end if there is enough room, or use a few sturdy safety pins. Do not use a mesh bag, as this may not protect the materials of the toy enough.
– Take care of any parts that need to be repaired and apply any pre-treatments necessary before putting the toy in the pillowcase.
– If there is clothing on the toy, remove these first to prevent any dyes from bleeding. Wash these items separately.
– Wash on a gentle or delicate cycle, cold water wash, using a mild detergent like Woolite.
Many stuffed toys that can be washed should be OK in the dryer on an air dry cycle, but again, be sure to check the label. Leave the stuffed animal or toy in the pillowcase when drying. Don’t use a high heat setting as some materials, such as fur, may become matted.
Non-Washable Stuffed Toys
With the cuddly stuffed friends that can’t be put into the washer, the cleaning process is a little different.
There are many stuffed toys that just wouldn’t make it through a wash cycle, as they may contain synthetic materials like foam beads (which, if washed, could completely change the shape of the toy) or joints that can fall apart or be a little too plush for the washer and dryer.
For these non-washable stuffed animals, here are a few things you can do:
Using a Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Dust
Your handheld vacuum is your best friend when it comes to getting non-washable stuffed toys clean. Every time you vacuum your kid’s room, you can take the dusting or crevice attachment and carefully run it over the fur of the stuffed animals.
This is the easiest way to get out most of the dust that collects in these little critters and the clothes they may be wearing.
Giving the Stuffed Toy a Sponge Bath to Remove Dust
You can actually get your kids involved in this one and make it fun. Take a damp sponge and wipe down each stuffed animal to get the dust from their fur. You can then send them for a spin in the dryer (set on low) with a good smelling dryer sheet to freshen them up.
Surface or Spot Cleaning a Stuffed Toy
If you find a spot or stain on the stuffed toy and can’t throw it in the washer and dryer, you can use a wet cloth with a little mild dish detergent or gentle cleaner. Gently blot the stain, then hang dry.
After the toy has dried, carefully brush the fur if necessary, unless the fur is meant to be curly or tangled looking. You can also fluff felt-type fabrics with a lint roller.
I hope we’ve been able to help give you some ideas for cleaning your children’s stuffed toys, now you won’t need to cringe when you see your kids cuddling with them.
Image Credits: Clean a Stuffed Animal