Today I have a special guest post from Kathleen Crane. She is a writer and small cleaning business owner. Many families have lots of stuffed animals. Have you ever wondered how to clean and wash stuffed animals? I try not to think of all the germs taking residence on ours. Now I don’t have to!
Cleaning and Washing Stuffed Animals: A How To Guide
Kids love stuffed animals and yours probably does too. This, however, doesn’t mean he or she actually takes good care of them. Most likely you can find them practically everywhere around your house – under kitchen tables, at the staircase, down the hallway. Like all other toys, stuffed animals tend to get dirty but cleaning them up is unfortunately not as easy. You can’t simply toss them in the washing machine as this might damage the fabric. Besides many of them contain music or voice activation boxes and cannot be submerged in water altogether. But there are easy and efficient ways to clean them nevertheless. Just follow this 101 guide for washing and cleaning stuffed animals.
Spot cleaning is one very effective method of cleaning stuffed animals, containing music boxes and the best part of all is that you wouldn’t have to shop for the supplies required for the purpose, as you most likely can find everything around your house. This is what you’ll need for efficient and safe clean:
- An old, yet clean toothbrush, you no longer intend to use
- A small wash basin
- Mild washing solution or dish soap
- A piece of white cloth
- And a clean towel (it would be best if the towel is white or light in colour, coloured fabrics might leave stains, impossible to remove)
- A small brush or comb
Begin by pouring a small amount of dish soap or washing solution at the bottom of the wash basin – one to two tablespoons will suffice. Then fill the basin with warm water but make sure you agitate the water so that it mixes perfectly well with the solution until it’s evenly distributed. Don’t use too much soap or washing solution – the water will become way too soapy and you won’t be able to remove all the foam in the end.
Proceed by dipping the cloth into the water; make sure you squeeze it good – it’s supposed to be moist, not soaking wet. Then rub the stuffed animal with the cloth with circular motions and proceed in the same manner until you cover the entire surface of the toy.
In case there are more problematic and obstinate stains on the toy, you should make use of the toothbrush – however, don’t scrub the spot aggressively as this might damage the fibres of the fluffy fabric. Dip the brush in the basin with the washing solution or dish soap and scrub very gently until the spots are removed.
Once the entire stuffed animal is cleaned, take the clean towel and wet it under lukewarm running water in your bathroom sink. But again be careful not to overdo it – the towel should only be moist. Rub the toy thoroughly again. This will enable you to remove all traces of washing solution and foam. Repeat this procedure several times for optimal results.
When the toy is cleaned in detail, hang it out to dry on your wash-line. It would be best to avoid attempting to dry it with a hair dryer; the air will likely be too hot which again might damage the fabric the toy is made of or in the worst scenario – even cause it to melt and felt.
What follows next is some post-clean grooming. The stuffed animal will likely never look the same way again but nevertheless you should try your best to fluff the fabric as much as possible. Use the small brush or a fine-tooth comb for this purpose. Brush the fabric lightly until it fluffs up. If the result are unimpressive, you might use the hair dryer after all, but make sure you press the cold air-blow button first to avoid damages.
Maintaining your kids’ stuffed toys is of extreme importance, as most of the time the little ones end up hugging or kissing them which makes germ transmission very easy. So make sure you do it on regular basis to eliminate microbes and bacteria. Washing most stuffed animals is easy as you can simply use the washing machine. But don’t forget to try this spot washing method for toys containing music boxes – it’s efficient, easy and quick so don’t hesitate to give it a shot.
The article is contributed by Kathleen Crane who runs DPC Power Cleaners SW15
Thank you so much to our guest writer Kathleen Crane! This is great advice! Let us know how this worked out for you!