Are you worried about the dust and germs that can accumulate on your child’s favorite soft toys over time? As adorable and huggable as these stuffed animals can be, furry objects can attract a lot of dust. But, of course, you don’t want to harm your child’s stuffed animal friend! There are a few simple ways to clean, disinfect and refresh soft toys without destroying their charm. To get started, you need to carefully read the label on the toy or, if it is missing, you need to determine what material the stuffed animal is made of and how delicate it can be.
Sturdy toys: washer and dryer
Many soft toys will say directly on the label that they are machine washable. If the label says hand wash only or if you’re unsure, try one of the other methods below. Most unlabeled toys could probably survive a washing cycle, but you should check the material type. There are some key differences between a load of laundry and a stuffed animal or group of stuffed toys. Make sure you use the gentler cycle with cold water only to keep the colors bright. Add some fabric softener to keep the toys soft and snug. It is important not to overfill the car: soft toys absorb water like a pillow and become heavy. When placing stuffed animals in the dryer, use the fluff / air cycle or dryer. You may want to use additional dryer sheets as soft toys can create a lot of static and a soft feel and fresh scent never hurt a teddy bear!
More delicate toys: domestic dry cleaning
If your toy is a little more fragile, consider using Dryel or another reputable brand of dry cleaning bags at home. Put a small number of toys in the dryer on a low setting, as instructed, and you’ll soon have a fresh teddy bear or other soft toy. If your toy has plastic parts such as eyes or noses (many stuffed dogs, stuffed cats, or other toys have glued plastic), you may want to use the dryer method. Plastic can melt and glue can loosen under the heat, and a smooth run through the washer and dryer could damage them.
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