Soft toys bring joy to children, but adults add to the worries – they quickly get dirty and can become a source of pathogenic microorganisms. Many of them require special care, so regular washing can ruin a child’s favorite friend. Our experts learned how to properly wash soft toys so that they retain their shape and color without harm to children’s health.
Basic rules of care
Cleaning soft toys is a necessary procedure, especially if the child playing with them is allergic. Food and saliva residues, particles of the epidermis accumulate on their surface, and fillers become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and dust mites.
So that soft Pets please the child for a long time and do not harm his health, we give some tips on care.
- It is recommended to wash (or clean) toy bears, bunnies and other Pets every 3-4 months. If the child does not part with his plush friends for a minute, eats and sleeps with them, then washing should be arranged at least once a month.
- Carefully read the care instructions on the product label and follow them.
- Wash and treat only with detergents specially designed for children, household or baby soap.
Even those soft toys that the child no longer plays with (but they are on the shelf for beauty) must be washed every six months. It is advisable to vacuum them monthly, knock out the dust and wipe them with a damp cloth. We recommend storing any unnecessary toys in a plastic bag in a place protected from dust (for example, in a Cabinet).
How to wash
Depending on the material, filler, size and internal mechanisms of soft toys, there are several ways to clean them from various kinds of dirt. The simplest and most effective method is automatic washing. But not all plush items will be able to withstand it without losing their appearance or functionality, and some simply will not fit into the drum due to its large size. For such soft Pets, the following methods are provided::
- hand wash;
- dry wash;
- surface wet cleaning.
Let’s take a closer look at the features and rules of each method, as well as find out which toys they are suitable for cleaning.
Automatic washing machine
If the label on the soft toy allows machine washing, the task of parents is greatly facilitated. But before placing the product in the drum, we recommend that you listen to the recommendations of our experts.
Check how firmly the elements on the toy are glued or sewn: eyes, nose, buttons, etc. If there are doubts that plastic parts can fall off during the washing process, you need to put “soft friends” in a special bag or pillowcase. You can also pre-cut them, and after drying sew them back on.
Wash on delicate mode: at room temperature30-40 0 C, spin speed not higher than 600 revolutions(in extreme cases – 800).
It is advisable to enable the optional rinse function to completely remove detergent residues.
Check the strength of the joints. Even from a small hole, filler can come out, which will then be difficult to collect.
Do not forget to remove the music module and batteries, if any, inside the toy.
Heavy dirt can be pre-washed manually with baby or household soap.
It is advisable to put several toys of approximately the same size in the car at once, so that the drum turns evenly, and there is no imbalance. Do not overload the machine. These measures will ensure better washing and efficient rinsing.
Washing by hand is more tedious, but sometimes this is the only way to put your favorite plush friend in order, get rid of dirt and accumulated microorganisms inside.
Hand wash is applied if the toy:
- with fillers made from sawdust, buckwheat husks, straw, rice;
- contains decorative elements: rhinestones, beads, and sequins;
- sewn from natural materials (valdorcia dolls out of felt);
- with a long pile (it can get piled up or tangled in the washing machine);
- contains items that may fade, discolor, or become damaged by machine washing;
- too soft, prone to deformation.
We recommend hand washing as follows:
- pour warm water into the basin;
- add a detergent suitable for washing children’s products, wait for it to dissolve;
- soak the toy for 10-15 minutes;
- RUB particularly contaminated areas with a brush (you can use a toothbrush).);
- rinse the product thoroughly in clean water;
- wrap it in a towel so that it absorbs excess liquid.
While the toy is wet, it can be very heavy. It is necessary to glass the water, and only then you can hang it to dry. For this purpose, it is convenient to put the toy for a couple of hours in an empty drum of the washing machine.
Some toys do not tolerate moisture (for example, with cardboard elements or made of natural materials). They will have to be cleaned dry. Similarly, you can treat furry Pets of large sizes that do not fit into the drum of the washing machine, and are too heavy for hand washing.
To completely rid the child’s furry toy friends of dust, dirt and micro-organisms living inside, our experts recommend using the following algorithm.
Vacuum the toy using a nozzle designed for cleaning upholstered furniture. If there is none, then vacuum without attachments, pressing the tube firmly to the surface. Special care should be taken in the places of glued parts or sewn elements.
- Put it in a plastic bag, pour 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Close the bag tightly and shake so that the soda is distributed over the entire surface of the toy.
- Wait 10-15 minutes.
- After pulling out a soft friend from the bag, carefully shake off the soda over the bath, brush.
- To remove the remaining soda, you can use the vacuum cleaner again.
- If any dirt remains, you need to clean them with a cotton pad soaked in hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice.
- It is advisable to finish cleaning with a steam generator, steamer or hair dryer.
For additional disinfectiontoy fuzzies that cannot be washed in the automatic machine and exposed to high temperatures are recommended:
- in Sunny weather, take them out on the balcony for 5-6 hours, periodically turning them in different directions and exposing them to the sun;
- on a cloudy or rainy day, you can use an ultraviolet lamp (15 minutes per side).);
- in severe frosts, put the toy on the street or balcony for 1-2 days (a small furry friend can be placed in the freezer).
To clean soft toys from pathogenic microorganisms, instead of soda, you can use an adsorbing powder of food diatomaceous earth (Diatomite). This substance, consisting of the remains of diatoms, absorbs moisture from dust mites, bacteria and viruses, which leads to their rapid death.
Wet surface cleaning
Dirty soft toy friends that cannot be washed can be subjected to surface cleaning with a soap solution or foam.
- in 1 liter of warm water, dilute 1 teaspoon of baby powder or ¼ piece of worn Laundry soap;
- use your hand to beat the solution into a foam;
- with the help of a cotton cloth or brush to apply the foam to the pile of toys and RUB;
- use clean water and a cloth to remove any remaining detergent.
You can use a soap solution to treat only the places of contamination or the entire toy. Then you should blot it with a towel and put it to dry in the sun.
How to wash a big toy in a vending machine
If you can’t get rid of dirt from large toy Pets with dry or wet surface cleaning, our experts recommend the following method: :
- cut the seam located at the bottom of the toy;
- remove all the filler;
- sew up the seam;
- place in the drum of the washing machine.
As a rule, without filler, even the biggest furry friend will fit in the drum. Do not forget about the advice of our experts before turning on the machine – after all, even on such toys there are elements that can spoil from washing.
The filler can also be washed in the car, dividing it into several parts and placing it in a pillowcase (if it is not contraindicated in water procedures). After drying, all that remains is to put the toy back together and carefully sew it up.
How to wash musical stuffed animals
Singing and telling poems soft friends need to be washed as often as silent Teddy dogs, bears or squirrels. Dry and wet surface cleaning is best for this purpose.
If the musical toys do not have wires stretched inside to the paws or muzzle, as well as other elements that prohibit wet exposure, you can wash them manually or in an automatic machine. You only need to first get the mechanism and batteries.
You can not wet the music module that is located inside the toy. It is highly likely that it will stop working after that. Sometimes, after washing and drying, the device continues to function, but this is rather an exception to the rule. You should not take risks if you do not want the child’s pet to become silent.
In some toy Pets, the box with the mechanism is located in a special secret pocket. Then you just need to pull it out before loading it into the drum of the washing machine, and after drying, return it to its place.
If there is no pocket, and the mechanism is inside, then you will have to cut the seam. Proceed as follows:
- find the seam at the back or bottom of the toy that is as close to the music block as possible;
- carefully cut it open;
- remove the device;
- sew up the seam so that the filler does not fall out;
- wash the toy.
After complete drying, the seam must be cut again, put the mechanism back and carefully sew it up.
How to dry properly
We recommend drying soft toys on a horizontal surface, preferably in the sun. A metal dryer located on the balcony or on the street is ideal. Furry friends should be placed, leaving gaps between them, periodically turning over different sides.
Most toys (other than knitwear) that have been washed and wrung out in a vending machine can be hung on a rope by attaching clothespins to the ears, paws, or tail. It is not recommended to dry knitwear in a suspended state – there is a high risk that they will stretch and lose their appearance.
If you follow our tips when washing soft toys, they will always be clean and fluffy, and will not harm the health of children. After all, the main purpose of furry friends is to give joy, and not to turn into a source of danger.