How to Clean Stuffed Animals

sheep-sm (1K)Do you have a stuffed animal and are wondering how to keep it clean? Stuffed animals are a lot of fun to have around and great for kids, but sometimes even they need a bath.

teddy (18K)With the proper care, your stuffed animals can provide you and your children with many years of joy and happiness. Here are some tips and pointers on how you can clean your stuffed animals and keep them in great shape:

— Most stuffed animals have an outer covering of fake fur, usually synthetic materials (polyester, acrylic or modacrylic) or natural materials (wool, wool/cotton, mohair, or alpaca). And, most stuffed animals come from the manufacturer with instructions on how to clean them, follow those first.

— Toys stuffed with styrene foam, foam beads or excelsior must not be washed. Things stuffed with synthetic fiber (usually polyester fiber) or plastic beads can be put in a washing machine.

— If the animal is stuffed very firmly and you put it in a washing machine, it may never dry out, or the stuffing may shift and cause the stuffed animal to lose it’s shape.

— If the stuffed animal has cardboard or hardboard stiffeners or joints, these can be destroyed in a washing machine.

— If the stuffed animal has a sound box: Do not put it in a washer or dryer.

— To keep your stuffed animal fresh, give it a dry bath on occasion with baking soda. Just sprinkle the baking soda on the stuffed animal and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then simply brush it off.

sheep (7K)— To keep dust off your stuffed animal, once a week use your vacuum cleaner. Most home vacuum cleaners have a hose and brush attachment. Just go lightly over the stuffed animal with the brush. Make sure that items like eyes on the stuffed animal are secure before doing this.

— You can wash most stuffed animals in your washing machine, however this should be used as a last resort. Before doing this, make sure that there are no loose seams where the stuffing can float out.

— Put the stuffed animal in a pillowcase and close with a safety pin or two. Then wash as you would any delicate item. Fabric softener can be added to bring out a fluffy and softer stuffed animal.

— Bleeding can occur from other clothes in the washing machine, so be careful what you wash the animal with. Bleeding can also happen from the fur onto the animal’s clothes. If this is a possibility, then remove clothing from the animal before washing.

— If the stuffed animal is not badly soiled, you can clean it using a mild, all purpose cleaner and sponge. Spray the cleaner on the area to be cleaned and sponge off.

— Use a soft scrub brush for badly soiled or stained areas along with the all purpose cleaner.

— Use rubbing alcohol to remove spots or stains from plastic parts.

tea party— An upholstery cleaner can be used for stuffed animals that cannot be put in a washing machine.

— To get mats out, use an old hairbrush.

— To remove dust mites put the stuffed animal in a plastic bag and then place in the freezer overnight, or outside if the temperature is below freezing. The next day use the vacuum cleaner to go over the animal.

— If you have put your stuffed animal in a washing machine, or it has gotten very wet, it is not recommended to use a clothes dryer.

— Hair dryers can be used for quick surface drying being careful not to get too close to the surface. However the best thing is to let the stuffed animal air dry. While this may take several days to dry the stuffing, it is the safest method.

— If liquid is spilled on the stuffed animal, then shake as much liquid off as possible, just like a real dog that gets wet shakes off the water. Then use a dry sponge or paper towels to dab off the remaining liquid.

From your furry friends, Tippy & Alfred Copyright © 2005 To see some Absolutely Adorable Stuffed Plush Animals, check these out: