Soft toys need to be carefully cared for if you want to keep them in pristine condition for years. Teddy bears, stuffed animals and other soft toys that aren’t cared for will get dirty, musky, flaccid and lose their spark of life if you don’t take care of them. So how do you take care of your soft toys?
Prevention is the Best Medicine
First, the best way to care for your toys is to avoid getting them dirty in the first place. Avoid having food and drink around the toy. Avoid throwing the toy around and treat it with care. If anything does spill on your toy, make sure to clean it right away rather than let it set in.
Read the Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Each toy needs to be cleaned a little differently than others. Some toys can be washed, others can’t. Some toys can be cleaned with cleaning agents, others can’t. Some can withstand temperature, others can’t.
Toys can be made from natural materials like cotton or synthetic materials. Each works very differently than the other. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s guidelines so you know what materials your toy is made of and how to care for it.
Vacuuming Your Toy
One of the best ways to keep dirt, dust, stray hairs or food bits off your toys is to vacuum them. Use a low setting on your vacuum cleaner and just give your toy a good once-over.
Make sure to get in between the fingers and under any teddy shirts or anywhere else that dirt might be hiding. Be very careful around the eyes and any other parts that might get sucked into the vacuum.
Removing Spills or Stains
To remove a stain from your toy, use a stain remover or cleaner. Make sure to test it on a small area of the toy first. For example, test it on a small area below the toy’s shirt so it’d be inconspicuous. Apply a small amount, then let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
If there’s no negative reaction, then go ahead and use the cleaning agent to get the spill out of the toy. Wash the toy immediately afterward to get the cleaning agent out.
Getting Dust Mites Out
One of the most common reasons people clean their soft toys is because of dust mites. Dust mites can get on soft toys and in soft toys. Children who regularly hug their soft toys can end up getting allergic reactions.
The easiest way to get rid of dust mites is to just leave the soft toy in the freezer overnight. Dust mites can’t survive in the cold, so all of them will simply die overnight.
Make sure you immediately machine wash the toy after taking it out of the freezer. After freezing, the toy will still be full of dead mites and mite droppings, which can still cause allergic reactions. Machine washing will help get rid of those.
What You Need to Know About Machine Washing
When you wash a soft toy, avoid using detergents. Detergents can damage the toy’s materials, as well as form a thin coating on top of your toy over time that dulls its colors. Always wash on a delicate setting. Wash with either cold or warm water, never hot.
Avoid using a machine to wash your toys whenever possible. Use the above cleaning tips when you can and hand wish when you can’t. Always check the toy’s label to see if it can be machine washed. Even if it says it can be very careful and delicate. If it says the toy shouldn’t be machine washed, then chances are machine washing it could cause a lot of damage.
Finally, air dry your toys rather than machine dry. Machine drying your toys can cause even more harm than washing the toy in a washing machine because of the drying machine’s heat. If you really can’t wait for the toy to dry, use a blow dryer to speed up the process.
Freshening Up the Toy
Over time, soft toys can get a little musky and seem less fresh. Fortunately, there’s an easy way around this. Just take some baking soda and sprinkle it on the top copiously. Leave it for about 30 minutes, then dust off the baking soda. Your toy will look and smell good as new!
That’s how to take care of your soft toys! These tips will help you remove stains, remove dirt, remove dust, get rid of dust mites and keep your soft toys in tip-top condition.
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