Our children’s best furry friends get dragged around everywhere with them, meaning they often end up looking a little worse for wear and become carriers of nasty germs that spread around the house and family.
These plush toys can be delicate and very precious so it’s hard to know the best way to get them clean. The right way to clean a teddy bear often depends on the care instructions on the toy’s label (if there is one) and how sturdy the toy is.
Gentle Cleaning for Delicate Toys
For surface dirt on delicate fur, use a dampened cloth and gently rub the dirty areas. This method can be used for almost any type of teddy and is a great place to start if you are worried about more intense cleaning methods.
Be sure to use a colourless cloth to prevent any colour running and staining the toy. If the toy is matted, you can use a large soft brush to clear the fur of any surface dirt and scruffy fur to leave the fur sleek and shiny again.
For removing deeper set dirt, you can wash the toy in cold water with a small amount of shampoo. This works better than soap on the fur as it doesn’t leave a residue that might leave the fur matted, but still cleans well. It is best to pat the teddy dry after with a soft sheet and let the fur dry naturally.
Machine Washing Your Teddies
Before your put your furry friends in the washing machine, make sure that the toy is not too delicate and set the washer to a low temperature. Place the teddy into a pillow case of a similar colour or a specially designed washer bag to keep it protected.
Alternatively, if the teddy isn’t too dirty, you can simply put it onto a spin cycle rather than a full-on wash or use a “delicates” cycle. Be careful about how much soap you add and only use a biological or colour washing detergent that will be gentler on the toy’s fur.
Avoid washing the bear with clothes of other colours that may run and stain the fur. Remember to read the toy’s label if you can in order to gauge the best cleaning system for your teddy.
Air Vacuuming Your Teddies
With very delicate toys that cannot be even dampened, one option is to vacuum them. The best way to do this is to place them into a plastic bag and seal the opening around the vacuum cleaner nozzle with your hands.
When you turn the vacuum on, it will gentle suck the dusty grime from the fur of your teddy. This can sometimes cause the toy to lose its shape during the process, but is usually fixable afterwards.
You can also spray the fur with a light air or fabric freshener to improve the smell. It is best to use this technique on bigger furry friends that can’t be sucked up by the nozzle.
Drying Your Teddy Bear
It is best to avoid the tumble dryer when drying your bear as the fur can be extremely flammable or become matted from the high heat. It is best to gentle squeeze and pat down the bear with a soft towel or blanket and then leave them to air dry somewhere safe. You can hang them out on the washing line, however, this can damage the limbs.
There is a method for cleaning every type of teddy bear, so choose the one that best suits your situation and good luck!