How to Clean Your Kids’ Stuffed Animals ⋆

How to Clean Your Kids’ Stuffed Animals

Your kids love their soft toys and they are really cute, but until you have read this handy guide don’t touch that cuddly bear!

Do you remember when you last cleaned your child’s favorite stuffed toy?  If you think about it you probably can’t recall.  If that’s the case then sadly it is likely to be covered with germs.

If your child carries their teddy, polar bear, or favorite bunny around all the time then those germs are traveling along with them.  In fact, Teddy is busily spreading all sorts of bacteria all over your home.

If it is on the couch, the kitchen counter, on the table or in the bed, there’s a good chance there are some nasty germs along for the ride.

If you child has been sick lately they probably spent a lot of time cuddling their stuffed buddy, and those germs are now having a great time breeding inside the toy where they can then go on to infect other people in the household.  The only solution to this is to clean the toys in such a way as to insure they are germ free.

Here are some easy steps to follow for immediate disinfection.  Once you have cleaned them thoroughly make it your rule that when you wash the bed-sheets the stuffed animal goes into the machine for a wash.

To clean your child’s fuzzy friend you will need:

  • A mild laundry detergent
  • A mesh laundry bag to protect the toy
  • Lysol Laundry Sanitizer or similar product
  • Regular laundry detergent

Once you have everything to hand just follow these simple steps:

Is the toy machine washable?

First, check for care instructions.  Most modern stuffed animals have a label with all the care details.  It is not possible to wash all types of fluffy toys in the machine.  For example, if they have plastic pellets or other similar types of filling this will not be suitable for machine washing.

If the toy is very old, very worn or simply might not survive the washing machine you will be wanting to give it a careful hand wash.

If you do find you can safely pop the toy in the machine, do so.  Machine washing is much more effective at removing germs, bacteria and other nasties. If the toy is small enough use a mesh laundry bag to protect it in the machine.  Make sure you select a delicate cycle –  a regular sanitizing setting will be too much for a cuddly toy.

To maximize the germ-busting potential of the delicates wash add some Lysol Laundry Sanitizer along with your regular detergent.  This has around a 99.9% kill rate for bacteria.

Your child will be impatient for the wash to finish and the delicate washes are much faster so adding the Lysol is the best of both worlds; a fast wash and all the bugs are gone.

 What if you can’t use the washing machine?

If you are unable to machine wash the stuffed animal you will need to perform a delicate hand wash.  To do this use cool water and a small amount of the mild laundry detergent.

The first step is to fully submerge the toy and make sure that you spot clean any obvious stains.  The toys should be thoroughly rinsed and free of soap before drying.  Although this will not be as effective as putting the toy through a washing machine cycle it is the best alternative when needing to ensure its cleanliness.

What is the best way to get the toy dry?

Drying presents a further issue – tumble driers are often not suitable as the heat can melt glue and plastic parts on the toy.  The best way to dry the toy is to remove all excess water and then place it to air dry in a well-ventilated room.

Pay attention to the air circulation as damp, stagnant air will encourage mold and mildew to grow on or even in the toy.  If your child is really desperate to have their toy you can always set a hairdryer to the cool setting and use it to speed up the process.