Keep your stuffed friend healthy and clean.
Your children’s favorite toys might seem completely indestructible. They’re nothing more than plushy stuffed animals that come to life with your young one’s imagination. You might be surprised to realize that toys are a magnet for dust and germs.
You also want to make sure you are protecting them. Your child plays with them so much that they are on the front line of wear and tear.
Toys Are Germ Centers That Need Constant Cleaning
Everyone knows how hard it is to get little kids to wash their hands and not sneeze everywhere.
The germs can make it extra easy for your kids and their friends to have sick days. The dust can be especially annoying if your kid has allergies or asthma.
Don’t worry! Stuffed animal washing won’t be one of those regular chores that burns even more of your time.
Here are a few quick, surefire ways to keep Ellie the Elephant and Rob the Rabbit sanitary.
Even better: All of these methods won’t roughen or damage your child’s fluffy friends.
There’s nothing worse than having a tragic incident where Jeremy the Giraffe loses an eye or has his soft skin transformed to carpet-like patchwork.
So here are a few easy tips on how to maintain your plush bear in perfect, brand new condition.
How To Clean (Most) Stuffed Animals Without Damaging Them...
Stick them in the Freezer
You might have tried this with pillows before.
Sticking stuffed animals in the freezer overnight is guaranteed to kill all the nasty germs and dust mites.
They die instantly, and leave your stuffed animal as clean as can be.
First, give your toy a quick wash in the washing machine, or just dab it with a washcloth. Then, place it into a freezer bag and freeze it overnight.
You can also spray it with lysol before you put it in the freezer bag. It’s not necessary but can be a good idea depending on how much dirt your stuffed animal has been through. That adds an extra layer of protection and sanitation.
Some plush bears are really plushy. They have special long pile that is really as soft as a feather. It’s also usually extra long, over an inch in length. This is usually decoratively placed in key areas like a lion’s “mane” or an ostrich’s neck.
If your plush bear has this extra soft plush DO NOT put him in the washer. If you do, he will suffer a permanent deformation.
The feather-like material will be completely destroyed and won’t be “fluffy” anymore.
How to Clean Extra Large Sized Stuffed Animals
How big is big?
For most large stuffed animals just placing them in the dryer will do the trick.
Put them in a fabric bag or pillow case, and remove anything that could be damaged or melted by the heat. Then just stick them in the dryer for around 10 minutes.
Don’t forget your friend is in there! If he stays for too long who knows what can happen. You are going to have a lot of explaining to do when fluffy gets a permanent skintan...
But what about REALLY big stuffed animals?
If your stuffed animal is extra, extra large, like 6-foot-tall “this is a really impressive gift” large, then your best option is just spot cleaning. You can spray them with lysol if you want to get maximum results with minimum effort.
A proper spot cleaning is quite tricky.
This is because dust mites and germs are so small that they aren’t as easily identifiable as ketchup or apple juice spots.
Just put laundry detergent on a cloth. Mixing warm water, vinegar, and baking soda can work as well. Then just wipe down your ginormous plushy friend as much as you can.
The Secret Switcheroo
So there is an even better way to maintain any plush bear. This one is sort of a dark secret, but it is guaranteed to save your life if worse comes worse.
Your child probably has one plush bear that stands out from all other ones. You take him everywhere, he or she is your child’s best friend and by their side 24/7.
Because of this, he gets insanely dirty. Covered in germs and all that. Even worse: there’s a real chance that he gets lost.
Maybe Bill the Bulldog gets left in a restaurant, flies out the car window, or gets devoured by a real bulldog. If that happens you are going to have a lot of explaining to do.
So what’s the fix? Easy.
Just buy another identical stuffed animal.
When you first buy your plushy friend you can think ahead and buy two or three. It’s hard to think that far ahead, but it will payoff when the time comes.
Whenever your plushbear gets lost or filthy-beyond-hope... just swap them out. Your child won’t be able to tell. If he does, you can just come up with a friendly excuse like “I gave him a shower and a haircut.”
These tips will keep your Plush Bear (or his new replacement) looking brand-new all year round. No matter how many adventures or accidents he’s a part of he’ll be dust-free and sanitary.