Your baby probably has their favourite plushie who is part toy, part best friend, and also part napkin. Even it is a cute sight to see when your baby carries Miss Kitty everywhere, the plushie might be looking super gross. This means they are due for a soak and scrub session so it doesn’t smell like spoiled milk! And washing a plushie is easy. But some plushies are older, hence they are more delicate than others. For these well-loved toys, hand-washing is the right option although machine-washing is fine for most plushies. So here’s what you need to know when handling the delicate.
Machine-washing is indeed the most practical, also the easiest choice for most parents and most plush toys like teddy bear or bunnies can be machine-washed. However you are at risk of damaging some toys by throwing them in the wash especially the ones that are well-worn. So ensure to check the care label attached for the washing directions when deciding if machine-washing is the way to go. If you opt for machine-washing:
- Use the delicate cycle and cold water but if your baby has been sick, you might want to sterilize it with hot or warm water (only if the toy can tolerate it, for example it has no glued-in parts).
- Use a mild detergent if you have it! It’s fine if you don’t have mild detergent as regular detergent is fine too – just follow the instructions on the bottle and don’t use too much detergent as the left-behind soap residue can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
- Place in a mesh laundry bag to protect its parts like eyes and fur. You might want to pad the load with towels too so the toys are protected.
As for drying, some plushies can be dried in the dryer but some may not survive the high heat that could ruin its fur, plastic and glued-in parts. Therefore the best way to dry plushies is to let them air dry. Place them near a fan or dehumidifier to speed up drying time and do ensure the inner stuffing does not retain water! And use a hair dryer on low or medium heat to help revive your baby’s best friend’s fluffiness.
If you can clean your baby, you can definitely hand-wash your baby’s soft toy! Soft toys are even easier with no shrieking and crying. Hand-washing is the best option for older and well-loved toys or plushies with more delicate fibers. To clean plushies or dolls with hands, you only need three things, which are:
- A clean area that can hold enough water to fully submerge the toy, like a tub, large bucket or utility sink.
- A mild detergent.
- A fresh, dry towel.
Fill up the bucket that you’re using with enough cold or warm water to fully immerse the plushie, then add a teaspoon or tablespoon of the mild detergent per gallon of water. Then proceed to submerge the plushie and perform a CPR on it by using a pumping motion so that it’s saturated with water and detergent. Let the toy soak for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour before rinsing. However, do note that more delicate toys should be soaked for lesser time to prevent damaging their fibers.
When rinsing, you can either hold the plushie under running water or drain the bucket and refill with clean water and repeat the pumping action to get rid of soap residue. It is highly recommended that you do not scrub or wring it out as overhandling may lead to damage. When you are convinced there’s no more soap residue, drain the bucket and gently press down on the plushie several times to flush out as much water as you can, then roll it up in a fresh towel like a burrito, which will pull out more water. Let the toy to air dry and use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting to fluff up the plushie if needed.
Spot-treating Plushie With Electronic Components
There is no way you could throw a plushie with electronic or musical components in the washing machine, thus, the best way to clean them is through spot-treating. It involves doing a surface-only cleaning of the toy by wiping its exterior using a damp cloth and a gentle detergent like a foaming hand or dish soap.
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