You’ve probably noticed! Since your baby received his stuffed animal, he can’t get rid of it. He carries it with him everywhere he goes: to the nursery, to the park, on trips and, of course, on his bed.
Your little one loves to cuddle his stuffed animal, he loves to play with it and sometimes he even chews on it. Isn’t that cute?
Of course it is! However, before you let your baby suck and cuddle his little friend, at least make sure it’s clean.
Indeed, stuffed animals are a real nest of microbes. By following your child around, they end up accumulating dust, dust mites, bacteria… all parasites that could harm your baby’s health.
So, as soon as you notice that the plush changes color or gives off a strange smell, don’t wait any longer! Proceed immediately to the plush washing. How to do it?
That’s what we’ll tell you in this article.
But before we get to the heart of the matter, here is some practical information you should know about cleaning a plush toy.
Washing plush: some preliminary information to know!
When and how often should you wash your child’s stuffed animal?
The most important rule: never wait until the stuffed animal is in a bad state before washing it.
In order to keep your baby’s stuffed animal clean, clean it at least once a month, or even more if your baby often goes outside with his stuffed toy.
This frequency of washing is necessary to keep your baby’s toy clean and to reduce the risk of your baby getting a germ.
Did your baby drop his toy on the floor and now it’s covered in mud? Or maybe he put it too close to his little runny nose?
In these cases, it’s best not to wait until next month to put it in the washing machine. Clean the stuffed animal right away to avoid the risk of baby getting sick from its contact.
Also, if baby hasn’t played with a particular stuffed animal in a while, you should wash it well before giving it to him.
The same goes for the place where you store your child’s toys. It should be clean all the time.
How do you separate baby and blankie without causing a drama?
His stuffed animal may be dirty, but baby won’t want to part with it. However, for his well-being and health, he will have to! So it’s up to you to separate them. But not in any way!
So that baby doesn’t have a hard time with this short separation, here are some methods that work:
- You have already thought about this situation before and anticipated by buying two copies of his favorite blanket? That’s very smart! Now all you have to do is give her the other one while you clean one.
- But if you don’t have a second copy of his favorite stuffed animal to give him, that’s okay! It will still be possible to wash his toy when baby is away at nursery or when he is sleeping. But in this case, be careful to take into account the drying time. Baby could quickly realize the trickery.
- On the other hand, you can take advantage of your child’s bath time to clean his comforter. You can then explain to your little one that his stuffed animal has also gone to take a bath.
In short, there is no shortage of ideas for separating baby and blanket. If you can think of a better one than the ones we’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate! After all, you know your child better than anyone. You’ll be able to find the best idea to separate your child from his stuffed animal without chaos.
The right reflexes to have before starting to wash a stuffed animal
Finally, you’ve managed to get your child’s stuffed animal. Now you have a few hours to wash it. Although baby will be anxious to get it back, it’s best to take your time and not rush.
Indeed, cleaning a stuffed animal to get rid of its dirt is one thing. Cleaning it without damaging it is another.
Before you start cleaning your little one’s stuffed toy, always take the time to check the label. Why do you ask?
- First, because some stuffed animals are not washable. If you put it in the machine without taking this detail into account, you could damage the comforter. And needless to say, it would be a pity for your child who is so fond of it. He will be very sad to see his faithful companion damaged.
- But also because some stuffed animals can be washed in the machine and others cannot. Taking a few seconds to read the label will tell you what cleaning methods are appropriate for the stuffed animal. This information is usually written on the label.
The 3 most common ways to clean a stuffed animal
There are several techniques for cleaning a plush toy. And we can classify them into three main categories: machine washing, dry cleaning and hand washing.
This is a method that has the merit of being simple, fast and effective. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for all lint. So, to make sure that your child’s stuffed animal is machine washable, check the label first.
Do you have confirmation?
All right, all that’s left to do is to put the comforter in the washing machine. But before going any further, here are a few more things to check:
- The seams of the plush: make sure they are in good condition. If they are not, the stuffing may leak out of the plush.
- The weather: after washing, the teddy should ideally be dried in the sun. If the weather doesn’t allow it, it’s better to postpone the washing of the plush for later.
If everything is good, you can move on to the next step: gathering the materials and products needed to clean the plush. Among others, there will be:
- A pillowcase or a laundry net or a sheet or a towel to protect the plush;
- A special liquid wool detergent or a few drops of shampoo to effectively remove dirt;
- A fabric softener to preserve the plush and keep it soft;
- A brush to comb the plush after drying so that it returns to its original state.
Once you have everything ready, you can now get down to business by following these simple steps:
- step1: Slip the plush into the pillowcase, laundry net, sheet or towel.
- step2: Pour in a little liquid detergent and add fabric softener.
- step3: Wrap the stuffed toy in the pillowcase and put it in the drum.
- step4: As plush toys are not very heat resistant, set the washing machine to a low temperature. 30°C will be sufficient! The spin level should also be light, ideally between 400 and 500 rpm.
- step 5: Take the plush out of the washing machine and dry it in the sun, keeping it wrapped in a towel.
Good to know if the plush is in bad condition, it is best to wash it cold. In other words, you should set the temperature to 0°C. The same goes for the spin level, which should be as low as possible, or even zero.
Finally, now that the plush wash is over and your little one’s toy is clean and dry, all that’s left to do is to give it a few strokes with a brush and it will come back like new.
Here, however, it is best to use a cardboard brush. But if you have a soft hairbrush, it can also do the trick.
Did you buy your child a big blanket? Sure, he’ll be filled with tenderness and cuddles. There is, however, one small drawback often associated with this type of comforter. And it concerns the maintenance.
Indeed, a big plush will never go in a washing machine. Also, it will take a lot of time and effort to wash by hand.
So, how do you clean a large plush?
So far, dry cleaning remains the best solution. This method allows you to clean the comforter without getting it wet. And it’s quite convenient for removing dust mites. How to do it?
Here are some of the methods often used:
- Cleaning plush with bicarbonate and flour
You need to start by mixing 2/3 of baking soda and 1/3 of flour and put it in a bag. Then put the dirty lint in it. Now shake it so that it mixes well. Wait about 5 hours before removing the lint from the bag. Shake it again to remove the mixture. Finally, brush the lint out of the bag to clean it up.
- Cleaning lint with dry shampoo
Take some dry shampoo and sprinkle it on the lint. Then, knead it with your hands and let it sit for about an hour. Afterwards, shake the toy to get rid of the powders. And finally, gently brush its hair to remove all traces of shampoo.
- Cleaning lint with potato
This is a rather old method, but still effective for cleaning and maintaining a plush. Moreover, it is very simple! You will just have to apply the potato pulp on the plush to be cleaned, let it rest for a night and brush it after.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of dry lint cleaning methods. There are many more. And our article on how to clean lint that doesn’t go in the washing machine will reveal some of them.
Finally, you can also wash your little one’s stuffed animal by hand. But once again, you’ll have to check the label to see if the toy can be washed this way or not.
If it is, then here is how you can proceed:
- First, prepare the basin by pouring in warm water
- Then add some mild cleaning product. Here, a few drops of shampoo may be enough.
- Now place the lint in the basin and gently scrub the stained areas with a soft brush.
- Next, rinse the lint with clean water to remove any traces of shampoo or cleaning product.
- Finally, gently wring out the absorbed water and dry the lint in the sun.
Conclusion on how to clean a stuffed animal
Stuffed animals are an inseparable companion for your child. They form an emotional bond with them that is hard to break. Your little one loves to hug and kiss his stuffed animal. However, this could lead to illness or allergies because these toys are not always clean.
To prevent your baby from getting sick from prolonged contact with his stuffed animal, it’s important to clean them regularly. By hand, by machine, dry… there are many different ways to wash your baby’s stuffed animal. It’s up to you to find the one that best suits your baby’s blanket!