Your daughter's wolf cuddly toy is in a very shabby and slightly worn condition. You need to clean it to turn white again, but you are afraid to put it in the washing machine. These beloved treasures may be a more delicate object to launder. How can I clean it without damaging it? How to bleach it again? It no longer has a label so you cannot read the instructions on it. Don't worry, I'll tell you how to do it!
Will my toddler break into tears if I take off his wolf plush too long to wash it?
A little advice: don't wash these kinds of stuffed animals at nap time or bedtime. Trust me.
There are several reasons why you should wash stuffed animals:
- An attack of bedbugs,
- They can be dusty from sitting on a shelf,
- A little too much love from the owner,
- Lice or other vermin,
- If your child is allergic or asthmatic.
Cuddly toys are like clothes the less you wash them, the better they'll look.
Your child probably loves his stuffed wolf more than anything else in the world. However, there may be differences in the way stuffed toys are washed. Some stuffed toys are older, or more loved, than others, which may dictate how you choose to clean them.
In this tutorial we will explain two types of washing:
- Gentle hand washing for worn-out your plush that you don't want to damage.
- A washing with the washing machine for ordinary lint.
1) Wash your stuffed toy with a washing machine
Can it go in the washing machine or not? Can you use an ordinary detergent or do you have to use a special product?
Most stuffed animals can go safely through the washing machine, although there is always the possibility of damage, which is something you need to consider.
That said, machine washing will be an excellent choice for most parents looking to clean their children's stuffed animals. Here are the best practices for this operation:
- Use the softest cycle available on your washing machine.
- Wash your wolf plush in cold water with a mild detergent.
- If disinfection is a concern, consider using a product like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, which is safe for whites and colors, unlike chlorine bleach. Avoid using hot water because if parts of the comforter are stuck together, hot water can dissolve some of the glue.
- If the size and shape of the toy allows, place the stuffed animal in a washable mesh bag that will help protect its parts. Padding the washer drum with towels can add another layer of protection.
- Air drying is the gentlest choice. A hair dryer turned on low or medium heat can help to fluff the wolf's fur once the toy has reached the moisture stage (think of it as a finishing touch!).
- Machine drying is also very good, but it is better to use the low temperature setting so as not to melt the glue.
You cannot wash your stuffed animals in the washing machine if they :
- Have a music box sewn inside
- Are extremely old and fragile
- Have glitter or other glued objects. Glued eyes will probably survive a wash.
- Have delicate clothing that cannot be removed (think of glittery net dresses or small fragile crowns or the like).
- Are filled with small balls of foam inside.
2) Wash your stuffed wolf by hand
Step 1: Choose a convenient place to wash your wolf cuddly toy
The kitchen sink is perfect for hand laundering, but a spacious sink, bathtub or washing bucket are also good choices. What you want is a space big enough for you to submerge the item in water, with enough room for you to get your hands on it without making a huge mess of water. And, of course, make sure that the space where you wash the plush is clean.
Step 2: Introduce water, detergent and a booster, if necessary.
Fill the sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. It's easy to overuse the detergent, making the rinse a nightmare. Dosing a teaspoon and adding more if necessary is a good way to avoid excess detergent.
As for products, regular laundry detergent, Dr. Bronner's Baby Shampoo or even Johnson's Baby Shampoo are fine - you don't need a specialty product, but if you want one, there's Soak, which is a no-rinse formula for whitening laundry.
For plush toys that are ratty, stained or discolored, using a booster such as OxiClean, Borax or baking soda, coupled with a long soak in the detergent solution, will help brighten your plush.
Step 3: Washing the wolf plush.
Immerse the plush toy in water using a pumping motion (apply pressure to the plush toy as if it were a sponge), so that it is saturated with the detergent solution. Then, let it splash around and soak for 15 to 60 minutes, depending on its condition and degree of dirtiness. Shaking it occasionally will also help to loosen the dirt.
Step 4: Rinse the stuffed wolf.
After soaking the lint, drain the washing water. It will probably be quite disgusting! It doesn't matter if you find the water condition strangely clear.
After the water runs out, wipe or rinse the sink without lather, then fill it with clean water and apply some pressure on the stuffed animal while it is submerged to help release the soap. Repeat as needed until the toy is free of foam. If the toy is solid, you can also rinse it directly under running water.
Step 5: Dry the wolf plush.
Before removing the stuffed animal from the sink, gently squeeze to extrude as much water as possible. Then transfer it to a clean towel and roll it up, pressing again to squeeze out more water. Then place the object on the towel to air dry. If, when the toy has dried to just wet, it looks a little tangled, use a hair dryer at its lowest setting to bring up the fibers.