When you have kids at home, it always follows that you also have stuffed toys on every corner of your house. These are one of the kids’ favorites, and the only toy kids want to have when they sleep. But you have to know that these fluffy toys can attract germs and bacteria. So, you need to know how to wash stuffed toys. These toys should be regularly washed to keep kids from inhaling harmful bacteria that could cause them to get sick.
How Kids Treat Stuffed Toys
Children on different stages have different treatments and views regarding stuffed toys. Other kids may treat it as just an ordinary toy they can play with, while others make it part of their being. They carry it around all the time, and some even want to have it beside them while sleeping. That is why it is highly suggested that you learn how to wash stuffed toys to remove all the germs and bacteria.
Babies or Infants
Babies use their senses to learn about the objects: the texture, the color, and even the smell, but they are not contented by just touching, seeing, and smelling them. Babies put it in their mouth to taste. And it is normal for them. You have to know how to wash stuffed toys, so they are safe from ingesting harmful germs and bacteria.
Even when kids are on their toddler stage, they will not stop loving stuffed toys. When they reach two years old, they even more attached to playing stuffed toys. At this stage, it is hard to take the toys away from them. They start to give them names and even talk to them. They treat stuffed toys and dolls as their friend or someone they can be with when they are bored or sad. These silent friends test your toddlers’ emotions. They throw, hit, hug, and kiss them.
By this stage, kids’ brains are more developed. They are starting to engage in imaginative play. Stuffed animals can be a princess, a guard, and even the queen. These stuffed toys are always included in role-playing. They often share their feeling with stuffed toys and try to talk to them more often. And when they are sad or upset, they turn to their stuffed toys for comfort and hugs.
By the time they reach five years old, they become more attached to stuffed toys. Aside from taking it with them when they go to sleep, they also bring it when they travel. Kids also play with them more often. From a silent playmate, the stuffed toys could become an audience for their concert or become their students when they play as teachers. Imagine these stuffed toys lying on the floor of their bedroom or your living room, getting all the dust and dirt. Make sure you have learned how to wash stuffed toys to make sure they are not exposed to harmful germs that may cause illnesses and diseases.
Ways to Clean Your Stuffed Toys
- By Washing Machine
Not all stuffed toys can be loaded in a washing machine. Most of them have delicate parts that may be detached, like buttons, decors, or even their eyes. So, to keep them safe, you can put the stuffed toy in a zipped pillowcase. It will minimize the damage on the toy, especially if you are using a top load washer.
Wash the stuffed toys using warm water in a gentle machine cycle. Use mild laundry detergent. You can pretreat stains if there’s any before loading it to the washer. Choose not to add fabric conditioner as it will increase the flammability of the toy. Some stuffed toys have very thick material that will absorb too much scent from the fabric conditioner and could cause irritation to kids. If your stuffed toys are white, you can add a small amount of bleach to maintain its white color. After washing, allow it to air dry. Do not expose it to direct sunlight to prevent color fading.
- Hand Washing
Handwashing can be the best way to wash stuffed animals. This is because some stuffed toys have delicate parts like their eyes, decoration, and nose. In a washing tub, fill it with enough water and submerge the toy. Submerge and squeeze multiple times until the air is removed. Add a mild detergent. You can use powder or liquid detergent soap. Some parent even uses hair shampoo to give it a nice smell. Stir the water to make suds.
To remove the dirt and germs, get a used toothbrush, and gently scrub it. Once you have eliminated the dirt from the toy, you can rinse it using tap water. Squeeze out the water, but do not twist it as it may cause damage to the toy.
Tips in Keeping the Stuffed Toy Clean
After washing the stuffed toys, you must make sure that the toy remains clean to avoid accumulating on the stuffed toy’s surface.
- There are stuffed toys that you cannot put in the washing machine because it has a delicate design, wirings, or a battery compartment that can’t be removed. You can try to clean the stuffed toy’s surface by rubbing it with a damp cloth, so you can remove the dust that accumulates on the surface.
- If you want to go deeper into cleaning, you can use a vacuum cleaner or a lint roller to remove dust particles more efficiently.
- You may also try using the mixture of two tablespoons of soap powder with a small cup of water and ammonia. Shake it well to produce enough foam. Then with a clean cloth, scoop enough foam, and rub it to the part of the toy you want to clean. Then clean it with a wet cloth. Let it dry in a ventilated area under a shade.
- Put the stuffed toy in a plastic bag and add one tablespoon of baking soda or starch. Close the bag and let it rest for half an hour. Take the stuffed toy out of the bag and clean it with a dry towel.
- You can also create a mixture of one tablespoon of fabric softener then add an adequate amount of water. Moisten a towel and use it to rub the toy. In this way, you will remove all the dirt and leave it with a pleasant smell at the same time. Let it air dry.
Stuffed toys are your kids’ best friends. They love to have it by their side most of the time. They play with it or even sleep with it. Make sure you know how to wash stuffed toys to make sure your kids are playing with clean and safe toys. Get more tips on baby toys.