Like any other member of your family, sometimes your children’s toys need to be cleaned. Plush toys, in particular, tend to get invited on many adventures likes romps in the garden, snuggles at bedtime, and exotic trips of your children’s imagination. Unfortunately, all this quality time together can lead to the need for occasional clean-ups. Here is how to get your family’s soft toys the attention they need.
- Read the Label
That might seem obvious but the care directions vary, depending on the soft toy. That’s because the broad plush range varies from baby soft toys in Baby GUND, Kalidou and Izzy & Oliver to interactive GUND toys that contain electronics. That’s why it is important to read the label and follow the care instructions for each specific toy so that you and your children can enjoy them for years to come.
In the event of a spill on one of our plush toys, the first step is to use a clean cloth to gently blot the spill to try to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Turn the cloth repeatedly or use other cloths, if necessary, until you’ve absorbed the liquid. Once the liquid has been absorbed off the toy’s surface, proceed to the appropriate step to clean the toy, depending on the care instructions on the tag.
- Surface Clean
After you’ve dabbed away any excess liquids, use a clean cloth, dampen it with water, and use the cloth to carefully clean the surface. Continue flipping the cloth over to clean sides as you work your way across the surface of the toy. Allow the toy to air dry completely before resuming use.
- Hand Washable
For soft toys that are labelled as hand washable, use a bowl of clean, warm water to gently wash the toy. If necessary, use a small amount of mild detergent in the water to help remove any accumulated grime. If you use detergent, be sure to do a second wash with clean water to remove any detergent residue. After cleaning, use a clean, dry towel to absorb excess liquid. Once that has been removed, place the toy on a clean, moisture-safe surface to dry completely before resuming use.
- Machine Washable
Toys labelled as machine washable should be washed on the gentle cycle with other like-coloured items. For added protection, you can place the plus toys inside a laundry bag. These bags are designed for washing delicate clothing items in the washing machine. Once the washer cycle is over, remove the toy from the washer. Use a clean, dry towel to remove liquid from the toy, then place it on a clean, moisture-safe surface to air dry. Make sure the toy dries completely before play is resumed.
- Special Cleaning Challenges
If chewing gum or other sticky items like candy become stuck to the toy, before trying any other cleaning methods listed above, try to gently pull the gum or candy off the toy. Do not dab at the surface. If there is candy or gum that does not come off easily, try placing an ice cube on the gum. Once the gum area is cold, try gently flaking the gum off the surface of the toy. Repeat this icing step as necessary to gradually remove layers of gum. Once you have completed this step, proceed to the regular care directions listed on the toy’s label.