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How to Wash Soft Toys and Teddies
- Gaynor Humphrey
We have updated this blog to include tips on keeping toys clean if you suspect your household may have had contact with Coronavirus. We are pleased to tell you that as well as being suitable from birth all of our dinosaur toys and fair trade toys are machine washable which especially in these troubled times is a definite advantage when it comes to baby toys.
The latest research is that the Coronavirus lasts for a different amount of time depending on which surface it lands on.
In the air it can last 3 hours
On copper - 4 hours
Cardboard - 24 hours
Plastic or stainless steel - 72 hours, but other reports are that a similar virus was shown to live on flat surfaces for up to 9 days
No one has tested how long the virus may last on fabrics. There have been some previous tests which showed a virus could survive up to 2 days on a hospital gown but it is thought that the tiny little holes in material traps viruses and prevents them from being passed on. We would go for up to 2 days just to be on the safe side.
Luckily the virus can be killed with washing and normal house hold cleaners so if worried a spring clean of all surfaces, especially flat surfaces such as shelves and changing tables, should kill most germs. Also don't forget high use areas such as light switches and door handles.
For plastic toys cleaning with any normal house hold cleaner should suffice, or with things like Lego you can soak them in a mild diluted bleach. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly afterwards in case they end up in your baby's mouth.
In terms of soft toys now may be a good time to have a sort out and a mass wash.
Toy safety legislation states that baby toys cannot just be surface washable, you must be able to be fully immerse the toys in water. So in plain language it's not enough to be able to pass a damp towel across a baby toy, you must be able to fully submerge it in water.
Its always a good idea to wash soft toys on a regular basis. Given the play value of our dinosaur toys and the fact that our baby dinosaur toys will probably spend a lot of time in your baby's mouth we think its best that they are machine washable!
We recommend that all baby toys should also be washed regularly if your child has asthma or is prone to allergies as they are very good at harbouring dust. Finally although the experts don't believe this, as a parent I would highly recommend washing your soft toys if your child has had nits!
As a weekly routine it is good practise to pass a vacuum cleaner over the most loved toys as this will ensure that the worst of dust and dirt is removed quickly and easily.
However for a more thorough clean then they will need a good wash! Luckily testing regulations mean that to pass current CE and EN71 regulations all soft toys and teddies need to be washable, although not necessarily in a machine. If your toy is reasonably new and has a CE mark on the label then simply pop it in soapy water and give it a good swirl round. Our baby toys and dinosaur toys can go in to the washing machine at a cool wash, and most baby toys which have no small parts (bead eyes, clothing, frills or anything else like this) should also be able to go straight in to the washing machine. It is however a good idea to inspect the toy first to see if there are any holes or wobbly bits just in case!
If a toy is particularly special or it has been well loved then the best thing to do is to put it in a pillow case first in order to protect it from catching in the walls of the washing machine.
Before giving the toy back to your child give it a good once over again to ensure that no holes have developed. There is no reason why washing should make bead eyes loose but it is always a good idea to check that they are not working loose.
Our dinosaur toys, like most toys are stuffed with acrylic so drying them is not a problem either. They can either be dried on a washing line or in the airing cupboard/on a radiator with no issues. However if you have a toy which is stuffed with cotton then you will need to ensure that they are dried quickly. If cotton stuffing is left wet then it can mould and will smell like washing which has been left in the washing machine too long.
If the toy is for a baby then the issue you will have with washing it is emotional rather than practical. Babies like the smell of their toys. They usually smell like their mother which is why they are such a great comfort to them. We highly recommend that if your baby has a special toy then you have a duplicate. Not only does this mean that you are protected from any future loss, but it also means that you can rotate them and have one in the wash and one in use. When you have washed the toy make sure that you carry it around with you close to the skin for a while so it picks up your scent again.
In terms of asthmatic children or if they have any other allergies the trick is to pop the toy in to the freezer for the night after it has been washed. Simple washing does not always clear all the dust mites but a night in the freezer will!