How to Wash Soft Toys and Teddies

Whether it's because they have been dropped in a particularly muddy puddle or because they have lived through a few too many close encounters with sneezes all soft toys will need to be washed occasionally. 

They 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 them if your child has had nits!

As a weekly routine it is good practise to pass a vacuum cleaner over the most loved toys. 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 machine washable. So if the toy is reasonably new and has a CE mark on the label then simply pop it in the washing machine on a 40 degree wash. It is a good idea to inspect the toy first to see if there are any holes or wobbly bits. 

If it 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.

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!

We hope you find this useful but would love to hear if you have any family tricks to get toys clean so please comment on our Facebook or Instagram accounts.

 Best Years Ltd 

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