Home > Maintenance > Washing and Caring for Soft Toys

Washing and Caring for Soft Toys

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 20 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Washing Soft Toys Machine Washable Plush

Teddy bears and other soft toys are normally washable thee days, especially those designed for little children and babies. It’s normal for soft toys to be chewed, sucked and eaten, so it’s important to keep them as clean as possible.

Is it Always Necessary to Machine Wash?

Soft toys do get dirty but there’s no need to obsessively keep putting them through the machine after every spillage or drop – they can be kept clean without over use of detergents which could eventually damage them.

You can dust and clean a soft toy – even machine washable plush toys can be cleaned this way by holding some mesh screening over the soft toy and vacuuming it on low power to get rid of toy mites and anything lurking in the toy dust. If you do this carefully, it should keep the toys intact.

Washing Soft Toys in the Machine

If a quick vacuum for dust mites is not enough for this toy, you can put most soft toys (usually labelled as machine washable plush toys) through a machine wash. Always check the care label before washing soft toys in a washing machine, because some delicate and older toys may not be suitable for this sort of washing.

Try washing more delicate items inside a pillow case to preserve any small parts and stop them working loose on the spin cycle. Always wash them on the correct temperature – most machine washable toys will be suitable for washing on a normal wash cycle. Washing soft toys at the usual temperature should be enough to get rid of anything nasty lurking in their fur.

Some toys are suitable for tumble drying but again, check the toy care labels before attempting this. Just brush the fur up when you take the soft toy out of the drier and it should be as good as new.

Will Washing Soft Toys Get Rid of Dust Mites?

The short answer is – not always! Some children can be especially sensitive to the toy mites found in toy dust and bedding – and on toys. House dust mites often thrive on soft toys, so every couple of weeks, put the toys through a hot wash just to be on the safe side, if your child is sensitive or has asthma and allergies.

Another even more effective method of getting rid of mites is to put soft toys in the freezer overnight. It won’t get rid of dirt but the mites can’t survive this, and then once you’ve killed them all, take the toys out of the freezer and put any machine washable plush toys straight in the washing machine to wash away any dead mites and their droppings.

Special Considerations for Washing Soft Toys

If you can, check the stuffing of a soft toy before you wash it. Sometimes the inside filling can start to degrade – although this is unlikely with modern toys – and very occasionally the filling can harbour insects or mould. If this happens, all you can do is throw the toy away or have it restuffed.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I have a lovely toy gorilla bought from Hamley's many years ago. My daughter who is a primary school teacher has had him at school for a while and he is in need of a wash.The care label says he is machine washable with a symbol for a 40degree wash that has a number 7 above it does anyone know what the 7 means.
piggy - 20-May-17 @ 11:31 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • JodyP
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I've hunted high and low for a definative answer. I'm looking at manufacturing a card game (made in China) and the same spec as…
    19 August 2017
  • Peggy
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi. I paint wooden peg dolls and I'm just wondering if I use CE tested paint and sealant do I need to have them retested or does…
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    ToysAdvice - Your Question:cookie2018 - Your Question:Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    cookie2018 - Your Question:Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks,…
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Donna - Your Question:Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please…
    18 August 2017
  • Soft Toy Man
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello, looking to import a branded soft toy as a one off, to be given to adults and client is happy to label it 'not for…
    17 August 2017
  • Clo
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I'm looking at making and selling teething necklaces? Do they need testing? What do I need to purchase to insure I'm covered…
    17 August 2017
  • cookie2018
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks, handles, beads and everyday…
    16 August 2017
  • Donna
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please could you advise me which?…
    16 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    wendy - Your Question:Hello I make little brooches. They are handcut from pine wood and sanded and painted with acrylic paints…
    16 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ToysAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.