Cleaning Stuffed Animals
When I first started selling stuffed animals on eBay I wanted to make sure I was properly cleaning them so I did an internet search on how to clean stuffed animals. Here are a few of the ideas that I ran across and why you should avoid them!
The washing machine is probably what comes to mind first when thinking about how to get that dirty stuffed friend clean and fresh again.This could potentially be very bad depending upon the age of the plush, trimming and what the inside is stuffed with. The peach colored bunny in the picture above is a vintage bunny made in Taiwan and is stuffed with shredded clippings. I don't even want to imagine what throwing that little guy into the washing machine would do to him.
I don't want to say that this can't ever be done as there are stuffed animals that are made to go in the washing machine. The Fisher Price Doodle Bear, Babies and Friends are a great example of stuffed animals that are perfectly safe to go in the washer and dryer just be sure to check your tag. If it says Surface Washable Only I wouldn't risk it.
This adorable pink plush is a 1989 Kenner Jellybean Bunny from their Yum Yum Collection of scented stuffed animals and is the perfect example of a dryer victim. This poor little guy used to have fluffy soft tuffs of fur on his head and tail but a trip through the dryer left them dry and frizzy. It also robbed him of his original sweet jellybean scent. :(
Baking Soda Nightmare
I ran across several You Tube videos and blog posts advising people to put stuffed animals in a large bag, pour in some baking soda and then just vigorously shake the bag and when you pull them out they will be fresh and clean. Sounds simple enough what could go wrong?
Reality: Although they do come out smelling fresh you will be shaking baking soda out of those stuffed animals forever! I had a large lot of stuffed Care Bears that I tried this method with and I spent a great deal of time trying to shake all of the baking soda back out of them. I even tried vacuuming all of the baking soda out and it still did not get it all! While baking soda is non toxic it is rather annoying to find little white flakes of it everywhere the stuffed animal goes.
So what's a dirty Stuffed Animal to do?
Build a Bear Stuffed Animal Cleaner to the Rescue!
Sorry if I sound like a corny commercial but this stuff is seriously the best product I have found so far. If you have a vintage stuffed animal you may want to check the tag before using but I haven't run across a stuffed animal that I couldn't use their product on yet. All you do is spray it on, give it a minute to work then give the little guy a scrub with a clean dry wash cloth and viola you have a fresh clean stuffed friend ready for more fun and adventure!