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Cleaning Tips for your Cuddly Plush Critters

Girl Playing in Stuffed Animals
We all have a precious memory of our favorite childhood stuffed animal; the one we dragged with us everywhere, spilled juice on, hugged, and loved as our very best friend. Stuffed animals are a must-have childhood accessory, but they do indeed get dirty! Keeping these cuddly fur balls clean can be difficult, so here are some tips to keep them lasting and looking new for as long as possible. (Now getting your child to part with their little cuddle buddy for their brief bath may be another issue. Every plushie needs a day at the “spa” now and again, right? :))

Machine wash. Believe it or not, most stuffed animals can be cleaned in a washing machine, but clean with care! (If it has things that are glued on, glittery, delicate clothes, bean/bead stuffing, hole in the seam, etc., it should probably be surface washed instead.) Use a gentle laundry soap that is recommended for cashmere and wool sweaters (no fabric softener), put the animal in a mesh lingerie bag (or pillow case tied closed), and wash on gentle/hand wash cycle in cold water. Once it is clean, you can put it in the dryer on air fluff, but you really don’t want to use heat as it can damage the fur or plastic parts. Hanging dry or a blow dryer (on low or cool) works, too.

Surface clean. If you are hesitant that machine washing your child’s favorite stuffed animal is too risky, then try giving it an overall surface cleaning. Use a wash cloth (preferably white) dampened with a mixture of warm water and the mild detergent mentioned above. Gently scrub and wipe down the animal, putting a bit of elbow grease on the stained sections. Then use a different cloth that is dampened with only clean water to wipe off the excess soap – you may have to do this step a couple times to ensure the soap is all off. Then hang the animal from a clip hanger to dry. This will at least freshen up the animal and get those surface germs off.

Bag it. Now, not many moms want to discuss it, but kids sometimes get head lice. If you have suffered this dilemma – you don’t have to toss out all those stuffed animals that are scattered on your child’s bed. Take all the stuffed animals that you think may have a risk of being infected and seal them tightly in a garbage bag. Leave the animals in the bag for two weeks (the lifespan of the lice) and that should take care of all those yucky lice. You'll probably still want to wash them after this for an extra cleaning.

Sadly, there are times when precious teddy may have to move on to stuffed animal heaven. Luckily, CDK Kids has a plethora of new animals that are sure to delight your child. Feel free to visit our stuffed animal zoo.

Cuddles & Hugs,
Your friends at CDK Kids