It’s no surprise that nowadays, we are all hyper aware of how important it is to keep things clean in order to minimise our exposure to unwanted germs – but should that include our teddies? The answer is YES!
Why wash your teddies?
Our favourite teddy bears spend a lot of time with us, especially for youngsters who are often inseparable from their furry friend. Teddies are the perfect companion for cuddles, but this often means the bear will be in very close contact with your mouth, nose and eyes where germs could be easily transmitted. The soft material of a teddy can harbour bacteria and germs which have built up over time and then lead to the spread of illness – oh no!
Check the label
The first step for cleaning any teddy is to check the label for instructions. The label is likely to tell you if the bear is machine washable, what materials it is made of and maybe even if you can tumble dry it. Many bears should not be placed in the washing machine, for example articulated bears, bean filled bears, wool bears, old and fragile bears all will not fair well when placed in the machine. For all of the methods below it is recommended that you use a mild detergent or shampoo for your cleaning and to test out the soap on a small, hidden spot first to check that it doesn’t fade or stain the fur. It is also a good idea to remove any clothes that the teddy is wearing to be washed separately and definitely be sure to keep water away from any electronic components.
Surface spot clean
For any small spots of dirt on your teddy the first approach to try is to surface clean the affected areas. Apply a small amount of the cleanser using something like an old toothbrush. Always use the smallest amount of soap first as you can add more later if needed. When you are satisfied your teddy is clean then wipe down with a cloth to take the dirt right off. This method is ideal for any teddies that can’t be submerged in water.
If your teddy needs a more all-over clean but cannot be washed in the machine, a sponge bath is a good option. Set up a little bath of cool water in the sink or a bowl for them and get your teddy in for a light soak, again using a mild detergent. Once the teddy has been submerged give them a gentle rub with your hands or a sponge, being careful not to rub too hard and damage the fur. Once your teddy is all soaped up don’t forget to rinse them too! Use a fresh bowl of clean water and watch for the water running clear to show that all the suds are gone.
If your teddy is able to be cleaned in the washing machine then there are a few special steps to take to ensure they come out in one piece. Firstly, make sure any holes in your teddy are sewn up so that they are ready to dive into the machine. Next, place your teddy into a pillow case or washing bag just like you would for any delicate items. When selecting your cycle make sure to use a cool, gentle wash. Too much heat and too much spinning will result in a slightly mangled bear, and we don’t want that!
If you’ve used any of the methods above then your teddy will need some time to dry off. The first step is to gently squeeze any excess water out using your hands. Next, you need to set him to one side to dry. If the weather is good then let your teddy dry outside in the fresh air, but keep them out of the direct sunlight to avoid them getting sunburn (aka faded fur). Once your teddy is dry you might notice some of the fur needs a bit of TLC, just give your bear a gentle brush to smooth out any knots or matted parts.
If you’re looking for a brand new teddy to join your collection of freshly cleaned bears then have a browse of our collection on Bears4U. With everything from personalised teddy bears, to cuddly animals and even voice recording bears we have something for everyone.