You know that stuffed animals are one of children's favorite toys, and that even large stuffed animals have also succeeded in attracting older people! It serves as a companion during daily activities or when traveling. However, it sometimes happens that we leave our stuffed animal out of the way, and therefore, as a result, it accumulates dirt.
This is why it is important to clean it regularly.
But how do you wash a large stuffed animal? Which product to use for optimal cleaning? What are the different types of cleaning possible for a large stuffed animal?
In this article you will find all the answers to these questions, so that cleaning large lint is no longer a secret for you. Let's get started without further ado!
Why wash a stuffed animal?
A stuffed animal is a furry object used as a toy for children. It is, most of the time, available in several sizes. Due to the different materials that make it up, the plush can become a real nest of bacteria .
If your plush accompanies you during your daily life, then it will be essential to clean it regularly so as not to expose yourself to dirt.
If you don't, bacteria and microbes will happily embed themselves in the hairs of your stuffed animal.
The dust accumulated on your plush can cause allergies, whether for adults or children. Washing it then makes it possible to get rid of allergens as well as dust that become encrusted on the hairs of your plush.
If your child has a giant stuffed animal , it will be essential to clean it to protect it from possible illnesses.
How often should a stuffed animal be washed?
As mentioned above, stuffed animals are real germ nests. It is therefore preferable to opt for a wash every 4 to 5 days .
However, too regular washing could damage your plush. If the materials of the latter are less resistant to washing, then you can clean it once a month.
If it's a large stuffed animal that serves as a decoration for your room, cleaning can be done every two to three months. Nevertheless, you need to get rid of the dust. To do this, simply shake your stuffed animal , preferably outside so as not to spread dust in your rooms.
A large stuffed animal can lose its softness if you wash it more than necessary. It is also crucial to respect its manufacturing materials to optimize its lifespan.
Be aware that you risk catching possible illnesses if you do not wash it regularly. This is because bacteria spread quickly and can spread throughout your home. Without cleaning, there will be too many bacteria on your stuffed animal and you could get sick later.
How to wash a giant stuffed animal?
To wash your big plush, there are three types of cleaning. Choose the appropriate method in order to damage your plush as little as possible. In general, you will find a maintenance notice sewn on the back which will tell you the best way to wash the plush.
1) Cleaning by hand
If you have an XXL plush toy, the best way to clean it without damaging it is to hand wash it. It allows you to preserve its soft hairs. Nevertheless, it is important to respect certain steps for more efficiency.
First of all, choose a spacious and practical place where you can spread it without problems. The best solution is the bathroom. However, you can wash in your sink if it is big enough. Using a basin or a simple wash bucket does not give you the range you need. The bathtub remains the most practical place for cleaning. In this way, you will have no trouble immersing your stuffed animal in water.
To clean your plush, all you have to do is prepare a space with water, product and sterilants. Be sure to use a detergent that respects the material of your toy (essential to facilitate rinsing). Before rubbing, leave the plush submerged in water for 30 to 60 minutes. This gives the product time to work. Once this time has elapsed, rub each part of the plush gently. This will allow you to remove the remaining dirt.
Then drain the wash water and rinse the space. When it is clean again, fill it again and immerse your stuffed animal in it. Do not hesitate to squeeze the plush to remove the foam that could have gotten inside.
After rinsing, press lightly on the plush to expel the water . This is an important step to facilitate drying. When you are satisfied with the result, wrap it with a large, clean towel large enough. Press again lightly to evacuate the remaining water. Then let the stuffed animal dry in the open air with the towel. Depending on the materials, drying may take more or less time.
2) Machine cleaning
This washing mode is intended for soft toys provided for this purpose. To find out if your plush can be machine washed or not, check its care label.
For a complete wash , always favor a machine wash. Indeed, the less delicate models can be washed with all of your laundry.
However, to avoid deforming your stuffed animal, prefer a gentle cycle or a program designed for woolen materials. In this way, the plush preserves its softness after going through the washing machine.
As for detergent, opt for a milder range. Also, for the disinfectant, softness remains an essential criterion. It is recommended to use cold water when cleaning your large stuffed animal. To clean your stuffed animal in an optimal way, place it in a pillowcase or in a washable mesh bag.
Unlike washing, machine drying is strongly discouraged. Wringing can deform your plush. However, if you only have this option, choose a low temperature program. Air drying is the best option if you want to ensure its longevity. In case of bad weather, you have the option of opting for the hair dryer method, but make sure that the latter is not set at too high a temperature.
3) Dry cleaning
Dry cleaning is the most optimal solution for maintaining large stuffed animals.
It is best to take it to a professional who practices this type of cleaning with specific materials. However, it is possible to do it from home with a few special techniques and products.
Indeed, by using baking soda and flour, you can get rid of bacteria lodged on the plush. Put it in a plastic bag with a mixture of 1/3 flour and 2/3 baking soda. Shake the bag well to spread the mixture. Let the products act for 5 hours and remove the lint from the bag. Then brush it with a soft brush to remove the residue. However, this cleaning method is not recommended for people with respiratory problems.
You also have the option of using starch for cleaning your large stuffed animal. This is a very effective technique for removing bloodstains and other nasty dirt that just won't disappear from your toy. Just moisten it and brush the dirty part. Then leave the plush in the open air to dry. If the dirt persists, opt for a Marseille soap . In addition to dirt, the latter will get rid of the grayish side of your plush caused by dust.
Which product to clean your XXL plush toy?
If you opt for machine cleaning, opt for soaps with a neutral pH such as Marseille soap or black soap. For its disinfection, put a quantity of baking soda in its washing water. Soaps with a neutral pH allow you not to damage your stuffed animal. After washing, the bristles will remain soft as before.
Detergent is also a very good alternative for cleaning your stuffed animal. The best is to make a homemade cleaning product. However, if you don't feel like doing it, a store-bought organic laundry detergent can do just fine. Don't forget to add a fabric softener to restore its softness. After going through the washing machine, a large stuffed animal needs to be pampered, that is to say, you will have to brush it with a comb or a hairbrush.
For dry cleaning, you can use potato or Sommières earth . With the potato, once boiled, take a crushed pulp. Apply it to your toy. Let stand overnight. The next day, brush the hair of your stuffed animal with a stiff bristle brush.
With the earth of sommière, it is enough to sprinkle the plush and to let the product act throughout the night. Brush it to get rid of the product and to restore it to its original appearance.
What tips for cleaning your stuffed animal properly?
Washing a large stuffed animal can be restrictive if you do not apply a few essential tips to make your task easier. To help you do it quickly and optimally, here are some effective tips.
1) Opt for homemade products for cleaning
Want to keep the look of your big stuffed animal intact? Choose an organic product. The best is to make it from home. To do this, you can use baking soda, Marseille soap and essential oil. For a gentle homemade detergent suitable for your toy, take 20 cups of water, black or Marseille soap, a cup of borax, half a cup of baking soda and 45 drops of essential oil.
Bring the water to a boil and grate the soap. In a container, pour the soap into the boiling water and stir everything until the soap dissolves completely. Then add the borax and baking soda. Finally, pour the drops of essential oil and let cool. This product is very effective for machine washing large plush.
2) Avoid water for teddies with electronic components
If you have a stuffed animal with electronic components, it is not recommended to wash it with water. This leads to its deterioration. However, that doesn't mean you can't clean it.
To do this, simply opt for a dry cleaning or take a damp cloth with a mild soap . The cloth must be soaked in water without being too wet to prevent it from reaching the inside of the plush. Gently wipe all parts of your stuffed animal until completely clean. After cleaning, let it air dry. The dryer is strongly not recommended for electronic items.
If you have an old stuffed animal, it is recommended that you take it to a laundry service. This one will be better able to clean your big old plush in order to give it back its appearance of yesteryear. Indeed, several treatments in addition to cleaning will be carried out, without touching the electronic components.
3) Avoid certain things to ensure the longevity of your plush
If you have an old or fragile stuffed animal, avoid the washing machine. It accelerates its deterioration. Stuffed animals with elements like plastic eyes and sequins are also not suitable for this type of cleaning.
Also, avoid putting it in the washing machine if the label indicates a hand wash. If you want to keep your teddy's music box, the washing machine and water are prohibited.
If you want to wash your stuffed animal with as little damage as possible to its materials, always opt for hand washing with natural products . However, it is not recommended not to wash your plush over a period of more than 6 months, as this can be harmful to your health in general. Don't forget to wrap it in a towel to prevent the surface from deteriorating. Exposure to direct sunlight, however, can change the color of your plush. But be aware that drying in the open air is the most suitable to avoid damaging the materials.