Parents of little ones know that stuffed toys can get dirty -- really dirty, if they are well-loved. Some stuffed toys can be tossed into the washing machine, but others -- especially those that contain electronics -- cannot get wet. Parents don't have to resign themselves to letting their child carry around Cuddles the Cruddy Cat, however. Stuffed toys that can't be washed with water can be cleaned with a bit of baking soda.
Soft and Stuffed
Stuffed toys are just that -- stuffed with a soft, pliable material to make them cushy and cuddly. Often, the material cannot be placed in a washing machine. Parents should check the label before tossing a stuffed toy in water: Any toy that is filled with excelsior, any foam material -- including beads -- or a sound box should not be put in water, according to the Tabby Plush website. In addition, stuffed toys that have stiff joints or cardboard pieces should also not be immersed in water. These stuffed toys should be cleaned in a way that does not include water. Using baking soda is one way to dry clean stuffed toys.
Versatile Baking Soda
According to Fisher-Price.com, toys should be cleaned at least once a month, when you notice they've been soiled, after a play date or when a child has been sick. Parents who want to make sure their children do not cuddle with something that has been cleaned with chemicals can't go wrong by using baking soda to clean stuffed toys. Baking soda is an important ingredient in baking, but it is also traditionally used to clean. It is non-toxic, absorbs oils and neutralizes odors.
Bag and Brush
To clean a stuffed toy with baking soda, give it a liberal dusting, rub the soda in a bit and then let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then, use a soft brush to remove the baking soda from the fabric. As you might imagine, baking soda might drift away from the toy and onto your clothes, the work surface and possibly, your hair. A less messy option is to place the stuffed toy into a plastic bag, reach in and dust it with the soda and then close the bag. Seal the bag, and then shake it until the toy is coated. Let it sit for 20 minutes, and then remove the toy and place it on top of plastic or newspapers before you brush it. If brushing alone does not remove the baking soda, try using a hand-held vacuum cleaner or hose attachment, but be careful not to suck up any loose button eyes or other small pieces.
Try Something Else
Although a dry baking soda bath will get rid of smells, absorb oils and remove surface dirt, it probably won't remove large stains. For that, you will need to spot clean. Rub a small amount of laundry detergent on the stain, and use a soft brush to scrub it. Then, wipe the spot with a wet rag until it is clean and all of the soap is gone.
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