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Stuffed animals are one of children's most  favorite toys. These fun animals are great to have around, and sometimes go everywhere with your youngster. Since these animals are around for almost every event, even they get dirty and will need an occasional bath.

So how do you keep stuffed animals clean?

 Well here are some tips to keep them clean and in great shape:

First and most importantly read the care instructions that come with the stuffed animal on their tush tag or label. Also take note of all materials the stuffed animal is made with. Retailers of stuffed animals never personally recommend washing stuffed animals in the washer or dryer. What is highly recommended is to spray on a mild all-purpose cleanser or simply use soap and sponge it clean with a little water. Then leave your stuffed animal in the sun to dry. However, many parents really feel like they need to wash stuffed animals in a washing machine to make them completely clean.

So here are more tips if you desire to do so; First, make sure none of your stuffed animals have the following before putting it in the washing machine: excelsior, styrene foam, or any other form of foam material, such as foam beads, they must not be washed in the machine. If a stuffed animal has joints, or cardboard or any other form of stiffeners, do not put into a machine or they can be destroyed. If a stuffed animal has a sound box, please do not put this into a machine or any other form of major water. If a stuffed animal is really large, very firm, or has a lot of stuffing please remove the stuffing by cutting a 5-6 inch area in the bottom of the animal. This is important because the stuffing will most likely shift and cause the animal to lose its shape. Plus washing this much stuffing will take a very, very long time to dry.

After cleaning, sew up the area and make sure no stuffing will fall out. After reading the above and your stuffed animal does not fit into the first three categories, you may wash your animal in a washing machine.

Before putting a stuffed animal into a washing machine, make sure there are no loose items, such as button noses or eyes. Check to make sure that they're are no openings where stuffing can come out, if so sew up these areas securely first. Before putting the stuffed animal into a washing machine, find a big enough pillow case fasten all ends with rubber bands, safety pins or string. Make sure all ends are secure to protect the fur of the stuffed animal. Plus it will keep any loose stuffing inside the pillow or sheet in case any falls out, then it can be restuffed. After placing the stuffed animal into the washing machine, set the most delicate cycle to be washed.

Fabric softener can be added and will make a softer and fluffier stuffed animal, plus it will have a wonderful smell. Be careful when washing other items with the stuffed animal, that there are no items that may bleed onto the stuffed animal making it a different color in the end.

Also, if your stuffed animal is wearing clothes, remove them and wash separately. This is important because the color of the stuffed animal's fur can sometimes bleed onto the clothes they are wearing.

Tips on How to Clean Stuffed Animals without Using a Washing Machine:

A great way to keep those precious stuffed animals fresh is to give it a dry bath with baking soda. Just sprinkle the baking soda on the stuffed animal. After 20 minutes simply brush the baking soda off. You may also use baby powder. This process will get smells out and clean off any surface dirt. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment will also help with deep cleaning if the stuffed animal has really thick fur. For stuffed animals that have been badly stained or soiled, use a soft scrub brush, or a old toothbrush.with an all purpose cleaner. For stuffed animals with plastic parts that have spots or stains, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove them, I like to use the new MR Clean Magic Eraser on the rubber or plastic parts.

Tips on How to Dry a Stuffed Animal:

When you have washed your stuffed animal or somehow the stuffed animal has become very wet, never use a clothes dryer. This can damage the fur of the animal and can sometimes never be repaired. Don't risk loosing your child's favorite animal, instead do the following. The safest way is to let the stuffed animal air dry. This could take up to several days. However, sometimes you need that stuffed animal dry as soon as possible. So you can use a hair dryer, but be careful to not get too close to the animal's fur and dry on the coolest setting available. When a small amount liquid has spilled on a stuffed animal simply shake off loose liquid. Then pat dry with a towel or sponge. With the care provided above, your clean stuffed animals will provide you and your child many years of fun and happiness.

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