Soft Toys such as teddy bears, rag dolls and furry animals often become our child’s new best friend, and as such are kept close by at all times. But playing in the garden, sharing spaghetti bolognaise, sleeping, and bath time adventures can leave these cute and cuddly creatures looking somewhat dishevelled, and that is before they get their ears chewed or sucked! Therefore, for hygiene reasons we need to keep them clean. Fortunately, many soft toy manufacturers now use washable materials when designing these delightful creatures and the majority can be popped into the washing machine (if you can get hold of them for long enough!) when they start to look worse for wear. Regular machine washing may eventually damage your soft toys, so keep it to minimum and try placing the teddy in a mesh bag used for delicates, or a pillowcase, to prevent damage during the spin cycle. While you may be tempted to put the teddy through on a hot wash, always stick to the recommended temperature on the care label or you may find yourself with a rather messy washing machine – and no soft toy in sight! Some soft toys can go into the tumble dryer without any problems, while others require line drying, so again follow the instructions on the label to be safe. Once your child’s bear is dry, give it a quick brush to ‘fluff up’ its fur and it will look like new once again. If you find your child’s soft toy is just dusty rather than dirty, try an old-fashioned remedy given to me by my grandmother. Wrap a piece of mesh around the teddy and vacuum lightly with your regular Hoover. It works surprisingly well and is ideal for those times in between washes. The connection a young child makes with a soft toy is a beautiful part of childhood, and with the right care and attention their new best friend will see them right through to their adult years.
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