Children and stuffed toys are inseparable. From waking up until sleeping, you best believe that babies and toddlers are highly unlikely to let go of their furry friends. For them, these soft and squishy things are their companions. This is especially true when the family is traveling to somewhere new and the little ones need comfort and familiarity. But while these stuffed toys are a child’s best friend, they can be a parent’s nightmare. They can get thrown around, stepped on, placed on uncleaned dining tables- the works. Having them laundered is sometimes not an option, especially if there is an itinerary being followed. For this, we adopted a solution suggested by numerous online blogs and we’ve tried and tested ourselves. Without further ado, this is how to dry clean stuffed toys without using water.
First, you need to get hold of baking soda. Baking soda has chemicals that can help clean out all the nasty germs. If you’ve heard of people using the same substance to clean out their stovetops and kitchen counters, that is exactly why. If you’re vacationing in a major city or near a fairly well-equipped town, baking soda shouldn’t be that difficult to take hold of. Another thing you should have is a plastic bag. This one should be no problem, since these plastic things are almost ubiquitous all over the world. Of course, the star of this show is the stuffed toy. Bear in mind though that this method is only effective if the stuffed toy is not heavily stained.
Steps to clean toys:
- Put about 1 cup of baking soda into the plastic bag. You can adjust this amount depending on the size of the stuffed toy.
- Place the stuffed toy inside the bag.
- Close the bag tightly so that the powder doesn’t spill out.
- Hold the bag by the tied ends and shake vigorously for a few minutes (or until your arms hurt, whichever comes first). Do this for as long as you could to make sure that the animal’s nooks and crannies are included.
- Let rest for about 15 minutes. During this time, the baking soda will start reacting to the bacteria and other dirt in the toy.
- Open the bag carefully, making sure that you will not inhale the fumes and wayward particles from the bag. It would be better if you will wear a face mask to keep you safe.
- Pat the stuffed toy vigorously to let out both bacteria and excess baking soda. This is best done in an open space or by a window.
- Sundry the stuffed animal. This can help in killing the bacteria left in the stuffed toy.
This should do the trick for most stuffed toy emergencies. It also helps when you do this with your kids and helps ingrain the value of cleanliness in them.
Regular wash & dry clean is still essential
After your trip though, have these stuffed toys washed. Although cleaning it this way helps, you can never be so sure. With all the illnesses popping all over the world, making the health and safety of your kids should be a top priority.
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Author’s note: You can also use this at home for stuffed toys that have electric mechanisms in them, like those that have “press me to talk” hands and bellies. This method also works for old, vintage stuffed toys that are already fragile.