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Stuffed soft toys are the hallmark of childhood, and every parent knows that kids are ultimate explorers who love playing with plush, stuffed, and soft toys.
Most kids take these toys everywhere and do everything with them. Once they are filled with dirt, food, and all sorts of other messes, it’s time for a clean.
Nowadays, there are many advanced soft toys with batteries or electronics for sale. While this is great for the kids, it can be a nightmare for parents who are trying to keep these new toys clean.
The truth is most stuffed animals and toys can be washed in a washing machine. However, when electronics or batteries get involved, the task becomes a little more complicated.
Plush toys with electronics or batteries can’t just be thrown in the washing machine. These toys are fragile and cannot handle the tumbling action in a household washing machine nor the water from the washer.
To get a deep clean, you might need to get a little more creative.
Proper cleaning is crucial for your child’s general health, and keeping their plush toy germ-free is a tough job. The best way to get ahead of the situation is to get a cleaning routine going for stuffed toys with batteries or electronics.
To see the best cleaning solutions for plush/soft toys just click here.
How To Clean Plush Toys With Electronics Or Batteries
The first thing to consider is to look at the manufacturer’s cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
This will give you the best idea of what you need to do to keep the toy clean. If there are no instructions, then you can use the following tips as a general guide.
What you’ll need:
● Mild laundry detergent
● Soft washcloth
● Baking soda
Step 1: Take out any extra parts, including batteries. If the toy is plugged in, you will need to unplug the toy.
Before cleaning any voice-activated or electronic toy, remove the batteries. In some cases, the battery compartment can be removed from the doll to help avoid it getting wet or damaged.
Step 2: Fill a bowl with clean, warm water and then add a small amount of laundry detergent and mix it.
Step 3: Dip the washcloth in the mixture and gently scrub the outside of the stuffed toy.
Step 4: Use another clean cloth dipped in plain water to rinse the surface of the toy. Repeat this process continuously until all the detergent is removed from the toy.
Step 5: Ensure that you pay careful attention to sticky spots around buttons and in crevices that are hard to reach. Try as much as possible not to let any liquid seep into the electrical components.
Step 6: Let the toy air dry completely. This can take up to 12 hours.
Try not to use regular soap or detergent that might irritate your child’s sensitive skin, especially if there’s residue left behind on the surface of the toy. Also, avoid using excessive amounts of detergent, which will also leave residue on the toy’s surface that will attract more dirt.
This will soil the plush toy more frequently.
How To Remove Odors From A Plush Toy
Plush toys can pick up odors from various sources, and even when you try to clean them, they can still harbor a nasty smell.
The problem of odors is made worse when the stuffed toys have electronics or batteries because you can’t toss them in the washer for a deep clean.
If your plush toy cannot be washed, use the following tips to get rid of odors:
Equipment you’ll need:
● Baking soda
● A deodorizer
● Spray bottle
● White vinegar
● Activated charcoal
● A plate or bowl
● A box
● Vacuum cleaner
Odor Removal Instructions:
Using Baking Soda to Remove Toy Odors
Step 1: Sprinkle the toy with baking soda.
Step 2: Place any deodorizer or activated charcoal in a plate or bowl.
Step 3: Place the stuffed toy in a box or a small enclosed area and put in the plate or bowl.
Step 4: Close the box and leave the toy for a few hours or overnight.
Step 5: If the odor is still there, repeat the process until the smell is gone. Once this process is gone, use a vacuum cleaner to suck away the baking soda.
Using White Vinegar To Remove Toy Odors
Step 1: Mix a small amount of vinegar with water in a spray bottle.
Step 2: Spray it on the toy to lightly coat the plush toy. Avoid soaking it or spraying on the electronic parts and batteries.
Step 3: Allow the toy to air dry.
Vinegar should neutralize the smell and get rid of any mustiness.
Additional Plush Cleaning Tips:
If you cannot use any of the above methods, the other option you have is to leave the plush toys in the sun for several hours. Why? Because sunlight is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant.
Leaving the toy outside in the fresh air can also help to get rid of foul odors. However, try not to leave it outside for too long as the sun can fade the toy’s colors.
How To Hand Wash Stuffed Toys With Electronics And Batteries
Hand washing is also a good option for stuffed toys with electronics and batteries. Best in mind that we don’t mean soaking the toy in water but rather spot cleaning.
Here’s how you should hand wash/ spot clean stuffed toys:
What you’ll need:
● Mild detergent
● Soft white cloth
Step 1: Mix warm water and a bit of mild detergent.
Step 2: Dip the cloth in the solution.
Step 3: Slowly go over the entire toy until you’ve cleaned the whole toy or gently rub the dirty spots until they are clean.
Step 4: Rinse the cloth in plain water and wipe off the detergent.
Step 5: Allow the toy to air dry, or you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Just try to avoid using the dryer on the electronic parts.
Disinfecting Soft Toys That Have Batteries Or Electronics
Once in a while, you must disinfect your child’s plush toys. This is especially true when they’ve had the flu or any other illness, to prevent spreading the germs.
What you’ll need:
● Soft washcloth
Step 1: Ensure that the bleach won’t stain the plush toy by performing a small patch test. The last thing you need is your child screaming their head off because their toy is ruined.
Step 2: Mix a 1:10 household bleach and water solution.
Step 3: Dip the cloth or the brush into the solution and gently scrub the surface of the plush toy, ensuring that you avoid getting the electronic or battery parts wet.
Step 4: Rinse the cloth in plain water and wipe away the bleach mixture after a few minutes.
Step 5: Let the toy air dry.
A Few Tips on Bleach
Bleach is great for many things, but it can be harmful to use, especially on kid’s toys, mainly if misused.
So always approach bleach with caution.
Pay particular attention to the quantities so that you don’t irritate your child’s skin, and always rinse off the bleach with plain water after every cleaning session.
You should also take precautions for yourself when mixing the bleach solution. Designate a well-ventilated area and always use gloves.
Avoid mixing bleach with other chemicals as you’ll get a very unfriendly and often dangerous reaction.
Lastly, remember to store bleach out of direct sunlight to avoid reducing its germ-fighting properties, which is what you need when cleaning plush toys.
How Often Should You Clean Your Child’s Stuffed Toys?
Stuffed toys can handle a lot of rough play, but sooner or later, the color starts to look dull, and you’ll catch a musty whiff every time you pick up the toy.
While this is a signal that a deep clean is needed, you need to have a schedule for cleaning the toy before it gets to that extent.
Generally, any soft toy that your child plays with often should be cleaned at least once a week. If there’s a flu going around or some other contagious bug, then you’ll need to disinfect and clean more often. And yes, there’s a difference.
Tips For Cleaning Plush Toys With Electronics Or Batteries
1. You don’t have to wash a plush toy every day or once a week if it’s not in use often.
2. When you clean a soft toy with electronics or batteries, remember not to saturate the toy with water or cleaner. This can affect the wires and other components that make the toy function.
3. If you take care of your child’s stuffed toys, they will last longer. So don’t store them in plastic bags or any other container that will draw moisture. Also, keep them out of direct sun and avoid leaving them in places where pets can get them extra dirty.
Cleaning plush toys is a simple and easy task that you can get done in almost no time at all.
The only thing you need to avoid is to get the electronic parts wet.
So take all the precautions we have discussed in this article and they should help you avoid ruining your child’s favorite toy.