Advice on Cleaning Stuffed Animal That Says "Surface Clean Only"

Updated on December 28, 2009
N.F. asks from Reno, NV
14 answers

My toddler boy has taken to a poo bear... drags it all around the house now, in his crib, etc. it says "surface clean only." There MUST be some other way to clean this thing! any recommendations?

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.,

I use antibacterical wipes on those types of toys. I wipe it down and then let it air dry. Usually works like a charm.

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A.H.

answers from San Diego on

As long as it is a stuffed animal, without electronics, you can wash it in the washer or by hand in the sink. If it has short fur it can be dried on low or medium heat. If it has longer fur then it will need to be air dried with no heat, otherwise the fur will melt and no longer be soft.

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

Oh, c'mon, do people actually follow those tags? I throw everything in the washer and dryer. The ones that have really long plush fur end up with sort of brillo-like curly fur but at least they are not all the same brownish gray color anymore! Also, the plastic eyes get a little bit banged up in the dryer, but only noticeably after 15-20 washes or so. And I always dry them in the dryer because they may feel dry on the outside, but think of all of the multiplying bacteria inside that you can't see if there is a little bit of moisture left in there -ewwww!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.,

I use antibacterical wipes on those types of toys. I wipe it down and then let it air dry. Usually works like a charm.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

Unless the toys have a battery pack than needs to be removed, you can put them in a pillow case or lingerie bag and wash on a gentle cycle. The spin cycle will all but dry the toys, then I just set them out to air dry. If it's a fuzzy toy, you can stick it in a low heat set dryer for a bit to fluff the fibers, otherwise, just let it sit out and air dry. Works like a charm!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.P.

answers from Las Vegas on

My son also has a Poo Bear, and carried EVERYWHERE! Someone told me that you can put it into a pillowcase and throw it into the wash with everything else and then keep it in the pillowcase and dry it. I figured if this was going to be his comfort buddy, it was going to get worn and look loved so what would it hurt to try. It worked great! I do use an extra rinse cycle to make sure all the soap is out of the stuffing. He is 11 now and still has his Poo Bear!

1 mom found this helpful

S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.,

Our daughter has a couple of favorites. I no longer even read the tags, because if I can't wash it, she isn't going to have it for long. I always figured the toys would fall apart if you threw them in the washer, so I've used a lingerie bag (same thing I throw her socks in so we don't lose 'em). I wash all of her stuff, including Dog and Frog, on gentle and I dry everything on low. Works just fine. But, with the lingerie bag, if something ever does fall apart, most of the pieces and fluff will be contained.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey N.,
Many of my infant toys say the same thing, but I have washed all but a few of them on the gentle cycle in the washer and then let them air dry. No damage was done to a single toy. However, if they toys have electronic parts that will be ruined by water exposure, you can get a wash cloth and and some gentle soap and wash the surface of the toy. So long as the parts on the inside don't get wet, it should be fine. The surface washed toys should be air dried as well.

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L.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My mom says for the ones that are dusty to just throw them in the dryer for a few. But, it sounds like yours is a little dirtier than those just sitting on a shelf. You could try washing it and maybe buy a backup in case it gets ruined.

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J.H.

answers from Honolulu on

My 3 yo has a blue puffer fish lovey which must be the only one ever made 'cause I can't find another one anywhere. (anyone who reads this is welcome to send me name and ransom note if they have one!) Anyway, "Fishie" - we're big on original names around here - has been peed on, puked on, and potty-dunked (thankfully a pristinely scrubbed potty.) Fishie takes a weekly (or "as needed") bath in our washing machine with our other towels and blankets. Must be really well made 'cause he's hanging in there! The only thing is he had a little speaker that used to say "bloop, bloop, bloop" when you pressed his fin. I couldn't get it out before I washed him. Eventually I guess I drowned the bloop right out of him. I actually use a little bleach in the wash and he still looks okay. (Although I was REALLY sweating it the first time I did that but was desperate because he had been the recipient of the effects of a really nasty stomach bug. I wasn't about to let that one go without some serious antibacterial action...)
My suggestion is buy a couple back up loveys and rotate them. Did this with my 2nd son. I think he suspects there are "Blankie" back-ups (Again, with the sensational names...) but because they all have even wear he can't be really sure.

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C.P.

answers from Chicago on

I toss them in the washing machine on gentle and in the dryer on low. You might need to brush the fur to fluff him up a bit, but they come out good as new.

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K.K.

answers from San Diego on

I throw all my "surface clean only" stuffed animals into the washer anyway. :) Just use the handwash/delicate cycle and then dry on low heat. Works for all those dress up clothes that have the "handwash" label, too.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I throw all the stuffed animals in a pillow case or lingerie bag and wash on the gentle cycle.

R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I throw it in the washer anyway, and set it on hot and gentle. then make sure it gets dried all the way in the drier...

Good luck!
R.

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A.M.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Throw it in the wash. We love Pooh here too, so we have 2. That way we can wash one and have one.

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