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Mother pushes children in laundry basket with cuddly toys Vyacheslav Dumchev

Fluffy and clean: Cuddly toy cleaning made easy

As children’s best friend, teddy and Co accompany them everywhere and also sleep next to them in bed at night. We show you how to keep them hygienically clean!

Cuddly toy care and washing preparation

Children always keep their favourite cuddly partners close to them and they rarely go to bed without them. Soft toys are loved, hugged and kissed – they even pass through many hands if they live in a classroom. The right care is needed to ensure that they not only remain cuddly, but also hygienically clean. 

Depending on how much they are used, parents should brush their children’s toy animals every few days with a fine baby brush and vacuum them on the lowest setting with the vacuum cleaner’s crevice or upholstery tool. This helps to remove the main dirt, dust and crumbs. But cuddly toys should also be washed every few months. This requires the right preparation beforehand:

Before washing the soft toy, always check it for loose stitches and repair with a needle and thread if necessary so that the stuffing isn’t lost. In addition, you should remove batteries and electronic components such as musical boxes and voice modules before the soft toy comes into contact with water.

Cleaning cuddly toys in the washing machine

Before doing anything else, you should always read the care label. Not all cuddly toys are suitable for machine washing. If they can be washed in the machine, you should always place them inside a laundry net or pillowcase to be on the safe side. This will protect the stitches, eyes and other parts that have been sewn or stuck on. The loyal companions can then be washed using a normal delicate or wool detergent on the delicate, wool or handwash program at a low spinning speed and between 30 and 40 degrees. Avoid using fabric conditioner.

Teddy bear in the washing machinejacoblund

Handwashing soft toys

Cuddly toys that aren’t suitable for machine washing or those without a care label can also easily be washed by hand: simply add some delicate detergent to some warm water – just follow the handwashing instructions on the detergent packaging. The water temperature should also not exceed 30 or 40 degrees when washing by hand. The cuddly toy can then be briefly soaked in the soapy water and gently rubbed clean along with any stains using your fingers. To protect the material, however, you shouldn’t rub too hard. Finally, rinse out the soapy water under a running tap.

Drying teddy and Co properly

Unfortunately, soft toys are generally not suitable for tumble-drying, because they quickly lose their shape on account of the high temperatures. However, you can definitely squeeze them out carefully after washing. Towels can help here. Simply wrap it around the cuddly toy and gently squeeze it out. You can pull it back into shape afterwards and you may want to use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to dry it. But be careful: if you hold it too close, the fur or material can quickly singe. 

It takes a little time and patience for it to dry thoroughly – because even in the fresh air it can take a few days, depending on the size. Regular turning can help to speed things up, but avoid central heating and direct sunlight in order to protect the fur and stuffing and to prevent it from fading.


Tip: To make sure that your child doesn’t miss their favourite companion too much, it is easiest to keep a twin on standby as a replacement during the drying time. Or you can wash the cuddly toy on days when your child is staying with the grandparents, for example.

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