A bed full of stuffed-animal friends provides a comfortable, imaginative environment for children. Unfortunately, stuffed animals can also harbor dust mites and other allergens that may trigger allergies in children and adults in the house. Clean and disinfect stuffed animals every few months in order to keep allergens at bay. Always check stuffed animals for manufacturer's directions before you clean them. Most items are washable, but others may require alternative cleaning and disinfecting methods.
Washing Machine Instructions
Place stuffed animal in a pillow case or mesh bag.
Wash in cold water. Do not use bleach.
Air-dry stuffed animals overnight or tumble dry with no heat.
Vacuum stuffed animals to remove dust and dirt.
Place the stuffed animals in sealed plastic bags with 1 cup of cornstarch or baking soda in each bag. Shake each bag vigorously to coat the toys.
Remove the stuffed animals from their bags and shake them off outside.
Leave the toys outside in the sun for at least two hours. This method is particularly effective for removal of moldy odors.
Dust Mite Treatment
Place stuffed animals in sealed plastic bag.
Put the bags in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
Remove toys from the freezer and then wash them in the washing machine. Air-dry thoroughly.