A teddy bear with a red bow tie sat in a white plastic laundry basket.

Wash with Love: The Tale of TedTed and How to Wash a Teddy Bear

This is the story of a well-loved teddy bear. A teddy called TedTed. The first thing you need to know is that TedTed is no ordinary teddy. Not to Ravi, who’s five. To Ravi TedTed is the best teddy bear in the world: the ted of all teds. He’s Ravi’s best friend – well, to be accurate,joint best friend with William who sits next to Ravi at school. Having such a well-loved furry friend means knowing the best techniques for washing a teddy bear safely is essential for Ravi’s Mom. TedTed’s been by Ravi’s side ever since he was a baby. He was a present from Grandma when Ravi was born. Five years of love is a lot of love in teddy bear years. Think about all that ear-chewing and dragging along the ground on the way to the shops. Think about all that cuddling with hands covered in jam and butter and tomato sauce. As you can imagine, TedTed gets a little bit muddy. It can be tricky for Ravi’s mom to find an opportunity to give TedTed a wash, because Ravi and TedTed do everything together. They play hide and seek in the garden, ride his bike, have picnics, go for sleepovers. And at the end of every day, Ravi holds TedTed’s paw while his mom reads them a bedtime story. But when she can prise TedTed out of Ravi’s often-sticky hands, she knows just how to clean a teddy bear so that he stays clean and fluffy.  


How to Wash a Teddy Bear

The little marks of everyday dirt on his fur are the least of Mom’s worries. She just gets a toothbrush, dabs on a bit of Surf excel Liquid Detergent and brushes the marks off. That’s easy. It’s when TedTed gets really dirty that she has to take more drastic action. Like the time he fell out of Ravi’s backpack into a puddle, or whenever Ravi tries to feed him his dinner (which is every day, if we’re honest). The thing to do here, Ravi’s mom knows, is to give TedTed a cool, quick wash in the washing machine or by hand, using Surf excel Liquid Detergent. After that, he dries out nicely when he’s hung up over the bath or sink. And when the weather allows, TedTed is pegged out on the washing line to dry. He needs to be in a shady spot, though, because direct sunlight could discolour his fur and he wouldn’t look much like TedTed any more.  


Washing a Teddy Bear with Pillow-case Protection

He’s had a few injuries in his time, not long ago his shoulder got torn when Ravi’s sister, Anita, decided it would be a good idea to teach TedTed how to dance. (Ravi made it very clear afterwards that this had not been a good idea.) TedTed had to be patched up before being washed so that he didn’t risk losing his whole arm. Ravi’s mom knows that it’s quite a good idea to put stuffed toys inside a pillow case or bag before washing them in a machine. That way you can easily find and re-attach any bits that do unfortunately come off in the wash. Luckily, TedTed has managed to stay in one piece. Ravi’s mom also knows that it’s best to avoid putting too many stuffed animals in the machine at the same time. When their stuffing gets wet, they can get quite heavy. Ravi makes rather a good point when he says his toys don’t like being crowded together in a wash because they bash into each other and get all bruised.  

See the video here.


Sponge bath

Sometimes Ravi’s mom gives TedTed a sponge bath with Surf excel Liquid Detergent and gets Ravi to help squeeze the water gently out until it runs clear. They also do this with some of Ravi and Anita’s more delicate toys which aren’t suited to a machine wash. For a quick freshen up, Ravi’s mom might also clean TedTed with the vacuum cleaner, shaking him in a bag with talcum powder first to get rid of any smells. Knots in his fur are easily untangled with a toothpick, and after a bath before bedtime he might be popped in the tumble dryer on a low heat.  All this pampering leaves TedTed extra soft and cuddly.  


How to Wash Dolls and Non-furry friends

Ravi’s mom washes dolls and other toys made of silicone in lukewarm water using Surf excel Liquid Detergent and something soft like a sponge. When she wants to be extra-gentle, she just uses her hands. Toys made with silicone also have a habit of attracting dust and hair through static, which can be quite annoying, Ravi’s mom finds. To stop it happening, she dusts the surface lightly with baby powder using a make-up brush. She avoids anything too oily or perfumed, though, in case it stains. For toys with cloth bodies, she just rubs a little cornstarch or talcum powder into the fabric at night, then brushes or vacuums it off the next day. So, that’s the story of TedTed and Ravi, a story in which the real hero is Ravi’s mom. She knows exactly how to look after her children’s toys, particularly the best teddy bear in the world. For more washing tips visit our washing tips & tricks section and for more info on removing particular stains, check out our stain removal tips  section.  

If you have a well-loved soft toy we’d love to hear your story and do share any tips you have on washing teddy bears and dolls. 

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