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How To Get Mold Out Of Stuffed Animals?

Have you notice mold growing on your child’s favorite stuffed animal? Do you want to get rid of it without having to throw away the toy? Throwing away a stuffed animal that holds sentimental value can be heartbreaking for both children and parents. Luckily, there are ways to remove mold from stuffed animals without damaging them.

According to a research stuff toys contains all types of germs , including mold. Mold thrives in warm and moist environments, making stuffed animals the perfect breeding ground for it. It can be harmful to your child’s health if left untreated.

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Safely Removing Mold from Washable Stuffed Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide

Stuffed toys, with their plush and cuddly appeal, are often treasured keepsakes brimming with childhood nostalgia. However, they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and occasionally mold, necessitating some cleaning strategies to keep these cherished items mold-free [1]. If the mold infestation is severe, it may be safer to seek professional help or dispose of the toy, particularly if it’s frequently in close contact with your child. For minor mold issues or decorative stuffed toys, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach (like OxiClean)
  • Pillowcase or mesh bag
  • Optional fabric softener
  • An old toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Stuffing material
  • Sewing kit

1. Remove the Stuffing (for washable toys)

The charm of most stuffed toys lies in their squeezability, which is due to the stuffing inside them. Regrettably, this stuffing can also be a haven for mold growth. Mold may start within this soft interior and only become noticeable when it surfaces on the exterior of the toy. To ensure thorough cleaning and safety, it’s advisable to remove and replace the original stuffing.

  1. Put on gloves.
  2. Carefully cut a few seams.
  3. Remove the stuffing.
  4. Dispose of all the stuffing properly.
washing stuff toys

2. Wash it in the machine or handwash it

Once the stuffing is removed, the next step is to determine if the stuffed toy is machine-washable. Stuffed toys that are relatively new or well-constructed can often withstand a machine wash. However, if the toy is worn out or holds sentimental value, it might be better to opt for hand washing instead.

  1. Some extra-loved toys wouldn’t stand a chance if you threw them in the washer, such as the Cabbage Patch you got from your grandma or the stuffed bear your daughter has had since she was born. It’s too risky that the agitator, even on gentle, could harm them. So, you’ll want to opt for a good ole’ handwashing.Begin by immersing the toy in a basin of hot water, along with a tablespoon or two of detergent and a cup of white vinegar.
  2. Allow the toy to soak for a minimum of one hour.
  3. After soaking, carefully wring out any excess water.
  4. Place the toy inside a pillowcase for added protection.
  1. Next, add the toy to the washing machine. If you have a top-loading machine with an agitator, ensure balance by including a few towels.
  2. Wash the toy in hot water, using the recommended amount of laundry detergent. For an added boost, incorporate a cup of hydrogen peroxide or the recommended amount of hydrogen bleach.
  3. To maintain the plush’s softness, consider adding fabric softener or white vinegar to the wash.
  4. Once the washing cycle is complete, transfer the toy to the dryer.
  5. Before handling, ensure that the toy is completely dry.

Now fill a sink with hot water

  1. Begin by adding the recommended amount of detergent, typically about a tablespoon, along with a cup of white vinegar.
  2. Take the toothbrush and gently scrub away any visible signs of mold.
  3. Give the toy a good agitating in the water.
  4. Allow the toy to soak for at least an hour, ensuring it has enough time to fully absorb the cleaning solution.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the stuffed toy, making sure to remove all traces of detergent and vinegar.
  6. Take a towel and gently roll the toy, extracting as much water as possible.
  7. Find a suitable spot, whether it’s a line or in front of a sunlit window, to allow the toy to air dry completely.

Remember, it’s crucial that the toy is completely dry before proceeding with any further steps.

3. Restuff and sew it closed.

Before you proceed with re-stuffing the toy, ensure that it is thoroughly dried both inside and out. Neglecting this step could potentially lead to further mold growth. After cleaning and drying the toy, make sure to restuff it with fresh filling. Sew the area securely to ensure it is tightly closed.

Non-Washable Stuffed Animals

Removing Mold from Non-Washable Stuffed Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide

If for some reason, a stuffed animal cannot be thoroughly washed, you can resort to spot cleaning to improve its appearance. However, keep in mind that if the toy cannot be unstuffed and washed, it should be relegated to a display item rather than a plaything, as the stuffing might still harbor mold. For spot cleaning such toys, you will need:

  • ToothBrush away any visible mold particles outside in the fresh air.
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic bag

Here are the essential items you’ll need:

  1. Toothbrush
  2. White vinegar
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Baking soda
  5. Plastic bag

Now

  1. Begin by thoroughly spraying the entire toy with undiluted white vinegar.
  2. Next, place the toy inside a bag along with a cup of baking soda.
  3. Vigorously shake the bag, ensuring that the toy is coated with the mixture for a minute or two.
  4. Allow the toy to rest undisturbed for approximately an hour.
  5. Carefully remove the toy from the bag and gently brush off any residue.
  6. Find a sunny spot and let the toy bask in the sunlight for a minimum of eight hours.
  7. Give the toy a final shake to eliminate any remaining traces of baking soda.
  8. Should any remnants of mold persist, repeat the entire process once more.

Tips to Avoid Mold on Stuffed Toys

Stuffed animals often hold a special place in the hearts of children, turning into cherished companions that accompany them on various adventures. The mere thought of their favorite toy like Doodles vanishing would be heartbreaking. To prevent such distressing situations, it’s best to proactively avoid mold growth on these toys. Here are some helpful tips to maintain stuffed toys in a mold-free condition.

  • Ensure the toy is thoroughly dry after washing or cleaning.
  • Hang toys that accidentally get wet in the sun or tumble them in the dryer until completely dry.
  • Regularly clean toys to prevent the accumulation of dirt and bacteria.
  • Apply a spritz of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to toys to eliminate mold spores and bacteria.
  • Encourage children to refrain from chewing on stuffed toys.
  • When in doubt, dispose of the toy.

Causes of Mold Growth on Stuffed Animals

Mold thrives in warm, damp environments which is why stuffed animals are prone to mold growth. These toys often end up getting wet due to spills, baths or even saliva from enthusiastic children. They are also exposed to different surfaces, such as the floor or playground, where mold spores can easily attach and transfer onto the toy. Moreover, stuffed animals are often stored in dark, moist places like basements or closets that provide an ideal environment for mold growth.

Is Mold Bad for Kids?

Mold can indeed pose significant health risks for children. These risks can be categorized as follows:

  • Natural Presence: While mold is a common part of the environment, an excessive amount indoors can be harmful.
  • Vulnerability of Children: Children have developing immune systems and smaller body sizes, making them particularly susceptible to the ill effects of mold.
  • Health Complications: Exposure to mold can cause various health problems in children, including allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues.
  • Mycotoxins: Some types of mold produce mycotoxins, which can lead to severe health effects.

Because of these risks, it’s imperative to take certain preventative measures:

  • Maintain a Clean Environment: Keep homes, especially children’s play areas, clean and dry to prevent mold growth.
  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect areas where moisture accumulates, such as bathrooms and kitchens, as well as frequently used items like stuffed toys.

These steps can help with early detection and elimination of mold, ensuring a safer environment for kids. If your home is infested with mold then call Restoreez for mold removal and remediation.

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