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A teddy bear.

Wash with Love: The Tale of TedTed

or 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 Lucas, who’s five. To Lucas, TedTed is the best teddy bear in the world: the ted of all teds. He's Lucas's best friend – well, to be accurate, joint best friend with William who sits next to Lucas at school. Having such a well-loved furry friend means knowing how to wash teddy bears safely is essential for Lucas’s parents.

TedTed’s been by Lucas’s side ever since he was a baby. He was a present from Grandma when Lucas 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 grubby. It can be tricky for Lucas's parents to find an opportunity to give TedTed a wash, because Lucas 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, Lucas holds TedTed’s paw while he's read a bedtime story. But when TedTed can be prised out of Lucas's often-sticky hands, his parents know just how to wash 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 Lucas' parents' worries. They just get a toothbrush, dab on a bit of Persil small & mighty Bio liquid and brush the marks off. That's easy. It's when TedTed gets really dirty that they have to take more drastic action. Like the time he fell out of Lucas’s backpack into a puddle, or whenever Lucas tries to feed him his dinner (which is every day, if we're honest).

The thing to do here, Lucas's parents know, is to give TedTed a cool, quick wash in the washing machine or by hand, using Persil small & mighty.  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 Lucas's sister, Sophia, decided it would be a good idea to teach TedTed how to dance. (Lucas 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.

Lucas’s parents know 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.

Lucas’s parents also know 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. Lucas 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.

A Sponge Bath for Your Teddy Bear

Sometimes Lucas’s parents give TedTed a sponge bath with Persil small & mighty, and get Lucas to help squeeze the water gently out until it runs clear. They also do this with some of Lucas and Sophia’s more delicate toys which aren’t suited to a machine wash.

For a quick freshen up, Lucas’s parents 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

Lucas’s parents wash dolls and other toys made of silicone in lukewarm water using Persil small & mighty and something soft like a sponge. When they wants to be extra-gentle, they just use their hands.

Toys made with silicone also have a habit of attracting dust and hair through static, which can be quite annoying, Lucas's parents find. To stop it happening, they dust the surface lightly with baby powder using a make-up brush. They avoid anything too oily or perfumed, though, in case it stains. For toys with cloth bodies, they just rub a little cornstarch or talcum powder into the fabric at night, then brush or vacuum it off the next day.  

So, that's the story of TedTed and Lucas, a story in which the real heroes are Lucas's parents. They know exactly how to look after their children’s toys, particularly the best teddy bear in the world.  

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

For more washing tips, visit the laundry tips and tricks section, and for more info on removing particular stains, visit our stain removal section.

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