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10 Steps For Caring For Your Teddy Bear

     If you've ever had teddy bears or other stuffed toys, you know how dusty and dirty they can get if left laying around or placed in the care of a young child. They do get dirty after awhile and unless they are placed in some type of protective casing, they need to be cleaned from time to time. Some are machine washable and many are not. Especially if you are a collector that has spent quite a bit of money on some antique or rare old teddy bears. Remember a Teddy Bear is really no different than an antique piece of upholstery or tapestry. They come in many different fabrics and should be cleaned similarly. Gently with great care. Here are some suggestions on caring for your Teddy Bear.

1. Some synthetic bears can actually be machine washed on the most gentle cycle. Do not wash with other colored clothes or items. Using a mesh bag to put the bear in is not a bad idea. I would not use much detergent if any but maybe a little fabric softener would be a nice touch. Allow it to air dry. Do not put in dryer or use a hair dryer. Machine washing is not something that would be recommended for antiques or real old or fragile teddies. Remember that bears that talk or make sounds probably have a device inside them that may get ruined if machine washed.

2. Let me say that for the next steps "patience" is a must. For a really dirty teddy bear the human instinct is to get some strong cleaner and put it in a spray bottle and spray and scrub the heck out of it. While this may get some good results some times, it may also ruin certain fabrics by changing color, texture, and overall appearance of the teddy bear.

3. For the many teddy bears that are not machine washable, The material of an old teddy bear is really not much different than the care you would give to an antique piece of upholstery or tapestry. Brush gently with a soft brush to loosen particular dust and soil. Carefully vacuum it by putting cheese cloth or using a nylon over the vacuum head of your vacuum tool to remove loose soil.

4. Using a clean damp cloth (warm water only-no soap as soap tends to leave a residue that can cause quick re-soiling) wipe down the teddy bears fur. You'll be surprised how much soil can be removed with simply wiping down the bear. This should help restore some of the shine and brighten the color like it had when it was newer.

5. If teddy is severely soiled you may have to repeat this process 2-3 times to get as much soil removed as possible. Do not soak the teddy bear. If you have to, allow it to air dry then repeat the process.

6. The next step is allowing the teddy bear to air dry. It is best to lightly brush the teddy bear's fur before it dries, so that the nap is all laying in the same direction (usually laying down) . If you let it dry first before you brush it it may change the texture and appearance and you may not be able to get it back after it's dry.

7. At times a little mending may be needed.

8. Don't forget to hug them at least once a day.

9. Make sure to allow as many kids as possible to admire and maybe hold them. Teddy Bears love children.

10. For teddy bears that don't get used much and maybe sit on a shelf for a long time, you can either buy a case to put them in or you can use a large clear zip lock bag or freezer bag and slip on over the bear's head & body. This allows you to still see the bear but will help keep the dust and dirt for getting them dirty.

Hopefully some of these tips have helped you care for your teddy bears. Remember the older and more antique the teddy bear the more caution and care needs to be used.

 

 

 

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