If you're anything like us, your little Sprout(s) have a small mountain of soft toys with one or two firm favourites that have probably seen better days! But can you remember the last time you washed them? I have to confess I can't..... not even the the most loved of the bunch. If I really dig deep, I may have a distant memory of them enjoying a snorkel in the washing machine around about the time Sprout had chicken pox and a chest infection, but even then I couldn't be totally certain.
So earlier this week Sprout's soft toys enjoyed a 'spa' date with the washing machine.
Here's my guide to washing your child's cuddly toys as quickly and painlessly as possible -
1.Wash all the toys as soon as you get up in the morning. This will give you a pretty good chance of getting the favourite ones dry by bedtime.
2.Check whether the toys are suitable for the washing machine. It's very easy to shove the whole lot in and start the wash before remembering that one in particular is battery powered or has delicate decoration - a couple of our Hello Kittys are minus a few bows because of my overenthusiastic washing!! Ooops!!
3.Choose a washing powder that is gentle enough for your child yet powerful enough to get those toys really clean. We use Simply Sensitive which is dermatalogically tested, phosphate free and carries the Vegan Trademark. It has great cleaning power, however what we like the most is that once washed the toys smell clean, but not with the over powering scent you get from other washing products!
4.Choose a suitable cycle. Depending on your machine you'll probably be able to control all the elements of the cycle. I chose a delicate cycle that washes at 40 degrees, rinses 4 times to ensure all suds have been washed out and spins at 1200rpm. You could probably lower it to 800rpm if your toys are really delicate, but it might prolong the drying time because less water is removed.
5.Identify how you are going to dry all the toys - outside on the line, in the tumble drier or on a radiator. Again make sure the favs enjoy the quickest method to avoid those pre-bedtime meltdowns!!
Why bother washing? Washing helps to keep germs at bay, minimise dust mites and prevent allergies and asthma. Think about it like this - you probably change your sheets every 1-2 weeks and yet your child doesn't drag their sheets down the stairs on a daily basis, take their sheets to the park, throw their sheets into the footwell of the car or take their sheets to pre-school.....
How do you keep your child's soft toys clean?
Leave me a comment below.