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How To Clean and Care For Your Teddy Bears


A boy with stuffed toy in his room
Michael H/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Teddy Bears are greatly loved by their owners, however young or old they are! It is essential to look after your teddy bears and keep them grime-free and smelling fresh. Teddy Bears attract a lot of dust and need to be cleaned occasionally.

Little kids tend to get their favorite teddies all dirty. It is important to maintain good hygiene and keep teddy bears clean, especially if young kids play with them. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to clean and care for your teddy bears.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: A Few Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Wiping with a damp cloth is one of the simplest and most effective ways to clean your teddy bears. Choose a soft and clean white washcloth - avoid colored ones for fear of color running onto the bear. Dampen it and gently rub the teddy bear's fur with the washcloth to remove the surface dirt. This technique can be safely used for almost all teddy bears.

  2. For stubborn dirt, grime and odors you will have to resort to a stronger cleaning technique. Check the care label on your bear. The washing instructions should be listed on the label. Some bears can be tossed into the washing machine and washed with warm or cold water as mentioned in the instructions. For bears with no washing instructions on the label, there is some amount of a risk with machine washing. However, you can try laundering it on the gentlest cycle the machine will permit.

  3. In case your teddy bear is delicate, a good idea would be to first put your bear into a mesh bag (like a lingerie bag) and then put it into the washing machine. Make sure that there are no colored clothes that run being laundered along with the bear. You can use a gentle laundry detergent.

  4. To dry your teddy bear, do not use the machine dryer. A better way to dry the teddy bear would be to hang it up or air dry it. Do not put it out into the sun. This may result in your teddy bear becoming faded. You can also use a hair dryer to dry out your bear.

  5. If you want to avoid wetting your teddy bear, a good way to remove the dust it attracts would be to gently vaccum clean it with a hand-held vaccum or use the vaccum cleaner's upholstery attachment.

  6. You can brush the teddy bear's fur gently with a soft wide brush. This restores the sleek shiny look that the teddy bear originally had.


  1. If your teddy bear is an antique, avoid washing or cleaning the bear yourself. There are special establishments who specialize in restoring teddy bears.
  2. If your child is too attached to the bear, don't take risks with cleaning the teddy bear. The teddy may end up looking totally different from what your child is used to seeing! Instead, try the vaccum cleaning method in step 5.

What You Need

  • White washcloth
  • Access to a washing machine - gentler the better
  • Vaccum cleaner
  • Mesh Bag
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