Your toys, especially the stuffed animals, need you to take care of them if you want to preserve them for a long time. Here is how to keep them in good condition.
There are many ways to damage your stuffed animals and toys. Especially if you are not careful. Even prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can have ill effects. At the very least your stuffie could lose some of its coloring and become more faded. This is why you should keep the toys away from the window and in the shade. It’s OK to play with them outside of course, but don’t simply leave them in the sun for hours and hours every day.
If your home has been victim to flooding, then it is best to change the stuffing of your stuffed animals, no matter how clean and safe they look, Mary Anne Pizzola says to ABC 13. Pizzola is working at the Doll Hospital in Spring Texas and fixes dolls and stuffed animals for a living. She has all kinds of issues with toys.
The same is valid if the toys aren’t properly dried after a wash in the washing machine, she adds. Most parents simply throw the stuffies in a top loading washing machine. Pizzola says it is much better if you first put the stuffed animal into a pillowcase and then use a side loading washing machine. This will minimize saturation and make it easier for the toy to dry out.
But don’t use the dryer. Leave the toys to dry in the air. Dryers can harm synthetic materials used in toys. The same goes for dolls with synthetic hair.
if you are going to store stuffed animals for a longer time, make sure the box you will be using is not completely sealed. This can cause mold. Instead have at least two small holes in the box to allow air to circulate. Put a couple of small bags with moisture absorbing gel, like the ones you get when you buy electronics. If you can, from time to time air out the box by opening it for a few minutes.
For stuffies with aromas, you can follow this guide to restore their scents.
If you are going to transport toys and stuffed animals, the first and most important thing is to make sure they are packaged well. If you keep the original packaging for a toy, you might use it. If you don’t, make sure the toys are well secured in the box and won’t rattle inside. Also make sure you wrap each toy in bubble wrap and/or a cloth to minimize the risk of damage. Don’t wrap them too tight as you may break something.
You can even use two boxes one inside the other with packing peanuts between them, to make an even more durable and sturdy container for longer travels. Also label the box “Fragile” but at least have the transport workers consider to be more careful with it.
And of course, the best way to preserve your toys and stuffed animals for longer is to simply handle them with care. They will repay you with love and fun times for much, much longer.