My daughter has rest time at school every day, and she insists upon taking her small stuffed penguin to nap with her. I’m happy that she wants her little comfort object with her, but I get concerned about “Mr. Ice Cube,” bringing home mold and bacteria from the Kindergarten classroom.
I decided to tackle the problem head-on and to develop a de-odorizing, de-molding, and antibacterial cleaning procedure that would make Ice Cube a welcome member of our family once more.
I have it easy with Ice Cube, because he is washable. Cleaning bacteria and mold from stuffed toys that are not washable is a bit more difficult, but can be done.
For washable stuffed toys:
- Place stuffed toy inside a clean pillowcase. I do this to prevent any damage to his plastic eyes or little beak.
- Start washing machine on a regular wash cycle with a hot water wash selected.
- Add your detergent and 2 oz. of the EC3 Laundry Additive to the machine while the water is filling up.
- Once the basin has stopped filling, place your pillowcase with your stuffed animal in the water.
- Close the washing machine lid, and allow the machine to agitate and swish the water around with the toy in it.
- Turn off the machine after agitation to allow the stuffed animal to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Turn the machine back on to allow it to complete its wash cycle.
- Remove the stuffed animal from the machine and pillowcase.
- Take it outside into the sunlight and allow it to dry completely, or leave it inside the pillowcase and toss both into the dryer to dry completely with gentle heat.
(Note: If you want to be super vigilant, you can spray the stuffed toy with the EC3 Mold Solution Spray, or a homemade spray made with purified water and grapefruit seed extract, after you remove it from the washing machine, if you are choosing to let it air dry in the sun. I would only use grapefruit seed extract in a homemade spray, because it has no odor. It would be about 20 drops of the extract per 2 cups of water.)
For non-washable toys:
- First, mist the entire toy with the EC3 Mold Solution Spray, or your homemade spray.
- Place the toy in a plastic bag large enough to completely contain the toy.
- Add 1 cup of baking soda or cornstarch or arrowroot powder to the bag. All three powders are natural anti-fungals and kill bacteria.
- Place the toy inside the bag, seal it, and shake vigorously for about a minute.
- Take the bag outside, remove the toy, shake it out, and allow it to sit outside to air in the sunlight for at least 1 hour.
- (Note: If there is visible mold or mildew on a non-washable toy, it is always best to throw it out. It is not worth the health risk, in my opinion.)
So, there you have it! Stuffed animals can be a part of your home, even when mold and bacteria are a serious concern for you and your family.