I don’t know about you, but my kid has a lot of stuffed animals and blankets. And every single one of them is very well loved. They travel with us like a circus, all over the place. Which means, they need to be washed fairly regularly. I’m not an overt germ-a-phobe by any means, germs have their place in stimulating immunity, but if your lovey comes with us to the grocery store, and hangs out in the kid seat of the car cart for an hour or so, during flu season, it’s probably due for a bath.
The well known problem we parents face is when you wash a stuffed animal or blanket, they are never as soft as they originally were. And if you are trying to avoid unnecessary chemicals, like we are, using things like fabric softener are out of the question. [Here’s why fabric softener is so bad.]
So what’s a mom to do? I have a super easy, chemical-free, inexpensive solution for you. All it requires is a wire pet brush and some muscle.
I used this one, that I found in the pet food aisle at my local grocery store:
Once you have your brush, simple go over the matted stuffed animal or blanket with short quick strokes until the fur is soft again.
The change is truly remarkable. They fluff right back up, and along with the fluff, their original softness!
A few caveats:
It makes a bit of a linty mess, so work outside or over an area you can vacuum.
Test on an inconspicuous area first. If the stuffed animal is fragile and the fur starts coming out when you begin, try a softer bristle brush. I had no problem really going to town on the lovies that I restored and they are many years old now. The elephant pictured, took me about 20 minutes.
Severely matted animals will require quite a bit of effort to restore, but it can be done! Switch hands and take breaks if you need to. No one wants to have to explain to their friends how they got tennis elbow from brushing their stuffed animal too much.