be-dey has a boogie bear, boogie bear, boogie bear,
be-dey has a boogie bear, it’s fleece was slushy snow.
and everywhere that be-dey went, boogie bear was sure to go…
ever since miss e started getting attached to boogie my biggest quandary was how to keep boogie clean. and by clean i don’t mean keeping boogie looking as white as snow. i just cared that boogie smelled pleasant, or at the very least not odorous. but my problem was that, in the past, when i’ve thrown my own stuffed animals in the washer and dryer their furry fur came out matted, knotty, and ratty. so i hesitated sending boogie through the wash for that very reason because its soft gund fur is part of what miss e favors. for the past year i would give boogie baking soda “baths” (no water).
well, something horrible happened to boogie. miss e threw up on it. so there was no avoiding the issue anymore. miss e, boogie, and i went to our neighborhood dry cleaner to find out if they could have boogie dry cleaned within an hour or two (you know, before nap time). the lady told me they don’t dry clean stuffed animals with plastic parts (such as eyes and nose) because the parts would melt. so i asked her how i can preserve the original softness of the fur if i washed it myself???
she read boogie’s tag and told me i can immerse the bear in water (even though a lot of tags say just to spot/surface clean). well…she’s the pro…these were her instructions and what i did:
1 TBS mild detergent (such as woolite)
2 dryer balls
- fill a bucket with warm water and mild detergent.
- immerse stuffed animal in water and massage it a bit.
- then rinse stuffed animal under clean water until there are no more bubbles coming out when you squeeze it. gently wring out as much water as possible. (after squeezing out the water, i found wrapping the bear in a towel and leaving it for 10-15 minutes pulls out some more water.)
- this step is the IMPORTANT part that keeps the fur soft. let the animal air dry for about 24 hours. do not throw doll into the dryer until it is mostly dried. the dry cleaning lady explained that the fur gets ruined when it is still damp/wet and it comes in contact with high heat.
- when the stuffed animal is dry to touch (it can be a little bit damp on the inside), but the fur has to be completely dry!!! then you can throw the doll into the dryer along with 2 dryer balls (or tennis balls) for 30-40 minutes.
- the dryer balls are necessary to agitate and fluff up the fur. our dry cleaning lady says that it’s the “touching” of the dryer balls that brush and fluff the fur. so don’t neglect this step either!
afraid to ruin boogie’s fur, i followed her instructions to the T. and boogie turned out beautifully. boogie’s fur was just as soft as before, and a whole lot cleaner and fresher smelling! i am so grateful to our dry cleaning lady!
one thing to remember is that it does take about 24 hours for the stuffed animal to dry, so plan for a substitute doll if your child needs their lovey to go to sleep. luckily we have 5 gund bears in all colors and sizes. boogie is the favorite. in my excitement of being able to wash the animals i tossed 3 of the 5 gunds into the water without thinking about how long it would take for them to dry. i kept telling her throughout the day that boogie is drying, but when bedtime rolled around it took her a few minutes to fully realize what i had been explaining to her. miss e managed to go to bed with the other 2 bears after some tears and repeated explanation.
the next morning we immediately tossed boogie and others into the dryer. boogie still felt a tad damp when i pulled it out of the dryer, but she didn’t let me throw it back in the dryer…she flat out refused to let it go.