Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cleaning Stuffed Animals with Water Pressure

When I find a stuffed animal from a thrift store it often has dirt and grime on it. Since I am a collector my goal is to clean it without compromising its other physical features such as stitching, plastic-painted eyes, tags (which we'd like to keep nice and bright) or the fur itself. I have tried putting it in the pillowcase in the washing machine on all settings and I am usually very disappointed about how it looks when it comes out. The fur piles, any hair mats, and the overall shape changes. The factory luster on the other parts of its body is worn off and often the tag has faded white. This seems to be the case with vintage stuffies only, as newer ones tend to hold their own in the wash cycle and not come out too damaged.

So when I found this Birthday Bear plush at a thrift store this week I decided to try a new approach. We recently purchased a Waterpik water flosser, which shoots high-powered streams of water out of the nozzle. This water-stream cleans between your teeth better than floss, but when my husband and I were fooling around with it we discovered it can also be used to clean grit out of the faucet, shower and other small places that collect grime. It stays completely sanitary because the nozzle doesn't have to touch anything. Just aim and shoot!

Birthday Bear had a lot of dirty spots on his back. I try not to think about what caused them!

Here you can see a spot on the back of his head, and there's one (not pictured) on his tail too. A big, brown glob of gook (ew!).

I cranked the water up to 10, which would strip your gums off your bones if you tried it on your mouth, but for this purpose it was perfect! The spots washed off lickety quick and Birthday was set in the tub to dry.

This device isn't all that expensive at $50 or so, and I have noticed a great difference in my teeth since using it. I am really thrilled to have also found a safe way to spot clean my plush!

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