Remove any visible mildew from the stuffed animal. The musty smell may be a result of the mildew. Wear gloves and a mask to protect your health. Take the stuffed animal outside. Rub an old toothbrush over the mildew areas.
Read the tag on the stuffed animal. The tag will tell you how to wash the toy. Follow the instructions on the tag and launder the stuffed animal.
Hang the stuffed animal in the sun to dry after you clean it. The heat from the sun will help to kill any remaining mildew and it will help air out the toy.
Combine an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle if you still notice the musty smell. Spray the solution over the stuffed animal, and the vinegar will neutralise the odour.
Sprinkle baking soda on the stuffed animal to remove any lingering musty smells. Allow the baking soda to sit on the stuffed animal overnight, and then vacuum it off with an upholstery attachment.
Drying the stuffed animals in the sun may fade the colour. If you are worried about preserving the quality of the stuffed animal, read the tag to ensure that you can dry it in the dryer. Set the dryer to air dry and add scented dryer sheets to help remove the smell.
Gather the dirty and soiled stuffed toys. This procedure will clean up to 25 small stuffed toys, 10 to 15 larger ones, or a combination of the two. The bag can be approximately three quarters full of stuffed toys. You just need to leave enough room for the stuffed toys to move around in the bag.
Place the stuffed toys in the plastic bag.
Pour approximately 1/2 cup of baking soda into the bag. Distribute it onto the stuffed toys as you are pouring it.
Zip the bag closed completely.
Shake the bag vigorously to distribute the baking soda onto all of the stuffed toys. This will help reduce odors, germs and dirt from the toys.
Spread out the large towel in preparation for the stuffed toys you will be removing from the plastic bag.
Open the bag (outside if possible) near the spread-out towel and take the stuffed toys out of the bag. Shake them as you remove them to try to get as much baking soda from them as you can.
Place the stuffed toys on the towel.
Use the hose attachment of the vacuum cleaner to remove as much baking soda from the stuffed toys as possible to finish cleaning the toys.
Things You Will Need
- Large plastic zipper bag
- Baking soda
- Large bath towel
- Vacuum cleaner
Insert the seam ripper's hook under a thread along the back or side seam of the animal. Push the hook until its cutting edge cuts the thread. Continue to cut the threads until you have a 3-inch-long hole in the seam.
Stick your fingers through the hole and remove the animal's stuffing until you have a clump about the size of a golf ball. Set the stuffing aside.
Record a message on the device. The message should be whatever you wish the stuffed animal to "say" -- for example, “Happy birthday, Timmy. Grandma loves you!” or “What’s your name? My name’s Teddy!” Most of these recording devices are about two inches in diameter or square. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to record the message. Typically, you hold down a button(s) while recording and then remove a plastic tag or piece from the device to make the message permanent.
Put the recording device inside the animal through the hole you made. Place the part of the device that starts the message close to the animal's fabric so the child can easily press the trigger to hear the message.
Replace the stuffing inside the animal to hold the recording device in place.
Sew the seam closed with coordinating thread. If you have trouble holding the seam together while sewing, use straight pins to secure the faux fur or fabric. Remove the straight pins as you sew the seam closed. Double-check the seam to make sure you have removed all of the pins before you give the stuffed animal to a child.
Things You Will Need
- Stuffed animal
- Seam ripper
- Miniature recording device
- Button thread
- Straight pins (optional)
You can buy devices with prerecorded seasonal songs, nursery rhymes and children's songs at craft stores.