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How to look after your Steiff Bear

So, you're planning on picking up a new Steiff Bear: lovely stuff! They are so well crafted and detailed (as well as adorable!) that it is always a great feeling, no matter if you are a collector or it is your first one. However, you might now be thinking: how am I going to look after this lovely new teddy of mine? Well, you're in luck, as we thought we would quickly run through all you need to know about just that question below. Of course your Steiff teddy will come with cleaning and caring instructions and tips on its tag, but we would recommend giving this article a quick read if you want to have a good outline of what needs to be done in advance.

Can I wash Steiff bears?

The good news is that, yes, you can wash Steiff bears. With that said, you do need to be careful. This means that, firstly, you should only use mild soap and never use any cleaning product which contains bleach. Secondly, you should only use lukewarm water, not hot water. Thirdly, you should use a soft sponge or a soft brush. All these pieces of guidance are there in place so that you can clean your bear without damaging it.

How can I clean them?

For teddies that will be hugged, and especially your kids' Steiff bears, you should be giving your Steiff teddy bears a thorough wash about once per month. But in between this wash, you can also add in a more regular lighter clean. All this requires is a clean soft bristled brush to carefully work across the fabric. This will simply remove any dust which has landed on the bear, and it is a good practice to get into as it will reduce the likelihood of any serious buildups of dust, dirt or, worse still, bugs.

Can I machine wash alpaca and mohair bears?

No, you can't machine wash Steiff bears made from alpaca or mohair. Instead, for your monthly wash, you should simply rub your teddy bear with the foam of a mild, bleach free detergent using a sponge. You can also make use of your soft brush once again to make sure the suds have penetrated the fabric properly. Then rinse your bear with clear, lukewarm water. Make sure that you rinse it twice or three times so that all the residue of the soap lather has been rinsed out of the bear. Do not wring out the bear, as this risks damaging the teddy. Instead, gently squeeze the bear to move the water out. Then, simply let the bear dry off in normal ambient temperature. Make sure that the bear is not in direct sunlight. Leave it for 10 minutes or so before hanging the bear up on the line, so that the weight of the water does not put pressure on the joints. If you are using a handheld blow-dryer, have it on the cold setting.

How do I machine wash Steiff bears which are machine-proof?

Certain Steiff bears, such as the soft plush polyester bears, are machine washable. Check before you buy your Steiff bear in the product details whether it is machine-proof, then double check on the teddy tag once it has arrived. If it can be washed in a machine, then there are a couple of steps you need to follow in order to ensure that your bear is not damaged. Firstly, you should have the temperature no higher than 30° C. Secondly, you should put your bear inside a mesh bag, such as a laundry net, or in a pillow case. This will allow the bear to be washed whilst it will protect it from damage. Once again, you should let the bear dry in the same way stated above.

How to clean them to get rid of bugs?

If you giving your bear a wash to clean off dust, grease, spillages, dirt, or just a general clean for good hygiene, then the guidelines above should give you the required result. However, if you notice that there are any signs of bugs in your teddy, then you will need to add in a few steps before you get to the stage of hand or machine washing and drying your bear. Firstly, you will need to place your bear in a sealed plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 48 hours. This will kill any bugs or eggs in the fabric. The second stage will involve some sewing. Once the bear is back to ambient temperature, you will have to loosen the hems, take out the old stuffing which was infested, and replace it with new stuffing. Then, you can sew the bear back up. You will find stuffing material at fabric or craft shops.

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