Soft Toys & Stuffed Animals

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Non-construction related issues

When you’re considering cleaning and/or restoring soft toys and stuffed animals – antique, vintage or modern – you’re often presented with a combination of non-construction related issues:

  • Stains and soiling

    Soft toys and stuffed animals are easily stained and soiled by food fats, body oils, lotions, creams, blood, soda, milk, sand, dust, and the like.

  • Musty odors

    Soft toys and stuffed animals often accumulate musty odors as a result of improper storage in attics, basements and storage lockers.

  • Bodily fluid odors

    Soft toys and stuffed animals often accumulate bodily fluid odors (urine, feces, throw up and the like) as a result of usage by infants and young children.

  • Bacterial and viral pathogens

    Soft toys and stuffed animals are often exposed to bacterial and viral pathogens (bacteria and viruses that can cause disease) as a result of usage by infants and young children and placement on unsanited surfaces.

Construction related issues

In addition, you’re often presented with a combination of construction related issues:

  • Outer fabrics

    The outer fabric and/or threads used in the construction of many soft toys and stuffed animals often contain fugitive dyes (i.e., the fabric and/or threads “bleed” to water, other liquids and various cleaning agents).

  • Interior fill

    The interior fill used in the construction of many soft toys and stuffed animals is, in many cases. unknown. We’ve seen everything from raw cotton, shreds of cotton and linen, fiber fill, foam and plastic beads to sawdust and dried corn.

    The interior fill will often “bleed” to water, other liquids and various cleaning agents. In this case, it’s possible that the interior fill might have to be removed before cleaning and replaced after cleaning.

Alternative approaches to cleaning and restoration

So what to do?

One approach to cleaning and/or restoring your soft toys and stuffed animals is to search for a DIY solution online. The internet is awash with “testimonials” to the “effectiveness” of a combination of water, baking soda, salt and vinegar.

In addition, you’ll find references to a whole host of trust-me-this-works products as well as anecdotes about a soft toy or stuffed animal someone’s aunt once “cleaned” with a household degreaser and a garden hose.

One of the countless internet solutions might be perfectly suited to soft toys and stuffed animals that have no monetary value and/or sentimental value. After all, there’s almost nothing to loose. If your solution fails, that toy or animal will just end up in the landfill.

However, when it comes to cleaning and/or restoring soft toys and stuffed animals that have a high monetary value and/or a high sentimental value, the stakes are much higher and don’t lend themselves to experimentation with DIY solutions.

When you combine the non-construction issues (stains and soiling, musty odors, bodily fluid odors and bacterial and viral pathogens) with the construction issues (outer fabrics and interior fill), you might recognize that the cleaning and/or restoration of soft toys and stuffed animals that have a high monetary or sentimental value is a task best entrusted to a professional.

At RAVE FabriCARE, we’ve been cleaning and/or restoring soft toys and stuffed animals for over 25 years.

Pricing 

Our prices are based on the

  • age and fragility of the soft toy or stuffed animal,
  • number of identical soft toys or stuffed animals in the collection,
  • physical size of the individual soft toys and stuffed animals,
  • type and degree of staining and soiling,
  • the color fastness of the outer fabric, and
  • the composition of the interior fill.

Our minimum price for professionally cleaning and/or restoring a soft toy or stuffed animal is $35.00.

Turnaround

Our typical turnaround time is about two weeks.

There are numerous factors (condition, interior fill, construction, etc.) that could impact the actual turnaround time.

Contact us

If you live outside of the metro Phoenix area and are considering the cleaning and/or restoration of soft toys and stuffed animals, you might want to request a preliminary evaluation and estimate from us.

To provide us with more details about your piece and to upload some photographs (helps us assess the overall condition of the piece and develop a preliminary estimate), please click here.

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