Keeping grandchildren happy and healthy is every grandparent's goal, especially over the winter months, but their favourite toys might be the cause of upset tummies and bugs. You might not believe it, but those innocent glass-eyed cuddly critters are actually the items with the highest levels of bacteria in the family laundry basket.
Latest research conducted by Dettol as part of their ‘Care For Your Bear’ campaign has found that 90 per cent of children are regularly dropping their beloved teddy bears on the floor, with one in five teddies having never been washed. Swab tests on a variety of children’s teddy bears found that 80 per cent were contaminated with staphylococcus spp, which is a pathogen associated with food poisoning, and almost a quarter were contaminated with coliforms, indicating a possible presence of harmful organisms.
Here's how to keep those cuddlies clean:
- Wash teddy at a low temperature using an anti-bacterial laundry cleanser which works alongside your usual detergent.
- Avoid washing teddy with regular laundry, especially dirty tea towels and underwear. This will help to prevent discolouration and eliminate cross contamination of bacteria from other garments.
- When possible dry teddy naturally, tumble dryers can be too harsh on most soft toys and increase the risk of damage to shape, fur and smaller parts like little eye.
- For extra protection you can pop teddy in a netted laundry bag or pillow case before he goes in the wash to provide a protective layer, minimising damage whilst keeping any fur soft and fluffy.
- Give teddy a sponge bath. Small smudges and build ups of dirt are common and expected for a well-loved teddy. For a quick wash dilute 1 cap of Dettol Anti-Bacterial Laundry Cleanser to 2.5L of warm water and sponge clean.
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