My dog has these stuffed animals for toys--the kind that has squeakers inside. They've gotten pretty dirty. Should I just toss them and get new ones, or is there an easy way to launder them, so that they are clean, dry fast, and safe for more play? (no cleaning chemical residue that might be licked)
Sure you can wash your dog toys with the washing machine. Make sure that your plush toy's fabric is washable. Check to see if it has a tag with washing instructions. Toys with any types of stiffeners should be surface washed only. Mohair, wool, rayon plush, and alpaca fur are not to be washed in a machine at all. And if the toy is too old and fragile, too big, or too firmly stuffed, you'll have to hand wash it. Sequins or other glued-on, glittery items will probably not survive a wash, either.
If it's filled with small foam balls, as is the case with Beanie Babies, rather than batting or stuffing, it's not suitable for machine washing.
Double check for any technology. Look for any music or voice boxes, or any other electronics that aren't meant for exposure to water. You are set to go if all these has been considered properly.
All my dog's toys are made with fabric, so it easier using washing machine to wash them. But make sure you don't lose Teddy's arm in the wash! Look for any tears or loose parts that need to be stitched. Remove clothing or any other parts that can be separated from the toy. Use scissors to cut any threads or strings that might come undone or cause further damage in the wash. Put them all in the washing machine and get busy with other tasks while the machine get the toys clean for you.
Oh yes! You can launder your dog toys with the washing mashing. the best way to do this is to put the toy inside a mesh laundry bag for an extra layer of protection. This will help prevent the toy from snagging or getting torn up in the wash. If you don't have one handy, a pillowcase secured with safety pins will work. In case something does fall off, the pillowcase or mesh bag will catch it before it gets lost in the machine's drain.
I believe you should have your problem solved If you follow that.
In addition to @vanessa suggestion, presoak the toys with a vinegar solution. Vinegar is a great natural fabric softener, and works great for common kid-related messes that might involve vomit or urine. Mix one part clear vinegar with two parts warm water and dash of lemon juice or dish detergent. You can pour the diluted vinegar solution right into the laundry bag and let it soak before putting in the machine wash. If anything is caked onto the stuffed toy, use a sponge liberally soaked in the solution to get any messy matter off before tossing it in the mesh bag.
It's simple. Place the toy and detergent inside the washer. If you have a top-loader that doesn't have a separate compartment for detergent, get the water running and put down detergent before you place the toy inside. It's best to use a machine without an agitator. Never use a high-powered laundromat machine.Use a very small amount of mild detergent, such as Woolite, or just use the vinegar solution you made. If you go with detergent, a teaspoon or so will do, depending on the size of the stuffed animal. Soap nuts also have hypoallergenic properties, which are good if your child has a dust mite allergy. Fabric softener is normally unnecessary and can harm the plush.