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Hi I’m Pauline, this blog is where I share all the latest Funky Friends Factory News, Giveaways, Competitions plus LOTS of toy-making tips & tutorials to help you sew the cutest soft toys EVER!

Washing soft toys – wash day blues!

Oct 22, 2009 | A day in my life, Blog, Toy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS

Someone asked me about washing the Funky Friends Factory toys they’d made and, to be honest, I haven’t thought about it til now as I don’t ‘play’ enough with my toys for them to get dirty, they’ve usually gone to ‘good homes’ long before that!

BUT, my Gertie Gecko Heat Pack ‘Demo Model’ was looking a little worse for wear after all the love and attention he got at the Craft Shows this year so I decided it was time he had a wash…

As I gently wrung him out and pegged him, spread-eagled, on the wash line – I had a rather curious little baby butcher bird pop by for a look but I think he realised this was one reptile that he was NOT going to fit into his beak! : )

Now that my Gertie Gecko is clean and dry, she’s ready for new wheat and to be sewn closed again… but I have to say, I am asking myself , “is this all worth it?” Although we live in a ‘throw away society’, I know we must try to recycle and save resources but…. I have to say, although Gertie looked clean, she still looked well-worn.


I think that washing your toys is a personal preference, and would depend on the condition and purpose of the toy. If it is your child’s constant companion and a ‘well-loved look’ is fine, I’d say, go ahead and wash the toy, over and over, until the seams split! BUT my dilemma is that it takes as much time to open up the dirty toy, take out the stuffing, wash it, then reassemble it and sew it closed again, as it would to make a nice new hand made toy from my fabric scraps! (And if I can maybe ‘re purpose’ my dirty Gecko as a dog toy, my conscience will be fine!)

Some people might think it’s lazy, but a washed toy will never look as nice as new. It really takes no more time to whip up a new one…. so what would you do?

I’d love to know – do you wash or not? (your TOYS that is – ha!ha!!)

Bye for now,


  1. Helen

    Hi Pauline!
    My kids really love their soft toys and take them all sorts of places to play – including helping plant the flower garden. I just throw the whole toy in the machine on a gentle cycle without spinning, squeeze them out then put them on spin for about 30 seconds before hanging out to dry. Good as new!

  2. Pauline

    Hey Helen,
    I saw my sister-in-law do that with my nephew’s Rhino and T-Rex and they have survived 4 years of hugs and washes! : )