Can You Tumble Dry A Teddy Bear? (is it safe or will it damage it)

You can, in some cases, tumble dry teddy bears on a low heat setting. However, this is not advisable because you could seriously damage the stuffed animal in a tumble dryer.

You should never tumble dry a teddy bear unless you’re sure it has no glued on or plastic parts which might not survive the heat and tumble action of the dryer.

There are several reasons why it is best not to tumble dry teddy bears which include;

  • You could damage an antique bear
  • An old bear might have foam stuffing which could disintegrate in the dryer
  • Any glue used in making the bear could melt
  • Any plastic parts (particularly eyes) could fall off or melt
  • The fur could become matted

What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On A Teddy Bear

Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes

Most modern bears will almost certainly have a wash care label which will give advice on how to wash and dry your teddy bear.

Many of the symbols used in relation to tumble drying will probably never be found on teddy bears but we’ll include them all for your information.

Square With White Circle

This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried. You might find this on your bear but we still recommend not tumble drying your teddy.

Square With A White Circle With One Black Dot In Circle

This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be dried in a tumble dryer using the low heat setting. It is possible that you might find this symbol on your teddy bear.

Square With A White Circle With Two Black Dots In Circle

This symbol indicates the item can be dried in a tumble dryer on the medium heat setting. This is unlikely to be found on a teddy bear.

Square With A White Circle With Three Black Dots In Circle

This is the symbol that indicates that the item can be dried on a high heat setting. It is highly unlikely that you’ll ever find this symbol on your bear.

Square With A Black Circle

This is the symbol that indicates that the item can be tumble dried using no heat. In some cases it is possible to find this symbol on some teddy bears.

Square With A White Circle And A Black X On Top

This is the symbol that is most likely to be on your teddy bear. It is the symbol that is used to indicate DO NOT TUMBLE DRY.

How To Dry A Teddy Bear Without A Tumble Dryer

It is always best practice to dry your teddy bears and all other stuffed toys without using a tumble dryer.

Below we have listed the best ways to dry your bears and other assorted stuffed toys without using a tumble dryer.

Air Drying Your Bears On A Washing Line

You can hang your stuffed toy on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline to dry in the air.

You should ensure that your toy is hung in a shady position to prevent any sun damage to your toy. The UV rays can cause the fur to fade, plastic eyes to melt and any glue used in the construction of your toy to melt.

SEE ALSO: Recommended Retractable Washing Lines

Air Dry Your Teddy Bear Indoors On An Airer

You can lay your stuffed toys on the racks on an airer. The airer can be placed outside in a shady position on dry days and indoors in a well ventilated room on cold, wet days.

You can also place the airer in front of a radiator to help speed up the drying time as long as the radiator isn’t too hot.

Reduce Teddy Bear Drying Time Using An Electric Fan

If you place an electric fan in the same room as your drying teddy bear (other stuffed toys are available) you can decrease the drying time.

Aim the fan at your toy and allow the breeze to pass over your toy. Be sure to have a window open in the room to allow adequate air flow.

SEE ALSO: The Top Bladeless Fans You Can Buy Today

Teddy Bears Dry Faster Using A Dehumidifier

Stuffed toys dry by releasing moisture into the atmosphere. In this case the atmosphere is in a room in your home. You can reduce the amount of moisture in that room using a dehumidifier.

The dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air allowing the stuffed toy to release moisture at a faster rate.

How Long Does It Take To Air Dry A Teddy Bear?

The time needed to dry a teddy bear or any other stuffed animal depends on many factors. These include;

  • How big the toy is
  • The materials used to make it
  • How much moisture is in the air
  • The temperature

As you can see there are many variables which is why an accurate time cannot be given. However, you can estimate anywhere between 2-6 hours to dry a toy teddy bear.

Using a fan or a dehumidifier are great ways to decrease the drying time of your child’s favourite teddy bear. This could be important especially if your child won’t sleep without that bear.

What Happens If You Tumble Dry A Teddy Bear?

Always check the wash care labels

If your stuffed toy doesn’t have a care label it is always best to assume it should not be tumble dried. Whether it has a care label or not, if you decide to tumble dry your teddy bear or other stuffed toy you run the risk of;

Damaging The Bear

Some teddy bears could be antiques, these antique bears will not have been designed to stand the rigours of a tumble dryer. You could seriously damage an antique teddy bear in a tumble dryer.

Which could turn a family heirloom into a pile of rubbish.

Cause The Stuffing To Disintegrate

Some stuffed toys have a stuffing that will disintegrate in a tumble dryer. This is particularly true of older stuffed toys which could be stuffed with foam which is almost certain to disintegrate if tumble dried.

The Bears Could Fall Apart

If your child’s teddy bear has been constructed using glue, the heat from a tumble dryer could cause the bear to fall to pieces.

In some cases it is possible to repair this kind of damage, but unless it is done professionally, it will never be done right. 

Plastic Parts Could Fall Off Or Melt

If your stuffed toy has any plastic parts like eyes, noses etc, the heat from the tumble dryer could cause them to fall off, or even melt.

Sleepless Nights

If you were to ruin your child’s favourite sleeping bear, you could be in for some sleepless nights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to put a teddy bear in a tumble dryer?

It is not really safe to put a teddy bear in a tumble dryer. To do so could cause the filling to disintegrate, any plastic items to fall off or even melt, any glue used in construction could also melt and in many cases the fur could become matted.

How do you fluff a stuffed animal after washing it?

After washing and air drying your stuffed animal you can rub it vigorously with a dry towel to fluff it up again.

How can I dry a teddy bear without a tumble dryer?

To dry your teddy bear without using a tumble dryer you can hang it from a washing line or lay it on an airer until it is dry. To speed up the process try using a dehumidifier or an electric fan with the window open.

Can soft toys be tumble dried?

Even if the care label indicates that the soft toy can be tumble dried, it is not advisable. This is because there are so many variations in tumble dryers. Which means the heat settings could be inaccurate leading to the destruction or damage of your soft toys.

Is it safe to wash a teddy bear?

You should always check the care label, but in many cases it is perfectly safe to wash teddy bears. However, they should never be tumble dried.

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