Does your teddy bear have a dust collection? If so, it could eventually damage his fur and takes away from his handsome appearance. Barrister Bears and the teds from the Brown Bear Club reside in the country and country houses attract a lot of interior dust and grime. It probably has something to do with the windows being open all the time. And those muddy dogs inside the house don’t help either I’m sure! Many bears get dirty on a regular basis because they are gluttons and messy eaters. Honey and jam can be quite sticky you know! And lets not even talk about the crumbs and spilt beer, pizza sauce, and blackberry juice. But tidy eating manners are a subject for a different post at a later time. I digress…
Time Required: A Few Minutes
Many sites suggest wiping with a wet cloth but that doesn’t make sense. The first step should be to start by cleaning your ted regularly with a vacuum. After all does it make sense to rub all that dirt INTO your teddy bear? You can cover the nozzle with thin gauze, fiberglass, or pantyhose for gentler suction. I prefer the brush attachment from the portable vacumm. The built-in house vac is really too strong and scary for us bears. Remove any clothing or accessories before vacuuming (the bear’s, not yours). Be especially careful not to damage claw stitching and be sure to keep clear of eyes, buttons, and labels (they significantly improve our value).
For those really stubborn stains and grime (like honey and jam) you could wash us with water if the material we are made of permits that. Mohair and many other natural fibers don’t tolerate water and can do some really weird things when they start to dry. Many vintage bears have fur of synthetic fibers that also doesn’t tolerate water well or is not colorfast. You should know that us bears dread the words “washing machine” and run and hide in terror. Too many of us have been carelessly washed and ended up with holes and fluff coming out. Its really a horror show that should be avoided at all costs. Please wash us by hand. Its only a little bit of labor and a lot less dangerous to the bear. And at all costs DO NOT hang a bear by its EAR!
If your teddy bear is an antique, avoid washing or cleaning the bear yourself. For the most extreme cases our friends at Barrister Bears can do restoring of old and antique bears but it usually involves major surgery. Fortunately most bears have excellent health plans and are worthy of the slight cost to their owner. Also, consider dressing your bears. Clothing not only adds to your bear’s personality, it can help protect it from harsh sunlight and dust. Choose clothes that are not too tight and allow air to circulate around the fur and are somewhat fashionable please.
Lastly, cleaning a teddy bear can change the basic form of the bear, making it look or smell different to that person, fundamentally changing it. So while cleaning it is often necessary, sometimes it’s the worst thing you can do. Use your discretion. Thats why the Brown Bear Club endorses regular vacuming. Now go clean those bears!
Secretary of Manners and Etiquette