What to Do If Your Child’s Soft Toys Are Covered in Saliva

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist, and New York Times bestselling author of My Boyfriend Is Boiling In My Purse … And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha About . Her flagship column, Ask a Pure Man, debuted in 2011. Here at Offspring, we’ve launched a new iteration of it, with a focus on parenting and all the mess it brings.

My daughter uses her favorite toy (monkey) as a teether – she gnaws / sucks on her tail. When dry, it becomes a crust. Usually it comes out well after washing (we have two toys that we alternate) but lately it doesn’t … it stays crispy. I tried soaking it in Eucalan and OxiClean and it got a little better, but still not very good. Any ideas? Or are we stuck?

I don’t think you’re stuck, no! I probably have ideas for various foods you can try that will hopefully bring the monkey tail back to its former glory.

However, before we get down to it, I want to tell you on the shoulder: you did everything right. Washing your stuffed animal regularly will go a long way in keeping it in good working order and your instinct to let it soak for a long time when the build-up has reached the point that simply machine washing the toy was not enough. I mention this partly because it sometimes feels good to be told that we did everything right, and partly to remember the good steps you took for the people reading this, and partly to say this: sometimes something just doesn’t work. Sometimes things that once worked stop working. And it’s frustrating! But also, at least with cleanup, there is usually another approach that will help. It’s my job to suggest what these other approaches are, but I also thought it’s worth saying it because it can sometimes be frustrating when you expect a result that doesn’t materialize. And I hate the thought of you feeling overwhelmed.

Good! After this little word of advice, let’s talk about what I think will help with the Monkey.

My first instinct is that since saliva is a protein, an enzyme-based laundry detergent will help break down these tough build-ups. There are laundry pretreatment sprays like Zout , Krud Cutter (which feels like a fitting name for this particular situation!) And Puracy Natural Stain Remover to help eliminate that sticky saliva. Because it’s so … um, crusty, spray the Monkey with a pretty strong spray of this stuff and let it soak for 15-30 minutes before rinsing the stuffed toy again.

As an aside: I leave the old column on how to wash stuffed animals here as a reference to remind you that both machine and hand wash are good options, and that there are instructions on how to best do both. and the other inside.

There is another product that I sometimes forget about, which should not be forgotten, because it is very good: BIZ laundry detergent . The good thing about BIZ is that the detergent contains those enzymes that are so good at removing protein stains and build up right in the formula, eliminating the need for a separate pre-treatment product. These enzymes also make BIZ a good choice for soaking items in case OxiClean, an old backup product, doesn’t help.

I think product replacement in this scenario will make a big difference, but there is one more thing to suggest in terms of scaling the poor Monkey Tail: try hitting it with a toothbrush to apply pretreatment and / or detergent to the fibers … … This will help reverse the matting that is occurring, which can exacerbate the problem if the products you use cannot fully penetrate the poor Monkey’s salivated tail.


Leave a Reply