How to Restore an Old Teddy Bear

Many older teddies have suffered damage over time, such as their mohair drying out or becoming stuffed with foam that slowly degrades; or developing an unpleasant musty scent.

Nurse the Teddy Bears back to health is my passion! Bring in your plush toy or stuffed animal for examination and estimate at the Stuffed Animal Hospital.

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No matter if it was from a day at the park or just years of being hugged and loved on by your child, old teddy bears can quickly become discoloured over time. From germ-filled pockets to frayed seams that need repairs, old bears may become less cuddly companions over time; but these old friends can often be brought back into service as cuddly friends to your little one!

Step one of restoring an old teddy bear is gentle washing. If the bear is wearing any apparel – such as a hat or jacket – take these off before placing in the washing machine so they won’t become tangled up with other threads in its wash. Remove any hanging threads and repair any holes as necessary; for larger teddies you could place it in a net bag specifically designed to wash delicates, or place in pillowcase to shield from washer agitation.

Once your teddy has been washed, it is important that it dries in a safe location away from direct sunlight as exposure could damage it further. A hair dryer may help speed up this process but be cautious not to scorch your teddy; alternatively, hang or put it in a towel for drying. Once completely dry, use a dental pick to undo any knots in its fur before using invisible stitches (ladderstitchs) on its back to secure any knots that might exist on its back together using ladder stitches (also called invisible stitches). Make sure all ties remain tight throughout its existence!

Before purchasing any stuffed animals with electronic components such as buttons and beads, such as buttons that may rust when submerged in water. If it is a collectible bear, however, surface washing only is recommended in order to protect its value and not risk losing value over time.

If your teddy is extremely filthy, try strip washing it to get rid of ingrained dirt. One Australian mother recently posted to a cleaning group about how successful her strip wash had been in saving his child’s teddy from becoming irreparably dirty. She used a mixture of quarter cup of baking soda, half cup of laundry detergent and Napisan (available from most hardware stores) for several hours to soak his teddy.


Over time, stuffed animals experience wear and tear that wears them down over time. From being dragged through dirt to being hugged and squashed repeatedly, stuffed animals endure abuse which eventually causes seams to rip open or stuffing to begin coming loose – all this without going the way of their predecessors in terms of softness or aesthetic. But these beloved toys don’t need to become trash – with some effort they can be restored back to their former glory!

As the first step of restoring an older stuffed animal, ensure it is clean. Apply fabric conditioner if necessary to soften up the fabric and prevent any moth holes that have developed over time. Doing this also can help eliminate moth holes forming over time.

Start the cleaning process by filling a large basin with warm water and mild detergent, and soaking your toy for at least one hour in this solution to loosen any build-up of grime that has collected on it. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, hang it up to dry, and enjoy!

Once your toy has fully dried, it’s time to restuff it for maximum effectiveness. Polyester fiberfill stuffing should be used, available at fabric or craft stores and machine/hand washable. Plus, its easy handling makes for less mess while not distorting its original form!

When it comes to re-stuffing toys, take care to cut an incision as close as possible to the original seam. After inserting new stuffing, sew up the opening with a simple ladder stitch using sturdy thread that won’t unravel over time. After knotting the thread securely inside your toy to avoid potential choking hazards from emerging later.

If desired, you can reattach any limbs or ears that have become detached over time. Reattachment will be much simpler when done before stuffing the bear back up again; then simply sew back up using ladder stitch and secure thread ends into place using ladder stitch stitch tucking method; the toy can then be hugged and loved again!


An aged and worn teddy bear needs some TLC after years of being squeezed, hugged, dragged around by you and others. After being treated roughly, these bears become dirty with grime, seams weakening, stuffing breaking out – not quite ready for disposal yet but with some tender loving care they could still bring joy for another generation to enjoy!

First step to restore a teddy to its former glory is washing it using a gentle cycle with cool water temperatures, and allowing it to dry completely before putting back together.

If an ear, nose, or limb has come loose from its position on your teddy, reattach it with a running stitch to ensure its proper placement. You can do this using needle and thread or by making a small stitch through its fur before pulling tightly to secure. Afterward, stitch this area shut in order to cover up seams.

Wearable panty hose is an excellent alternative to sewing thread, offering an economical solution for patching holes in old stuffed animals without needing to remove their stuffing and risk losing shape during machine washing or drying cycles. When used this way, old toys can even be machine washed and dried more easily without losing their form!

Once restuffed, give the teddy a gentle shake to fluff up its fur and create an appealing look. Additionally, double check that all stitches have been completed properly before moving on.

Before washing a teddy, any electrical parts such as sound boxes should be disconnected to protect it from being accidentally reconnected and potentially electrocuting the bear. This will also prevent electrocution of your bear.

Once the teddy is dry, now is an opportune time to make any necessary repairs or adjustments. Use thread that complements its fabric, using ladder stitch to complete this task; additionally a thimble may prove helpful.


Your children’s beloved bears can become much more than mere playmates; they may become quite dirty. From picnics with sticky fingers or soothing an anxious child during a sleepover, your teddy bear may need some additional cleaning after its many adventures.

Begin by carefully reading the care label on your teddy bear or animal and following its recommendations regarding washing. This step can be particularly important if your bear is older and made from fabrics more likely to shrink or damage in the wash. If in doubt, try washing it by hand using gentle laundry detergent such as Persil bio or colour liquid and warm to cool water; ensure like colors are washed together to prevent color run, and do not leave too long in the machine!

Once your bear or animal has been cleaned and washed, it should be left in a cool location away from direct sunlight to ensure proper drying time. A fan may help accelerate drying as an alternative solution.

As part of the drying process, it’s a good idea to fluff up your teddy’s fur using a clean brush or comb; this will restore its original appearance and feel. However, excessive brushing could damage soft parts of its body.

Once your teddy is dry, it is wise to store it back in its bear box or original bag to protect it from dirt and damage. Also consider placing it in a moth-proof storage box since moths love feasting on plush toys!