This is the story of a well-loved teddy bear. A teddy called TedTed. The first thing that you need to know is that TedTed is no ordinary teddy - at least not to Lucas. To Lucas, TedTed is the best teddy bear in the world: the ted of all teds. He's Lucas' best friend – well, to be accurate, joint best friend with William who sits next to Lucas at school. TedTed’s been by Lucas’ side ever since he was a baby. He was a present from Grandma when Lucas was born. Five years of love is a lot of love in teddy bear years. Think about all of that ear-chewing and dragging along the ground on the way to the shops.
Think about all of that cuddling with hands covered in jam and butter and tomato sauce. As you can imagine, TedTed gets a little bit grubby. It can be tricky for Lucas' mum to find an opportunity to give TedTed a wash, because Lucas and TedTed do everything together. They play hide and seek in the garden, ride his bike together, enjoy outdoor picnics, and even go hand-in-hand to sleepovers. And, at the end of every day, Lucas holds TedTed’s paw while his mum reads them a bedtime story. But when she can prise TedTed out of Lucas' often-sticky hands, she knows just how to wash him so that he stays clean and fluffy.
Dirt is good
The little marks of everyday dirt on his fur are the least of Mum's worries. She just gets a toothbrush, dabs on a bit of OMO laundry detergent and brushes the marks off. That's easy. It's when TedTed gets really dirty that she has to take more drastic action. Like the time he fell out of Lucas’ backpack into a puddle, or whenever Lucas tries to feed him his dinner (which is every day, if we're honest). The thing to do here, Lucas' mum knows, is to give TedTed a cool, quick wash in the washing machine or by hand, using OMO Fast Action.
After that, he dries out nicely when he's hung up over the bath or sink. And when the weather allows, TedTed is pegged out on the washing line to dry. He needs to be in a shady spot, though, because direct sunlight could discolour his fur and he wouldn't look much like TedTed anymore.
He's had a few injuries in his time, not long ago his shoulder got torn when Lucas's sister decided it would be a good idea to teach TedTed how to dance. (Lucas made it very clear afterwards that this had not been a good idea.) TedTed had to be patched up before being washed so that he didn't risk losing his whole arm. Lucas’ mum knows that it's quite a good idea to put stuffed toys inside a pillow case or bag before washing them in a machine. That way, you can easily find and re-attach any bits that do unfortunately come off in the wash.
Luckily, TedTed has managed to stay in one piece. Lucas’ mum also knows that it’s best to avoid putting too many stuffed animals in the machine at the same time. When their stuffing gets wet, they can get quite heavy. Lucas makes a good point when he says that his toys don’t like being crowded together in a wash because they bash into each other and get all bruised.
Sometimes Lucas’ mum gives TedTed a sponge bath with OMO with a Touch of Comfort and gets Lucas to help squeeze the water gently out until it runs clear. She also does this with some of Lucas' and Sophia’s more delicate toys which aren’t suited to a machine wash. For a quick freshening up, Lucas’ mum might also clean TedTed with the vacuum cleaner, shaking him in a bag with talcum powder first to get rid of any smells. Knots in his fur are easily untangled with a toothpick, and after a bath before bedtime, he might be popped in the tumble dryer on a low heat. All this pampering leaves TedTed extra soft and cuddly.
Lucas’ mum washes dolls and other toys made of silicone in lukewarm water using OMO Fast Action and something soft like a sponge. When she wants to be extra-gentle, she just uses her hands. Toys made with silicone also have a habit of attracting dust and hair through static, which can be quite annoying, Lucas' mum finds. In an effort to stop this from happening, she dusts the surface lightly with baby powder using a make-up brush. She avoids anything too oily or perfumed, though, in case it stains. For toys with cloth bodies, she just rubs a little bit of corn starch or talcum powder into the fabric at night, then brushes or vacuums it off the next day. So, that's the story of TedTed and Lucas, a story in which the real hero is Lucas' mum. She knows exactly how to look after her children’s toys, particularly the best teddy bear in the world.
It is important to know if you live in a hard, medium or soft water area since this determines what dosage of washing detergent you should use. South Africa's water is predominately hard, but there are a few areas where the water is medium. Tell-tale signs of hard water are: A “ring around […]'