Every so often it becomes obvious that Tisen isn’t the only critter in the house who needs a bath. His collection of toys often starts to look a little, well, crusty. I guess if you were carried around in a slobbery dog’s mouth day after day, you might get a little crusty, too.
Poor Lamb has turned into the black sheep of the family–her once white-as-snow fleece has become charcoal gray. Skunk shows stains less, but still had quite a coating of dried dog drool.
But what is the appropriate way to clean stuffed squeaky toys? I opted for the gentle cycle in the washing machine. I gathered up all the toys that were in the house (who knows how many more are lying abandoned in one of the cars) and tossed them all into the washing machine.
I even found one of Twiggy’s toys Tisen apparently stole from her the last time she stayed with us. It’s a very clever skunk. Instead of being stuffed, it has a velcro closure at one end that allows it to be opened so a plastic bottle can be inserted inside the skunk. I don’t know what is so appealing about a plastic bottle to dogs, but most of them seem to love them. Tisen loves this toy better than any of his own–I suspect it is because it belongs to Twiggy.
I removed the plastic bottle before adding Twiggy’s skunk to the wash.
The toys all came out of the gentle cycle in tact, but very wet. We tried drying them on the delicate setting, but they were still wet after. I then tried a medium heat setting. Still wet. Since it was a hot sunny day, I opted to spread them out on the edge of the balcony to see if that would help.
Tisen was a bit nervous about his family being spread out on the balcony. He felt compelled to guard his flock. He seems to have a strong herding instinct that becomes apparent whenever a stranger comes into the house. Watching him sit and watch over his toys made me wonder if he didn’t end up with some Border Collie genes somewhere along the line.
Twiggy was less concerned about the welfare of Tisen’s collection (or even her own skunk). She just enjoys the view from the balcony.
In the end, Tisen’s flock did dry–I flipped them once after a few hours like a bunch of cute, furry pancakes. Twiggy’s clever skunk dried the fastest of them all. They are all fluffy and soft now. Many look new again. Lamb, however, has only transitioned from charcoal gray to slightly lighter gray. Perhaps next time I’ll try the “heavily soiled” cycle.