AUMC Kids' Stuff Consignment Sale

How To Clean Your Items

How To Clean Your Items

Items sell quickly, and for more money, when the look their best.  Here are a few helpful tips on how to prepare your items and how to package your items for the consignment sale.


Pour 2 Tablespoons of fabric softener into a small spray bottle.  Fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Shake to mix.  Spray the solution on a tangled doll’s hair and brush/comb out the tangles.  This works great with virtually all dolls including Barbie dolls. 

Hard Plastic Toys
Heinz Cleaning Vinegar is a cost-effective alternative to harsh cleaners and chemicals.  Load up the dishwasher with anything that is plastic or rubber.  Then just add in 1 1/2 – 2 cups of vinegar and wash.  This amount will not fit in most dishwasher soap dispenser.  That’s okay.  Just add it to the bottom of the dishwasher and it will still clean the toys just fine.

Exceptions: Toys that use batteries or toys with liquids inside them, stickers, seams where water could become trapped, glued on parts or electronic components shouldn’t go in the dishwasher (unless they say they’re dishwasher-safe). Wipe these items down by hand using vinegar.

Smaller toys should first be placed in a mesh lingerie bag.

Soft Plastic Toys
Wash toys in warm, soapy water. Then, wipe them down with white vinegar.

Stuffed Animals, Cloth Books and Other Plush Toys
Stick them in the freezer for 24 hours to kill dust mites and bed bugs.  Then clean the toy using the care label as your guide. Some tags will recommend spot cleaning only; while others will give the okay on popping that toy in the washing machine.

Want to stick that “spot-clean only” toy in the washing machine? Just tie it up in a pillowcase; set the machine to the delicate cycle; wash in cold water; and it should come out fine. (To avoid color transfer and other laundry mishaps, it’s best to wash stuff animals by themselves).

If the tag says it’s okay to run the toy through the dryer, go ahead and do it. Otherwise, take the safe route and air-dry it. Since air-drying often leave things feeling stiff, a good middle ground is to stick the item in the dryer for five minutes (just to fluff it up), and then to finish up with air-drying.

Exceptions: Plush toys with electronic components, squeakers or glued on parts should not be submerged in water. Ditto for any toys that are stuffed with Styrofoam beads or beans. Spot treat these items.

Wooden Toys
Wipe them down with white vinegar to sanitize them.

Board Books
Wipe each page down with white vinegar to eliminate germs.

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