6. Stuffed animals
Stuffed animals harbor a lot of germs when they aren’t properly washed. In fact, one recent study published in Infection and Immunity found that 4 out of 5 stuffed animals tested positive for streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria that can cause respiratory tract infections in children.
However, you don’t have to throw them in the trash! If the favorite stuffed animal of your kids or grandkids doesn’t have a “do not wash” warning written on its label, you’re free to put it in your washing machine.
Leading laundry brand Tide says that once you’ve confirmed that there are “no electronics, batteries, or foam filler balls” in the toy, place it in a mesh bag and “wash on a gentle cycle in cold water.” After that, just hang it out to dry, and your child’s stuffed best friend is now clean and ready for some germ-free hugs.