The main problem with new bears is dust from being left in bedrooms and on shelves. The best way to stop this is to keep playing and moving your teddy bear and or give him a clean with a hoover now and again. The really expensive bears if not going to be played with can be stored in display case or cabinets to keep the sun, dust and dirt away so are preserved in museum condition.
If your bear does get a little dirty then the best way to clean it is to use a new cloth (preferably not coloured as the colour does sometimes come off) and use warm water and rub the area gently until clean. We wouldn’t recommend using soap or washing up liquid as you will be there forever trying to get it all out and can leave the fur sticky and clumped together if not properly rinsed out.
If your bear is really dirty then you can put him or her in the washing machine as a last resort (but read manufacturers label / tags first as not all bears can go in the washing machine as the stuffing may clump together). Any card tags would obviously need to be removed before putting in a washing machine so if you are a collector and want to keep the tags in perfect condition then you will obviously not want to use this method. This is more for kids teddy bears.
OK so it’s best to put on a quick wash (most washing machines have say 10 minute cycles) and on a low temperature. As embroidered eyebrows, mouths and or eyes and buttons can get caught in the washing machine we recommend putting it in an old white pillow case or duvet cover so as to protect the bear from getting caught. We wouldn’t advise using a coloured pillow case or duvet cover as the colour could run. Once bear has been washed then just leave him to dry naturally.
If you have an old or classic bear then the method of using a new cloth and warm water still applies but you just have to be more gentle when cleaning as the bear is old and more fragile. We would not recommend putting in a washing machine as this is likely to damage the bear. If the bear needs repairing then we would recommend seeking a professional to help you. There are various teddy bear specialists and teddy bear hospitals throughout the UK who could help you with this and or sourcing an appropriate display case for your bear.
This is only our opinion and do not take any responsibility for damage caused to bears that are not cleaned properly. If you have tried other methods that work well then please let us know and we will include them to our list.