Sooner or later you’re gonna have to clean that felt food. Here’s how to do it!
Dry cleaning is the obvious way to go with 100% wool felt but a lot of dry cleaners won’t touch soft sculpture or basically anything that isn’t clothing you CANNOT use a product like dryel on felt the heat and moisture will continue to felt your piece, this would not be a good thing. The #1 thing to keep in mind is avoiding drastic temperature fluctuations on the felt.
If your item is only slightly messy for example moist cookie crumbs, I would suggest letting them dry, before proceeding with your clean up, you may mash the mess into the wool mesh, say that 5 times fast!
The exception to this rule is a substance which you feel will stain. In that is the case proceed to hand wash. After felt is dry brush off the crumbs and gently wash the surface with a baby wipe.
Lets say your felt food is really messy, for example your child dunked his felt cookie in his real milk. You can hand wash using the steps outlined below, I have used this method with great success Using these methods I have removed apple juice, wet candy cane, yogurt and cracker mush from my daughters felt food collection.
1. Brush as much of the dirt, dust or dried whatever off as you can while the item is STILL DRY. If whatever has gotten on your felt is in liquid form that’s OK to but please avoid rubbing it.
2. Fill a sink or basin with cool or cold water, no soap.
3. Place said item in water and wait until it soaked, gently squeeze the air out if it is a stuffed item
4. Gently press water out of felt without rubbing
5. Continue to squeeze like a sponge do not rub, Repeat until spot is gone, you may soak the felt overnight if needed.
Air dry, felt may feel stiff at first but will regain its softness when played with for awhile.
Worse case scenario…
Got something really nasty on your felt, like boogers or pee? Luckily for you wool has antibacterial properties so it’s isn’t as germ laden as you think however you now need to remove whatever germs remain and any smell, try lemons. Lemons contain antibacterial and antiseptic properties on top of naturally removing odor. Cut lemons and squeeze into the water in your basin and proceed as outlined above.
But it’s winter in the middle of nowhere…
Your last best hope is Vinegar. Vinegar will disinfectant and help destroy odor, the weird vinegar smell will fade with time , it dissolves grease too! So if you have a stuffie that’s gotten really grungie this is your method! Put in 1/2 part vinegar to 1 part water and wash as directed above be sure to lay it out to dry as soon as possible and do not use it to soak your item for longer than 10-15 minutes as it could in theory hurt your fabric although this has never been my experience. The bonus to this method is your dried felt will be surprisingly soft.
Drop me a comment or two and let me know how it all turned out and show me some love by checking out the store,
Happy Crafting- Andie
Please give credit where credit is due and be sure to link to my blog when using this info. Thanks, you’re the best!
For more on how to clean felt see our post on cleaning and storing felt fabric.