Would you throw a leather jacket into a washing machine? How about putting grandma's good china dishes in the dishwasher? Of course not! These are specialty items that require special care and cleaning.
Believe it or not, so are decorated pacifiers. Whether you didn't know this or already were aware but weren't sure where to start, this article is for you. In this guide, I will be outlining a few methods to care for and clean decorated pacifiers. However, these methods can also be used for similarly decorated items.
To start, let me tell you some of the things you should never do with decorated pacifiers.
- Do not store them in very high or low temperatures. - both temperatures that are too hot and temperatures that are too cold can be incredibly damaging to the decorations on the pacifier. Hot temperatures can cause paints and adhesives to warp or melt off. Cold temperatures can cause paint or adhesives to dry out, shrink, and flake off. You want to store them at room temperature, which is defined as between 15 °C (59 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F).
- Do not use a chemical solvent or any substance that is toxic to humans - a chemical solvent is a chemical that can dissolve other substances. While solvents may be useful in cleaning grime in your tub, you do not want to put them on your pacifier. They may not only dissolve the paint or adhesive but the plastic as well. Examples of solvents include bleach, vinegar, and ammonia. As for the use of cleaners that are toxic if ingested, just remember that the pacifier will go in your mouth.
- Do not submerge or soak them in water, or expose them to steam - if left in water, the water can be absorbed into the paint or adhesive and push it away from the surface of the pacifier. This will cause it to warp and peel off. Steam can do this with paint and adhesive as well. Additionally, material decals such as bows or fake flowers can grow mold if not dried properly after soaked.
- If it has decals, do not attempt to disassemble it - rhinestones, bows, charms, and other decals can be accidentally pulled off when disassembling a pacifier. Of course, this wouldn't apply if your pacifier is only painted and doesn't have any decals on it.
- Lastly, do not try to scratch or pick at decorated surfaces - you could accidentally scratch or pick off paint and/or decals. Be gentle with your pacifier, okay?
Now that we have covered what not to do, we can move on to what you can do when cleaning a decorated pacifier. There are a few different methods you can use depending on how dirty it actually is and which part of the pacifier needs to be cleaned.
Method 1: If your pacifier just needs a rinse, go ahead and run the teat under some lukewarm water. Make sure not to use water that is hot enough to create steam and be careful not to get the front of the shield wet. Afterward, you can use a towel to dry it or let it air dry.
Method 2: Perhaps you dropped it on the floor. Or maybe it just hasn't been cleaned in awhile. Whatever the case, you find yourself needing to sanitize it. In this case, you can simply dip the teat in a nontoxic, antibacterial solution for 45 - 60 seconds. Examples are hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.