Sussex woman who's spent 40 years restoring teddy bears reveals how to bring them back to life

WATCH: Report by ITV Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins

A woman from Sussex who has been restoring teddy bears for more than 40 years has revealed the best way to clean your toys and bring them back to life.

Do you still have the teddy bear you had as a child?

Perhaps they are bit moth-eaten and looking a little less-loved by now?

The suggested age to try and wean your child away from their teddy is just five years old. But many people keep their bears into adulthood, passing them down the generations.

But with time comes wear and tear.

Well, Sue Pearson who lives in a village near Brighton is an expert at breathing new life into old teds.

Sue has been cleaning and restoring teddy bears for over 40 years.

But her passion for the timeless old ted, started as a child when she played with her grandmother's old bear.

As she got older, Sue ran her own shop in The Lanes in Brighton, selling old and new bears. People would visit from all over the world.

So how do you clean your bear to keep it in tip top condition?

Sue says with old bears, it's important not to immerse them in water.

"They hate washing machines - that will completely ruin them. And even un-stuffing them and soaking them is not necessary.

"You want to surface clean the wool only.

"First sit the bear down on a nice towel so he is comfy.

"Depending on how dirty your bear is, you're going to brush him. Don't use a wire brush, it is too harsh and can tear the fabric.

"Then take a bowel of warm water in which there is some wool wash. Once your bear is thoroughly washed and all of the dust is out of him, take some of the foam and massage it, not getting their paws wet, and only getting the fur wet.

"Do that all over, paying particular attention to where the dust would settle.

"So it will come down on their head, on the tops of the arms and then onto the feet.

Bears were given as gifts during both World Wars.

"Then take a cloth and clear water and ring the cloth out until it's almost dry. Then rub it all over - but do not get the stuffing wet, otherwise it will go solid.

"You cloth will become dirty- and you repeat that another time depending on how dirty the bear is. You mustn't leave any soap in.

"Then the bear will like to sit in an airing cupboard, or out in the garden if it's the summer- just a dry warm place until it is dry. Then he can come back and you can brush him all over. If he is pure wool mohair his hair will shine.

"He'll feel so much better for it."

These teddies are ready to go back to their owners.

Teddy bears can be repaired by careful cleaning, stuffing and stitching.

However, if a bear is bald, the fur can't be replaced.

Sue insists that old bears must not be given as gifts to young children, due to their eyes being a choking hazard.

But, once repaired, they can sit on a shelf and be loved and admired for many more years to come.