Easy Hack to Follow When Cleaning Stuffed Animals

Plush toys are a kid’s favorite toy but over time it gets dirty and dusty. If it happens you know that it is time to clean it.

Toy cleaning can be done by using your washing machine or hand washing them. For fragile and older stuffed animals that can’t hold too much water to clean, you can spot clean or surface wash.

Whatever the method you use, it is important that you read first the manufacturer’s tag so you can properly follow the instruction on how to do the cleaning.

However, some of the older stuffed toys may have tags that are unreadable already. If that is the case, you can refer to this article on cleaning stuffed animals.

What to Know Before Washing Your Kids’ Stuffed Animals

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Cleaning stuffed animals is an easy task but you still be careful not to damage them. If you are unsure of how to begin, here are some simple things you should know before doing toy cleaning.

1. Check the care tag.

Care tag contains instructions that you can use to help you decide whether you will clean it by using a washing machine, hand wash, or spot cleaning.

2. Color test the fabric

This will aid you to determine if the color fabric will not contaminate other stuffed animals if you are cleaning them altogether.

You can rub a small amount of diluted detergent on a less visible part of the stuffed animal. If any color comes out then you can use only water to clean it.

3. When to decide to wash

You can wash your kids’ stuffed animals weekly if they sleep with them or wash as needed when you see that it is starting to look dirty and smelling bad.

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Tips to Cleaning Stuffed Animals Using a Washing Machine

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Most stuffed animals can be machine washed. However, you can’t clean it in a washing machine if:

  • it comes with a musical box inside.
  • it’s old and too fragile
  • Limbs and furs are falling apart
  • It has a glittery dress or a crown that is easily broken
  • It has objects that are glued like plastic eyes, ears, or sequins

Before starting toy cleaning, it’s important to examine the stuffed animal first to see if there are no loose strings or worn fabrics that can harm the stuffed animal and the machine.

Here are the steps on cleaning stuffed animals by washing machine.

What you’ll need:

  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Zippered pillowcase or pillowcase with the end tied.
  • Gentle detergent.

Step 1: Place the stuffed animal in a mesh bag or pillowcase to protect it from damage.
Step 2: Pour cold water into the washing machine to keep colors from fading.
Step 3: Put the gentle detergent or a regular detergent in the washing machine.
Step 4: Use the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine to wash stuffed animals.
Step 5: Once washing is done, take the stuffed animal out of the mesh laundry bag or pillowcase.
Step 6: Hang or lay it flat to air dry.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals Using Hand Washing

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Read the label first to determine if the stuffed animal is for hand wash or for delicate cycles only. Older or fragile stuffed toys may need a softer touch and needs to wash gently by hands.

What you’ll need:

  • Gentle soap or detergent
  • Water

Step 1: Fill a bucket or sink with cold water.
Step 2: Pour enough soap into the sink or bucket.
step 3: Submerged the stuffed animal.
Step 4: Hand wash the stuffed animal by gently squeezing it to saturate it with detergent. You don’t have to scrub too hard especially on the older stuffed animal as it may have loose strings or worn fabric.
Step 5: Thoroughly rinse the stuffed animal in running water. Get the detergent out as much as possible. Don’t shake or twist the stuffed toys as they may fall apart especially the older ones.
Step 6: Gently press the stuffed animal between your palms or use towels to get the water out.
Step 7: To remove the excess moisture, you can roll it in a clean dry towel.
Step 8: Re-fluff and reshape the stuffed animal and let it sit to air dry.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals by Spot Cleaning

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Usually, there is a tag that says “non-washable” or “surface clean only” on your stuffed animals but if the tag is nowhere to be found or it is unreadable and you don’t want to take the risk to machine wash them, you can spot clean them instead.

Spot cleaning is washing the little dirt or stain that stuffed animals get when playing with them.

Spot cleaning is also important if the stuffed animals contain these:

  • The stuffed animals have a mechanical component inside.
  • musical components
  • Glued on decorations that may not hold up to water.

Here’s how to do spot clean stuffed animals:

What you’ll need:

  • Gentle detergent
  • Cotton swab
  • White cloth

Step 1: Do a spot test by mixing one teaspoon of gentle detergent into one cup of cold water.
Step 2: Dip a cotton swab or a clean white cloth to the mixture and dab it to the unnoticeable area of the toy. If the dye doesn’t transfer from the toy to the swab or the cloth then you can now clean its surface where the stain or dirt s.
Step 3: Dip the white cloth into the mixture and blot at the stains or dirt.
Step 4: Keep moving to the clean area of the cloth until the dirt or stain is transferred completely to the cloth and you can’t see the stains anymore.
Step 5: Wipe down the cleaned area with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the mixture.
Step 6: Allow the toy to air dry completely before using or playing with it.

Deodorize your stuffed animals

if there is a musty smell in the stuffed animal that doesn’t go away, you may want to deodorize it naturally. Here are the steps:

What you’ll need:

Step 1: If you have an average size stuffed animal, place it in a large garbage bag with one cup of baking soda.
Step 2: Close the bag tightly and give it a good shake.
Step 3: Keep the bag closed and let the stuffed animal sit for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Open the bag and shake the powder off outside.
Step 5: Remove any remaining baking soda by using a vacuum cleaner’s dust attachment if you feel it will not get damaged.
Step 6: You can also spray on a natural air freshener to totally eliminate the musty smell and freshen it up at the same time.

Drying your stuffed animals

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Cleaning stuffed animal is just one of the processes that you have to go through. The drying method is the next thing you need to do.

Remember that a stuffed animal can be damped for several days and the damper the stuffed animal is the more it may take a while to dry them.

Here are some suggestions that you can follow in drying your kids’ stuffed animals.

  1. The best way to dry stuffed animals is to hang them in the clothesline so they can have that fresh outdoor scent and reduce the chance of mildew or a musty smell. Likewise, hanging it where there is sunlight is a natural way to sanitize them.
  2. If the sun isn’t coming out, you can simply put it on a window sill or anyplace away from pets and children.  Placing the damp stuffed animals beside the humidifier can dry them more quickly. It can also minimize the risk of having mildew or molds inside the stuffed animals.
  3. Use a dryer if the label indicates so. Place your stuffed animals in the dryer on low heat and permanent press settings. Please note that the heat may harm the fur of your stuffed animals. If you have a dryer that has a fluff setting, you can use it to protect the animal’s fur.
  4. Likewise, you can set your dryer on a gentle short cycle with a low-temperature setting. Do not place the stuffed animals for an extended period on the dryer and then forget about it. Always check on it occasionally.
  5. You can use a hairdryer on your stuffed animals with a cool or no heat setting for a quick-dry method. This will hasten the drying process to ensure that the inside of the stuffed animals is completely dry as well as the outside.
  6. Reshape the stuffed animals to their original position if they have jostled in the dryer.
  7. Once it is fully dry, you can freshen it up a little more by using natural air fresheners to further eliminate any musty smell.

The drying time will depend on how many stuffed animals and the setting that you use.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I put the stuffed animals in the dryer?

It may ruin the fabric or material that it is made of.

2. How do I keep stuffed animals from rips?

Always check regularly your kids’ stuffed animals for loose buttons, droopy eyes, and unglued decorations and repair them at once so you won’t have problems later on.

3. If the stuffed animals need stitching, do I need to stitch them before or after washing?

It’s preferable to have it stitched before you wash them so that water won’t get inside causing it to dry longer and make the stuffing get out.

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Real reviews

  • 🏆 BEST EUCALYPTUS OIL SPRAY: Natural scent great for rooms, closets, draws, wood
  • 👍 EUCALYPTUS PILLOW MIST: Eliminates and neutralizes odor. Does not mask it like chemical sprays
  • ❤️ A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY: Spray and forget. Nontoxic, non-irritating, and natural air spray.

$9.99

Add to cart

View Label / Ingredients
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Free ground shipping

Toy cleaning is necessary for your kid’s beloved stuffed toys. A little dirt or stain just shows how your kids are enjoying them.

Always follow the care tag that is attached to the stuffed animals on how to properly clean them so it may be enjoyed by your kids longer.

Most of the stuffed toys can be machine washed or hand wash and for those fragile and older stuffed animals spot cleaning is the best way to clean them.

A good idea to freshen up your kid’s toys and eliminate bad odors is to spray on a natural air freshener that will keep toys smelling good and clean.

The Crown Choice natural air fresheners are made with natural, plant-based essential oils perfect for countering any unpleasant smell.

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