How to Wash Stuffed Animals

How to Wash Stuffed Animals

How to Wash Stuffed Animals Tidyhere Infographic

Stuffed animals get tossed around the house and even taken to grocery stores, parks and other dirty places. Your kids may cough on them, use them as a tissue or touch them with filthy hands. Add in pet dander, dust, dust mites and other particles found naturally in your home and that build up in the soft fibers.

As dirty as stuffed animals inevitably get, these cuddly toys are often not washed as frequently as they should be. How can you wash a stuffed animal without ruining it?

How Often Should I Wash Stuffed Animals?

The stuffed animals that your kids seldom play with can be washed as needed, such as if they are visibly dirty or smell bad. Your kids’ favorite stuffed animals are likely the ones they cling to while sick, take to bed at night and carry with them out of the house.

How to Wash Stuffed Animals Tidyhere Image of a Stuffed Toy Rabbit with His Back in the Washing Machine

These toys should be washed after they’ve been out of the house and after an illness. Otherwise, they should be washed weekly as part of your routine cleaning chores.

Can You Wash Stuffed Animals in the Washing Machine?

Many types of stuffed animals can be machine-washed. However, you should always refer to the toy’s care label for specific details. Some stuffed animals must only be washed by hand, or they may require a specific temperature setting or other special care.

Stuffed animals that have metal or mechanical parts should only be washed by hand with spot treatment. Battery packs should be removed before cleaning them.

To clean a stuffed animal in the washing machine, put it in a mesh bag to prevent damage. Use a cold water setting and a gentle or delicate wash cycle. You can use the same detergent that you use to wash your children’s clothes.

After washing the toys, let them air dry in an open area. If possible, hang them up to dry them out more quickly. Otherwise, some plush toys can be machine dried using a tumble-dry setting.

Follow this step-by-step guide on how you can safely wash stuffed animals in the washer:

How to Wash Stuffed Animals By Hand

There are several instances when washing your kid’s stuffed animals in the kitchen sink is a better option. These include if the toy is damaged or otherwise fragile and if the care label says to hand wash it. Other toys that should be hand washed are those with a foam filling, glued-on parts, sheer fabric, sequins and other types of decorative embellishments.

Follow these steps to hand wash plush toys:
✨ In a clean kitchen sink, fill it with enough cold water to completely immerse the toy.
✨ Pour a small portion of mild laundry soap into the water, and swirl it around with your hand. If the toy is smelly, add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the water.
✨ Squeeze the stuffed toy gently to work in the soapy water. Avoid scrubbing fragile toys.
✨ Drain and rinse out the sink.
✨ Run the toy under flowing water. Squeeze the toy until all of the soap is gone and the water runs clear.
✨ Squeeze as much water as possible out of the plush toy. Then, wrap it in a dry towel to hand dry it.
✨ You can then air dry it.

How to Clean Plush Toys with Electronics

If your kids’ plush toys have electric components, the first step is to take out the batteries or power pack. Even with the power source removed, these toys can get damaged if submerged in water, so they must be spot cleaned.

Add a couple of drops of mild liquid detergent in a bowl of cool water. Moisten a microfiber cloth, and use it to dab away spots and stains. These toys should not be dried in the clothes dryer. Let them air dry completely before replacing the battery pack or power source.

How to Dry Clean Stuffed Animals?

You don’t have to use water and soap to refresh a dirty stuffed animal. If the toy has a foul odor, put it in a sealable bag or container, and add a half cup of baking soda. Toss the container or bag so that the toy is fully covered with baking soda.

After 30 minutes, pull the plush toy out, and shake off the powder. If the toy can be dried in a machine, wrap it in a pillowcase, and use the tumble dry setting. Otherwise, use your vacuum attachment or hairdryer to remove the rest of the baking soda.


Can You Put a Stuffed Animal in the Dryer?

How to Wash Stuffed Animals Tidyhere Image of Stuffed Animals Drying on the ClotheslineSome stuffed animals can be dried in the dryer, before doing so, however, you should read the care label. If you determine that the dryer is an option, use the low-heat or tumble-dry setting. You should also place the toy in a mesh bag to prevent its plastic eyes and other hard parts from being damaged.

How to Remove Stains & Odors From Stuffed Animals

For plush toys that can be handwashed or machine-washed, you can spot clean stains as a first step using white vinegar before washing them. If the toys have a funky odor, add baking soda to the water.

If you are dealing with stained, smelly toys that cannot be washed, you can spot clean the stains with soapy water. Then, on dry stuffed animals, apply a moderate amount of baking soda. Let this odor-fighting powder remain on the toys for at least 10 minutes.

Then, dust off as much of the baking soda as you can. If the toy isn’t fragile, you can use the handheld attachment on your vacuum to suction off the rest of the baking soda.

How Do You Wash a Stuffed Animal and Make It Fluffy Again?

After washing your kids’ favorite stuffed animals, the fur or fuzz may not look the same. Rest assured that the toys aren’t ruined. While the toys are still damp, towel dry the fur, rubbing it gently to elevate the fuzzy fabric. Then, use a nylon brush to gently tussle the hair while you blow-dry it. Always use the low-heat or cool setting.

Maintaining a clean environment for your loved ones is a top priority, but your routine cleaning efforts won’t touch every dirty surface. Professional cleaning services make it easier for you to provide your family with a healthy living space. Book your first TidyHere service today.