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How to Clean Stuffed Animals Properly

November 12, 2023

Stuffed animals are cute and fun to look at – but they can also get dirty quickly, especially if they’re played with often. Dust mites can also be an issue.

The good news is that they’re relatively easy to clean. If anything, you just need some water and some soap or gentle detergent.

Can you machine wash stuffed animals? Should they be hand washed? What other products can you clean them with?

For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over how to wash a stuffed animal in detail below!

How to Clean Stuffed Animals

best ways to clean stuffed animalsCleaning stuffed animals might seem like a daunting task, especially when they’re your child’s favorite companions, but with the correct materials and techniques, they’ll stay in tip-top shape.

The first step is to determine whether or not the stuffed animal is safe for machine washing or if it requires hand washing.

For example, some toys with glued-on or electronic parts may need special attention. The same goes for older stuffed animals that may be more delicate. Remember, always check the care instructions before you start.

Depending on how dirty your plush frriend is, you may also be able to get away with spot cleaning – you can just use a damp cloth with some soapy water.

The Role of Laundry Detergent

ACTIVE Detergent is the best choice when it comes to washing your stuffed toy. Not only is it made from natural ingredients but it also contains enzymes that will physically break down the gunk.

And it’s versatile – you can use it for machine washing and manual washing by hand.

Drying Your Stuffed Friends Safely

The way you dry your plush toys is important. Ideally, you want to squeeze it gently after washing to get out any extra water without twisting them.

You can also use a hair dryer on a cool setting, but make sure not to hold it too close.

Check the Care Instructions

Just like your clothes, you want to check the care tag before washing your stuffed animal. For example, it’s not uncommon for some plushes to be hand wash only – and if that’s the case, it’ll say that on the care tag.

If there’s no tag or if the tag doesn’t include any instructions, don’t worry. The general rule is to treat them like delicate items and wash them by hand.

Preparing Your Stuffed Animals for Cleaning

preparing your stuffed animal for cleaningCleaning stuffed animals isn’t just about tossing them in the washing machine. Here’s what you need to know.

Use a Damp Cloth

Before you clean the stuffed toys, use a damp cloth to spot clean and remove dust – that’ll prevent further stains during washing.

Remember not to drench the toy but gently wipe it down instead. If there are stubborn spots, use a mild laundry detergent such as ACTIVE detergent.

Use a White Cloth

You might ask why specifically use white? The answer is simple – color transfer. When you’re trying to get rid of those pesky juice or chocolate stains from your plushies, colored cloths may bleed dye onto them making matters worse.

To avoid turning Teddy into rainbow bear unintentionally, always opt for white cloths while spot treating

Washing Plush Toys By Hand

To start, fill your basin halfway with cold water and add a small amount of our mild detergent. Then gently immerse your beloved toy in this soapy water solution for effective cleaning.

A key point here is not to drown it completely but to allow it to soak in the mixture. That will ensure gentle yet thorough cleansing without damaging any delicate fabric or glued-on eyes on the stuffed animal.

After washing comes rinsing under cold running water until the water runs clear—meaning all soap residues are gone.

Tip: A soft brush can be used to spot clean stubborn stains.

Just remember not to twist or wring out the stuffed animal. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water; that will prevent damage while ensuring they get properly dried up later on.

How to Machine Wash Stuffed Animals

Most stuffed animals can be put in the washing machine. Here’s how to do it.

Selecting the Right Cycle for Your Stuffed Animals

The delicate cycle is best when it comes to preserving your plush toys’ quality and longevity.

how to machine wash stuffed toysWhile it’s not necessary, using a mesh laundry bag will provide the stuffed animal with an extra layer of protection during the wash cycle – think of it as a safety net that will keep the stuffed animal from losing its eyes or limbs in the tumble.

If you don’t have a mesh bag, you can improvise with a large zippered pillowcase.

Cool water is key here; too much heat can damage glued-on parts or distort shapes. To ensure effective cleaning without harm, use our Activewear Laundry Detergent which has been formulated specifically for gentle yet thorough cleansing.

Drying Process: The Art of Air Dry vs Hair Dryer

Once washed, gently squeeze out the excess water and lay it flat on a dry towel and let it air dry completely, if possible.

If not, use a hair dryer on low heat setting, making sure to keep moving around so there’s no risk of overheating one spot.

Removing Odors from Stuffed Animals

You can freshen up their beloved plushie with something you likely already have in your kitchen: baking soda.

The Power of Baking Soda

This humble pantry staple is not just for cooking and cleaning around the house. It also works wonders on smelly stuffed animals.

To use it for removing odors from stuffed animals, simply sprinkle some over the stuffed toy and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb any nasty smells leaving behind a fresher scent.

The next morning, shake off all excess powder outdoors or using a vacuum cleaner attachment, if needed. Make sure every last bit of baking soda is gone because leftover residue could irritate delicate skin or eyes when snuggling time comes around again.

This method won’t damage delicate fabrics nor fade colors like harsher cleaners might do so rest assured that teddy bears’ fur remains soft and vibrant.

Remember – sometimes simple solutions are often best especially when dealing with children’s cherished items.

Tips for Cleaning Specific Types of Plush Toys

Every stuffed animal is unique, not just in how it sparks joy and memories but also in the way it needs to be cleaned. From your child’s favorite teddy bear to those precious beanie babies, each requires a slightly different approach.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

To clean plush toys that are too delicate for machine washing or have electronic parts (e.g. built in battery packs), hand washing with ACTIVE detergent is recommended.

Begin by filling a basin halfway with cold water and adding an appropriate amount of detergent powder. Agitate the water to dissolve the detergent and submerge the stuffed animal so that it’s completely saturated in the mixture.

You can also give it a gentle squeeze to help remove dirt from its fabric.

Afterward, rinse the stuffed animal thoroughly under cold running water until the water runs clear – no suds left behind. Gently squeeze out excess water before letting it air dry in a well-ventilated space.

Caring for Beanie Babies

caring for beanie babies

Beanie Babies need extra care due to their filled beans which can get ruined when soaked in soapy water.

Spot cleaning using a white cloth dampened with diluted mild laundry detergent works best for these toys.

If you’re dealing with stubborn stains on these soft treasures, consider seeking professional help because sometimes it’s better safe than sorry.

How to Clean Stuffed Animals – FAQs

What is the best way to clean stuffed animals?

The best cleaning method hinges on your toy’s material and care instructions. Generally speaking, however, hand washing with a gentle detergent such as the one by ACTIVE is best for delicate toys, while machine washable ones can go in on a cool, gentle cycle.

Is it OK to put stuffed animals in the wash?

Yes, if they’re tagged as machine-washable. Pop them into a mesh laundry bag first though, and choose a gentle cycle with cold water. Non washable toys or hand wash only toys should be spot-cleaned with a clean white cloth.

Can you sanitize a stuffed animal in the dryer?

Nope, not always. Check their care label first because heat can harm some materials. Air drying is the best choice.

Do I need to use a mesh laundry bag?

Using a mesh bag will provide your toy with an additional layer of protection so that it will be less likely to be damaged during the wash cycle.

How do you clean and refresh stuffed animals?

spot treating stuffed toys with baking sodaYou can remove stains by spot cleaning or full-on washing, depending on the type of stuffed animal. To refresh and remove odors, try sprinkling baking soda over your plushie before vacuuming it off after 15 minutes.

Is it better to hand wash my teddy bear?

Washing your stuffed toy by hand will be gentler on the fabric, meaning that it’ll likely last longer.

How can I remove stains from my stuffed plush?

You can spot-treat the area with a soft bristled brush and a cleaning solution made from ACTIVE detergent powder and water. Mild soap also works in a pinch.

And there you have it – a guide on washing stuffed animals. As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward process. If anything, you just need the right equipment.

So the next time you need to clean your stuffed toys, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Just remember to check the care tag label before cleaning as you may need to wash stuffed animals by hand, depending on their type. And if you can, let it air dry instead of applying direct heat.

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Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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