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How To Clean Stuffed Animals

Sometimes stuffed animals can be overly loved and become a little gross! These tips to clean stuffed animals will get them germ-free!

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Kids love their stuffed animals, sometimes a little too much! After being loved on by sticky hands and drooly kiddos, stuffies can get pretty grimy pretty quickly. Here’s how to disinfect and clean stuffed animals without ruining them. 

Tips On Machine Washing

Sometimes spot cleaning stuffed animals isn’t quite enough. Sometimes, you need a deep water wash in the washing machine. Because the washer can be rough on your child’s fuzzy pal, set the washing machine to the delicate cycle. Wash on cold if possible. But, if the stuffed animal is really gross, you will need warm or hot water to really get it clean. To further protect them from the washer, put them in a pillowcase and tie it closed before washing.

After the washer, pop the stuffie in the dryer on a low setting. Add other clothes and a few dryer balls so it doesn’t get flattened out. If you are worried about the effects the dryer will have on the shape of the stuffie, try line drying instead. Wring it out as best you can and hang it, or set it on top of a drying rack. If possible, dry stuffed animals outside on a bright, sunny day.  

how to clean stuffed animals

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Spot Cleaning

If you are worried about ruining the stuffed animal in the washing machine, try spot cleaning first. Use a small amount of mild detergent and warm water. Dip a cloth into the soapy water and wipe down the bear (or bunny or doggie or narwhal!). Hang up to dry. 

Disinfecting Spray

In between machine washes, if your stuffed friends need a little something, use a disinfecting spray. This will clean the outside of the stuffed animal, plus leave them smelling fresh. 

What to do if your child is scared to put their stuffed animal in the washing machine

It’s normal for children to be scared to put their stuffed friend in the washing machine. Ease their fears by explaining that the washing machine is just like a bath for their fuzzy friend. You can even make their stuffed animal “talk” to them to tell them how excited they are to take a ride in the washer and dryer. When they are dry, have their stuffie tell them how much fun they had. Tell your child to grab another stuffed friend to play with while they are waiting. Or, do a fun activity with them to distract them. If these suggestions don’t work, it’s time to be stealthy! Another option is to clean their stuffed animals while they are sleeping!

Don’t neglect cleaning your child’s stuffed animal. Grab them and wash them today to keep them clean, smelling fresh, and germ-free!

how to clean stuffed animals

About the author

Anne Metz

Anne Metz is a housecleaner by day and a freelance writer by night. In her free time she follows her four young children around cleaning up their messes! You can follow her on facebook at @4onceuponamom or visit her blog at

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