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How To Clean Stuffed Animals

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. 

How to Clean Stuffed Animals

There are many different ways you can clean your children’s plush toys, and here are some of our tried and true favorites.

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The first thing to think about how dirty that stuffed animal has gotten!  Sometimes, it is just a bit of a spot we need to clean off, and other times the stuffed animal is really dirty or messy.

We’re going to cover a couple of methods for washing stuffed animals.

Tips On Machine Washing Stuffed Animals

Sometimes spot cleaning stuffed animals isn’t quite enough. Sometimes, you need a deep water wash in the washing machine.

Wondering if you can put those stuffed animals in the washing machine?  You can, but there are a couple of things to be aware of.

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.

Can you put stuffed animals in the dryer?

Yes, but again, caution is needed here.

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.

Also, pay special attention to the material the stuffed animal is made out of.  If your plush toy is made out of materials like rayon to get that special fluffy feel, avoid the dryer.

Be sure to check the tag on the animal to see what it is made out of!

Wan’t to skip the dryer all together?

Wring the stuffed animal 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 Stuffed Animals

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 for Stuffed Animals

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. 

Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Basic Pack, Crisp Linen, 19 oz (Pack of 2)

Sometimes these sprays can leave stuffed animals a bit damp, so I like to spray them at night, or when I know they won’t be played with for a little while.

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

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