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How to Clean a Stuffed Animal


Teddy bear hanging to dry on the washing line outdoors

Clean stuffed toys are so important to your child’s health and safety! Washing a stuffed animal on a regular basis can be fun and super easy. Let’s take a look at several methods that parents, and grandparents can use to clean a stuffed animal, so their kids can enjoy clean stuffed toys.

Quick washing tips

  • Be sure to always read the label so Mrs. Bunny or Teddy the Bear won't get ruined or fall apart. Use soaps that are safe for both the material, your health, and the health of your children. 
  • Always make sure both the inside and outside are dry to prevent mildew.
  • Use non-water cleaning methods for stuffed animals that have mechanical parts and batteries.
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4 Ways to clean a stuffed animal

Here are four handy methods that will lead to a beautifully clean stuffed animal.

Method #1 How to clean a stuffed animal by hand

A clean stuffed animal is readily had by washing the plush, older, or super-dirty toy in a basin or a recently cleaned and disinfected sink which can be done using Jeyes Multi-Purpose Cleaning spray. Fill the sink with cool or lukewarm water and add a very small amount of mild dish soap. Mix well. Give the animal a thorough bath, using a soft cloth and a very soft bristled cleaning brush to lightly scrub out any stains. Wring out the soapy water and give it an equally gentle rinse. Wring out to dry in the sun or in a warm spot in the house.

Method #2 Clean stuffed animals without washing with water

We have heard that it is possible to clean stuffed animals with baking soda if you’re looking for a non-water way to remove dirt. Put the stuffed animal in a medium to large plastic bag. Add a handful of baking soda to the bag (you can also use salt for this). Shake the bag for 10 minutes and you will see the dirt, lint, and stains fall off into the bag. Take the stuffy out of the bag and comb or lightly brush off any remaining dirt!

Method #3 Clean stuffed toys with a lemon

Here is how to clean a stuffed animal that may have stains or has been dropped on the floor one too many times. Lammie-Lamb may be very old and has seen better days. Even hand washing may be too much for her. Sources claim that all you need to do is lay the cuddly toy out as flat as possible on a towel and take a good size slice of lemon and massage the stain or soiled area with the slice, wiping with a microfiber or soft cloth as you go. Rinse by blotting lightly with a clean non-abrasive sponge. Air dry.

Method #4 Machine wash your child’s stuffed animal

Check the label on the cuddly toy first. Machine drying is O.K. for some toys, though it’s not always the best option because many plush toys have glued-in or plastic parts that might not survive the high heat of a dryer. If you do choose to machine dry a stuffed animal, use the no- or low-heat setting. Hang out for a final cleansing air dry even after the machine dry is finished.

Quick disinfectant tips!

After the cuddly toy has been rinsed and is now drying out, take some disinfectant that’s gentle enough to be used on toys and give your nice clean stuffed animal a very light spray of it. Put in the sun to dry either outside in good weather (non-pollen days) or inside in a window area, where it will not be bothered for 72 hours. 

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to clean a stuffed animal. Don’t forget to check out our other cleaning tips such as how to clean a leather jacket, how to clean a lampshade and how to clean makeup brushes.