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How to Clean a Stuffed Animal

brown teddy bear with a brown bow hanging in the garden to get dry

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Clean stuffed toys are so important to your child’s health and safety! Washing a stuffed animal on a regular basis can be 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 the material, your health and the health of your children.
  • Always make sure both the inside and outside of the toy are dry to prevent mildew.
  • Use non-water cleaning methods for stuffed animals that have mechanical parts and batteries.

Four 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. 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 – Machine wash your child’s stuffed animal

Check the label on the stuffed animal first. Wash the animal with a mild detergent such as all® Free Clear on a cold, gentle cycle. Please note that machine drying may be OK 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 air dry even after the machine dry is finished.

Method #3 – Clean stuffed animals without using water

Cleaning stuffed animals with baking soda is a potential non-water way to get them clean. 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 stuffed animal out of the bag and comb or lightly brush off any remaining dirt!

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 wash your pillows, how to wash a hat and the best way to wash your car seats.

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