How to Wash Stuffed Animals Without Damaging Them? - Cleaning Plush Toy

There are three common ways to clean your stuffed animal plush toys, dry cleaning with baking soda or salt, machine washing or hand washing. It is necessary to choose a suitable method for cleaning according to the characteristics of different plush toys.

Knowing how to wash stuffed animals is important. A stuffed animal that’s well-cared for is likely to last longer, and we all know they’re members of the family after all.

Today, I will share some ways to clean your stuffed plush toys.

- Read the whole article for about 2-4 minutes.

How to Wash Stuffed Animals Without Damaging Them? - Cleaning Plush Toy


Preparations before cleaning stuffed animal plush toys

1. Check the Care Labels for Plush Toys

Before washing your plush doll, please check the care label of the plush toy. Usually, the care label will explain how to clean your plush toy.

 Care Labels for Plush Toys

 The first step is to know these care labels, so that you can clearly know whether your product can be washed by water or washing machine and other precautions, so that we can choose the correct way to clean our plush toys.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


2. Check whether the plush toy has a battery or a built-in circuit board

Please note that we do not recommend washing the plush toys by water with circuit boards or batteries directly, as this will destroy the function of the entire plush toy, below we explain how to clean this type of soft toy.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


3. Check the stuffing of plush toys

If your plush stuffed animal is filled with straw or bean shells, please do not use the washing method, these filler will lead to mildew and more bacteria after washing by water. If it is cotton or synthetic cotton, then this kind of filling can be washed with water, but it is necessary to consider whether the surface material can be washed, so first check the care label. 

In fact, plush toys stuffed with straw or bean shells are relatively low-quality plush toys. Regarding the quality identification of plush toys, we will introduce them in our article on how to choose best and safe plush toys.

The preparations before cleaning plush toys have been completed, and now we will introduce our three way of cleaning plush toys.


Dry cleaning method - Clean your stuffed animals smartly

- use baking soda or kosher/table salt

- Preparation: baking soda or coarse salt/edible salt (choose 1 from 2), plastic bags, dirty plush toys

Cleaning steps:

①Put the plush toy in a plastic bag, add baking soda or coarse salt/edible salt according to the volume of the plush toy, if the plush toy is particularly dirty, you can sprinkle baking soda or salt on the dirty place before putting it in the plastic bag (please note that you don't need to add too much baking soda or salt, usually you just need to ensure that the baking soda or salt can cover anywhere on the plush toy when shaking the bag).

② Shake vigorously so that the plush toy is completely covered with white baking soda (salt). - Then shake for about 3-5 minutes in total.

③ After finishing, take out the plush toy and pat off the baking soda (salt) on the plush toy, and then put it in a ventilated place for a few days. (Please note that the baking soda or salt on the plush toy must be removed here, otherwise some soda powder or salt will suddenly appear when you play with this plush toy later, which will affect your mood)

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


-Baking soda is tangsNaHCO3. Baking soda is placed in the air, which has the function of deodorizing and dehumidifying, and also has a strong decontamination ability, which can absorb the dirt on plush toys.

-Table salt - sodium chloride has a certain adsorption effect on dirt.

This cleaning method is suitable for plush toys that cannot be washed with water or plush toys with batteries, or some plush toys that act as decorations which can keep the plush toys themselves from being damaged, but it should be noted that we do not recommend that kind of animal pillows or those that plush toys that come into contact with your body, as there is a chance that residual baking soda or salt will get on your clothes or your bed sheets.


Washing Machine Cleaning Method - Give plush stuffed animal a bath!

-Please check the care label first to see if there is a sign that it can be washed in a washing machine

-What to Prepare: Laundry bag or pillowcase, plush toy to be washed

-Feel free to use your regular detergent when washing stuffed animals, or a mild detergent if you have it on hand.(Do not use bleach as it will damage the surface material of the plush toy)

-We recommend you use the gentle, hand wash or gentle cycle settings on your washing machine and use cold water to help prevent color run

-If your plush toys will lose color, please do not wash multiple plush toys together to avoid other plush toys being stained with other colors.

-If your plush toy has been with you for many years and some of its stitches have begun to age, then we do not recommend that you use machine washing to prevent your plush toy from being ripped during cleaning.

Cleaning steps:

 ① Before cleaning, in order to avoid damaging the plush toy, you can remove the detachable parts of the toy and clean them separately, such as the toy coat and scarf of the plush toy.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

②Put the toy in the laundry bag. If there is no laundry bag, you can use a pillowcase instead. The laundry bag or pillowcase should be large enough for the toy to have enough rolling space in the laundry bag, so that it can be washed more cleanly. (Do not add hot water, use the default cold water wash, hot water will destroy the polyester fiber)

③In order to avoid damaging the toys, choose the gentle laundry mode, and select the lowest speed for the dehydration mode. After cleaning, put the toy in a ventilated place to air dry (please note that it cannot be exposed to the sun, which will damage the surface material of the plush toy).

Normally, we recommend regular short plush plush toys and animal hugging pillows(such as a cute animal plush pillow that accompanies you to sleep) to be washed in a washing machine. This cleaning method will get your cuddly plush toy cleaned from every angle, just like you wash your intimate clothing.

It is a happyiness thing to fall asleep with your stuffed animal friend. Plush toys can actually bring you many unexpected benefits. View our How Stuffed Animals Help Everyone with Anxiety

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


Hand Wash Method - Make a SPA for stuffed animal plush toys

-There are two ways to wash plush toys by hand, the first is global cleaning, and the second is spot cleaning.

-Older or more fragile stuffed animals need a gentle wash in this way.

-This method is suitable for cleaning some plush toys that have been with you for many years (especially plush toys with aging/frayed fabrics), or some high-end plush toys that cannot be machine washed.

Preparation: Neutral laundry detergent + Dirty stuffed animal


1. Global Cleaning

① Soak the stuffed animal in cold water. Fill a bucket or sink with enough cold water to submerge the stuffed animal.(Do not use hot water)

② Add a small amount of neutral or mild detergent to the water, gently squeeze the stuffed animal to soak in the detergent, then use your hands or a soft brush to gently scrub your plush toy, targeting the stained areas Wash it several times.

③ Hold the stuffed animal under cold running water and squeeze it gently to rinse out the detergent, avoiding wringing. Please do not use too much force to squeeze out the water, otherwise it will easily damage the plush toy.

④Before drying the plush toy in a ventilated place, please wrap the plush toy in a clean dry towel, and let the dry towel absorb excess moisture from the plush toy. Then you can place the plush toy in a ventilated place to air dry, do not expose it directly to the sun.

How to Wash Stuffed Animals Without Damaging Them? - Cleaning Plush Toy


2. Spot Cleaned

-Stuffed animals with built-in battery packs, mechanical parts or metal should only be spot cleaned, as water may cause damage.

① Add a neutral or mild detergent to the basin(Please note that it needs to be harmless to the human body), and pour an appropriate amount of water in a certain proportion; use a general soft brush to stir the water in the basin to make it produce rich foam, and then use a soft brush to dip into the foam to clean Where the plush toy has stains. Brush it clean, being careful not to get too much water on the brush.

② After cleaning, use a wet towel moistened with clean water to wipe off the detergent remaining on the plush toy, repeat several times until it is completely wiped off, and then place the plush toy in a ventilated place to dry.

Clean Stuffed Animal


So far, we have explained 3 common ways to clean plush toys. These methods are dry clean with baking soda/salt, machine wash with neutral detergent or hand wash. If you choose dry cleaning, it is suitable for cleaning some plush toys that do not have frequent contact with the body or plush toys that are not suitable for washing. For plush toys that are often hugged, you can choose machine wash or hand wash.

Customers can choose the most suitable method to clean their plush toys according to these three methods.



1. Why do we need to wash our stuffed animal plush toys?

Many stuffed animal plush toys have been loved by many people for their cute shape, soft and comfortable feel.

But here comes the problem, plush toys are soft and plush, it is easy to absorb dust, and it is easy to get dirty after a long time of use. The whole stuffed plushies is accompanied by dirt and odor.

And these dust or bacteria or mites will eventually stick to our skin. If the plush toys are not cleaned regularly, the bacteria hidden in these plush toys may become a hidden danger to our health.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


2. Can a plush toy be dried in a dryer?

- Can be dried in a no-heat dryer.

Many people have doubts about how to dry the plush toys after washing, because many times the plush toys after washing will produce peculiar smell and mildew if they are not fully dried, which makes many people very distressed.

One of our customers once gave us a feedback after cleaning: ”The reason I avoid total immersion baptism is that I fear mold growing on the inside where it doesn't have a chance to dry as well as the exterior.“

Plush Toy

Therefore, we also learned through investigations that many customers have such troubles.

As for the dryer, it’s the same for micro plush and any synthetics, the heat ruins the fibers. The heat melts them, and makes them stiff and then they can’t be restored. So many ppl complain a quality item was no good after 1 wash.. bc they ruined it with too warm or hot water and a trip to the dryer. But cold or tepid water wash, and air circulation dryer with no heat, just air dry, won’t hurt them, if they aren’t delicate items like a doll with glass eyes.

So if you're going to use a dryer to dry your stuffed animals, use an air circulation dryer with no heat- just air dry.

So we have summarized a way to dry plush toys that is more suitable for most people:

Dryer on no-heat setting for about 30 minutes or so (enough to feel somewhat dry) then place in front of a high-powered fan overnight to help dry up any residual moisture inside the plush. Also, you can tell by weight if your plush is still a bit damp on the inside. - The advantage of using an air dryer is that it can air dry the part that is too wet in advance.

Of course, if you don’t use a dryer, you can also directly place it in a ventilated place to air dry naturally, or place it in front of a high-power industrial fan to air dry.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals


3. How often should you clean your stuffed animal plush toys?

-Once a month

It's always good to wash stuffed animals monthly if you sleep with them.

If the stuffed animal plush toy sits on a shelf most of the time, you don't need to clean it as frequently, but we also suggest that when you notice some dust on the surface of these decorative plush toy, it's time to give them a bath.


4. Do I need to wash the newly bought stuffed animal plush toys?

Yes, although the newly-purchased plush toys look very clean on the surface, it is inevitable that there will be chemical residues on the surface during the process of leaving the factory and transportation, and there are a lot of bacteria and dust invisible to the naked eye.

So we think that you need to wash the plush toys you just received, you can wash your new stuffed animal plush toys by machine washing or hand washing.(Especially plush toys for babies) - The way how to clean plush toys can be found from our above article and choose the appropriate method.

If you don't want your new plush toy to be damaged due to washing, we have also compiled some answers from Babycenter users for your reference:

MandaJean2016: I've never considered washing new stuffed animals. I wouldn't worry about it. If your concerned maybe hang it up in the sun for a while.

kiyda: I wet a rag with hot water & soap & clean them like that then just air dry them.

Tamiikaa: Yes, I always wash everything of hers before she gets it, if it's not washable I wipe down. I don't have a dryer so I line dry them or put them on a clean towel in the sun on my veranda.

Therefore, if you don't want to wash your new plush toys, you can hang the new plush toys in the sun for 30-60 minutes, which can remove the bacteria and odor of the new plush toys.(Please avoid prolonged exposure to the hot sun)

Cleaning Plush Toy

The article ends everywhere, thanks for reading.

Please note that KEAIART does not take responsibility for damage done by following any of these cleaning methods.

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