Washing Tips for Stuffed Animals

Washing Tips for Stuffed Animals

If you have children you are bound to have bins full of stuffed animals.  My children have quite a few, but they love and play with them.  They of course have their favorites and usually those stuffed animals get dragged all over the house picking up the dirt and grime.  I have washed a couple hundred stuffed animals because of my kids being sick and when I also sold on eBay stuffed animals were one of my top sellers.

What types of stuffed animals can NOT be washed?

  • Stuffed animals with computerized parts or the animals you squeeze a hand or foot to make a sound or move.
  • Stuffed animals with music boxes are tricky, because when I sold the stuffed animals on eBay I did wash any plush with music boxes inside and most of the time they survived.  It is a toss-up on whether you care if the stuffed animal gets musically ruined verses clean.
  • Very old or well-loved stuffed animals – we have several of these kind of stuffed animals that are 30 and 40 years old from my husband’s and my childhood.
  • Any stuffed animal with parts that are not sewn on, but glued like clothing pieces, jewelry, shoes, hats, or hair.
  • My daughter has several girly stuffed animals with lace, sequins, and glitter that cannot be washed.
  • Stuffed animals with Styrofoam stuffing similar to what is found in bean bags.

Washing Tips for Stuffed Animals

How to wash your stuffed animals:

Place your stuffed animal in a pillow case or lingerie laundry bag this will help to not scratch the eyes and if you have an agitator rip off any limbs or tails.

I have a high-efficiency (HE) front loader machine with no agitator which is better for your stuffed animals because of the wear and tear agitation can do.  If you do not have a HE machine like me and worry about your stuffed animals I would take your stuffed friends to a local coin laundry business and use one of their washing machines.

When it comes to detergent I use whatever I normally use on my clothes.  I have washed my stuffed animals with home made powder laundry detergent or commercial brands like HE Tide Free and Clear.   If you have a very special stuffed animal you worry about I would probably only surface clean or use Woolite.

Washing Tips for Stuffed Animals

When I wash stuffed animals I always do it on cold because I do not want colors to bleed.  Depending on the animal I may wash it on gentle, but most of the time I do it on a normal cycle.

Washing your stuffed animals is not hard and I recommend washing them at least once a year especially if your children play with them.  When finished hang them to dry or lay on a laundry rack.  Depending on the fabric or faux fur of your animal it may or may not look the same, but a cleaner toy pet is a better than a dirty one in my opinion.

Hope my washing tips for stuffed animals helps you take the guess work of how to do it and may your stuffed animals be clean.  Have you seen my post on How to Get Pee Stains Out of a Mattress this is another great post for those messes children can make in their beds.

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Amee

I am Amee, a housewife, mother, food lover, and DIY cleaner. I am a special needs parent and a woman's health advocate. I love my cats, shoes, chocolate, and Superman.
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Comments

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      Glad I can be of help! Thank you for taking the time to comment it is fun to see people be able to use what I post. Hope your stuffed animals will be cleaner and happier too.

      Hugs,

      Amee

  1. says

    When I wash a stuffed animal that I’m leery to put in the dryer, I put it in for an hour or two on the No Heat setting. That way it tumbles and blows around but without the heat to damage it. This also helps the fur to fluff back up so it looks brand new again afterwards. When I don’t feel like running the dryer that long for stuffed animals, I set them on top of a register/vent to dry. That works really well if your air conditioner or furnace are running a lot or if you have your furnace fan turned on to run all the time.

    • says

      Hi Lynnette,

      Thank you for those helpful tips that is a good idea without the heat setting and also using your furnace heat air.

      Thanks,

      Amee

  2. Gretchen says

    I’ve actually dried several of my ‘stuffies’ in the drier with great results. The key for me is to put them in a pillow case. I either pin the top of the pillow case closed or else use 2 pillow cases (one from the top / one from the bottom – overlapping each other and maybe even pin them together) and I just throw them in. I even use heat. They come out just like new. I was SO scared the first time I tried it, because I’d seen other stuffies ruined in the drier, but this has worked beautifully.

  3. Mary Jane says

    Was interested in cleaning white stuffed animal that has a computer inside. I believe it’s a leap frog product. It’s obvious it can not go in washer but was wondering if you had any ideas. Have a nice day.
    Thank You
    MJ

    • says

      Hi Mary Jane,

      Sorry for my late response been in the middle of a move. I would a damp cloth or clean sponge and lightly rub the outside fur of the animal. I would do this over and over until you got the animal to the way you want it. You could also spray it down with a spray bottle with peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda ration 1 to 1 as well. Amee

  4. Rachel says

    For computerised animals you can pop them on a plastic sheet and spray them down with a steam cleaner appliance. It blasts off the surface dirt but doesn’t go deep enough to ruin the wiring. You can also do hard plastic toys with computer parts in. Just make sure you hold them in such a way that the water runs off not into the gaps.

  5. Marie says

    I have washed things stuffed with the little pellets (animals, pillows) and they come out fine. The key (I think) is I put them in a pillow case. That way IF they bust OH NO the stuffing is in the case not your washer. Then I air dry in the sun if possible.

    • says

      Yep washing them in a pillow case is another great way and unless the pellets are foamy type material it should not be an issue. I guess you won’t know until you try . :) Amee

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