How to Easily Clean Plush and Stuffed Animals

  • By: Mohammed Zeliche
  • Date: November 10, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Are your stuffed animals a little too dusty? Or maybe they have a few stains that you need to get out before giving them to someone else? No worries! We’re going to walk you through the process of how to clean plush and stuffed animals.

Have you ever had a stuffed animal that has become so dirty and smelly? The best way to clean it is to fill the washer with hot water, add dish soap or laundry detergent, and let your teddy bear soak for half an hour. Afterward, place the teddy bear in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. Then throw him into a plastic bag and store him away! If he’s still not smelling fresh enough then repeat this process two more times.

What are Stuffed animals?

Plushies, or stuffed animals, are soft toys that are made of cloth or plush fur. These toys can resemble animals, cartoons, or other things like food and sports equipment. They’re usually produced in factories using sewing machines.

Stuffed animals can be mass-produced using cheap materials, but they can also be handmade by skilled craftspeople. They’re often given as gifts to children on special occasions like birthdays or baby showers. Sometimes adults keep these toys around for decoration purposes while others reserve them for their kids only.

Advantages of Stuffed Animals

People who own plushies claim that there are several advantages to owning them:

  • Makes us feel safe – Too many people, stuffed animals represent safety because it reminds them of their childhood. When we see stuffed animals, it makes us feel like we’re protected by the people that love us most.
  • Help kids develop social circles – Plushies can help children make friends at school and in the neighborhood. Because of this, there are several schools that encourage teachers to allow students to keep these toys with them during class.
  • Come in handy when saving lives – Some hospitals include stuffed animals among their equipment including beds and bandages because they’re effective tools for comforting young patients during times of anxiety or distress.

Easily Clean Stuffed Animals:

Brown Bear Plush Toy

Stuffed animals are often prone to become dirty since they’re used throughout the day for playing, cuddling, or just sitting around while waiting for their owners to come home. When they’re dirty, it’s important that you clean them to prevent possible damage to the toy. Here are some ways on how to easily clean plushies:

Don’t wash your stuffed animals in a washing machine because it can cause fabric damage or even tearing. Instead, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and soft bristles to remove dust particles.

Take out any removable parts like eyes and noses before placing the stuffed animal in the washer because these parts might fall off in case the toy is not washed properly. Remember not to put too many clothes in there since this can reduce cleaning efficiency.

Hang dry your plushie instead of putting it in the dryer especially when it contains foam beads or items that are not water-resistant.

Wash plushies with other clothes to prevent color bleeding. If you accidentally put a plushie in the washer with colored clothes, then it’s best if you wash the toy separately for one time only.

For darker stuffed animals, clean them using clothes that are slightly dampened with either warm water or mild soap then wipe the dirt off before placing them in the dryer. You can also include paper towels when cleaning dark toys because this will absorb any excess moisture and prevent discoloration due to prolonged exposure to heat from your machine.

Do not use fabric softener when drying your stuffed animal because this might cause stiffness on its fur and even damage its material.

Use distilled water when washing stuffed animals to prevent the build-up of minerals over time. Minerals can damage fabrics especially if you’re using a front load washer.

Since plush toys are usually stored away from direct sunlight, it is best to use a sunblock or mild soap to help prolong the life of your toy. These tools will not cause discoloration and will keep their softness intact for months!

When cleaning a plushie that contains foam beads, gently vacuum it first then wipe off dust with a damp cloth before placing them in the dryer. If there are some stains on the fur that don’t come off after vacuuming, lightly dampen a sponge with soapy water and massage it on the area where the stain is until the dirt comes off.

When cleaning stuffed animals with spots that need to be spot-treated, carefully use a mild soap and clean the area using a sponge or cloth. For tough stains, dampen a Q-tip and rub it on the stained area in small circles until the dirt is removed. Do not rub too much in one spot since this might cause tearing in the fabrics and seams of your plushie!

If the stuffed animal is dry clean only like Beanie Boos like Teddy Ruxpin or Popples, make sure to follow instructions provided by its producer. If it does not say whether it’s dry clean only, then you can choose between using the washing machine or the dryer. Choose the method that’s convenient for you and still won’t damage your toy!

A stuffed animal is a child’s best friend because it has an adorable face and soft fur like a real pet. However, it can get dirty and contaminated with allergens and dust particles over time if not cleaned regularly. 

If this happens, then all those things could end up staying in their fur which might cause health problems to children especially those who suffer from asthma or allergies. Dirt and dust might even accumulate inside the toy-like beanie boos, making it unsanitary as well as unpleasant to look at.

Dust accumulates more between sections of plush fabric so regular cleaning will help keep them free from allergens. Not only will this benefit your child, but also the environment since dust is an environmental pollutant that harms plants and animals when it settles on the ground.

Allergens in plush toys can be dangerous to infants or toddlers so frequent cleaning of their toys must be enforced. This way, you’ll prevent them from ingesting allergens that might cause respiratory problems for babies!

Stuffed animals should not just be limited to children because adults collect these items too. If they’ve got expensive pieces like Beanie Boos or Lalaloopsy, then it is best to keep them clean and well taken care of to improve their resale value or even use them as a decoration at home!

Cleaning Stuffed Animals by Machine:

Use a mesh laundry bag when washing plushies in the washing machine. This will prevent them from getting caught on other pieces or items in the washer and protect your expensive toys from being ripped apart!

If you’re going to wash a stuffed animal by machine, it is best to use a gentle cycle with cold water because this will prevent melting the fur of your toy which might happen if you choose a hot setting. Infrequent spin cycles are also important for preventing damage to its seams.

When drying stuffies that contain foam beads like Beanie Boos, make sure that they are not completely dry when removed from the dryer or else their stuffing may fall out! As soon as they feel slightly damp, remove them immediately and let them air-dry thoroughly on a flat surface.

If your stuffed toy is dry clean only like Beanie Boos like Teddy Ruxpin or Popples, make sure to follow instructions provided by its producer. If it does not say whether it’s dry clean only, then you can choose between using the washing machine or the dryer. Choose the method that’s convenient for you and still won’t damage your toy!

Cleaning stuffed animals by hand:

If you do not wish to use the washing machine, then simply wash them all by hand instead! Use lukewarm water with mild soap or dishwashing liquid which will remove all dirt, grime, and dust without destroying their seams. Toy stuffing might also come loose if too much stress is exerted on the toy. Rinse thoroughly and wipe excess water with a sponge or towel to prevent mildew from forming on your toy.

Let plushies hang dry naturally in a well-ventilated area but check for mold regularly since this can grow even while damp! You may also choose to use a hairdryer set on its lowest heat setting if you’re in a hurry, just make sure it is held at least 6 inches away from the object so that the material won’t melt or catch fire!


It has been a long day. You are looking forward to cuddling with your new toy, but it is covered in cat fur and there are dust bunnies on its feet. There are many ways you can clean stuffed animals, but the easiest way may be just throwing them into the washing machine! Let us know how this article helped you out or if you have any other questions about cleaning push or stuffed animals by commenting below.

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