If you’ve ever witnessed the love of a child for their most cherished toy, you understand why it’s important to know how to clean stuffed animals. These toys, being the most loved, often become the most dirty.
Like delicate garments, some stuffed animals require great care when cleaning. Depending on the materials used to make the stuffed animal, you may not be able to drop it in the washer without consequences such as musty odor, stuffing that is no longer fluffy, torn stitching, or worse.
Supplies Needed For This Post
This Post Contains
- Is It Really That Dirty?
- What You’ll Need
- Get It Clean
- Getting It Dry
- Remove Any Remaining Moisture And Odor
- Before And After
- Supplies Used In This Post
Is It Really That Dirty?
You first need to determine what level of cleaning the toy requires and how long your child will accept being separated from it. If you know you don’t have much time, and the toy isn’t terribly dirty, try spot cleaning with a couple of drops of liquid laundry detergent on a damp white cloth. A colored cloth could potentially transfer dye to the toy.
If the toy requires more cleaning than a damp rag can offer, the instructions below on how to clean stuffed animals should help you preserve your little one’s constant companion while allowing you to keep it from becoming more filthy than you can tolerate.
How To Clean Stuffed Animals
What You’ll Need
- ½ tsp of liquid laundry detergent
I use ECOS Free and Clear detergent which is very mild and unscented. Unscented means no change to how the toy smells for your little one. [ECOS Free and Clear]
- Natural, or white, bristle nail brush
A toothbrush will work but could take significantly longer on a large toy. [Nail Brush]
- White towels
A white towel is preferred, as a colored towel could transfer dye to the toy. Depending on the size of the toy, more than one towel may be needed. [White Towels]
- Baking soda
Baking soda is excellent at drawing out moisture and odor. [Baking Soda]
Get It Clean
Pour about 2″ of warm water into a sink or tub with ½ teaspoon liquid laundry detergent. Hold the toy in the water, just deep enough to wet the surface, for a few seconds on each side.
Using a nail brush, gently brush the surface of the toy in one direction, then the other, on all sides. I don’t recommend brushing in a circular motion. A circular motion doesn’t work debris out of the nap of the material as well and it increases the chance of damaging the material or stitching.
After thoroughly brushing the toy, rinse with warm water, being careful not to saturate the toy.
Getting It Dry
Wrap the stuffed toy in a clean, white towel and gently press as much water out as you can. If the towel becomes saturated, grab another. You want to get as much of the water out as possible.
Hang the toy in a warm, dry location. If you hang the toy outside, it’s best to keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid fading. It may take several hours to dry.
Remove Any Remaining Moisture And Odor
After drying the toy, you’ll want to ensure there’s no remaining moisture or odor. In a zip baggy, or other sealable container, place the toy with 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup baking soda, depending on the size of the toy, and close the seal.
Gently turn and shake the container to coat the toy with the baking soda. Continue to shake and agitate to move the baking soda around the toy. When the toy is well covered, open the container to allow moisture to leave but keep the toy in the baking soda for at least an hour.
Outdoors or over a garbage can, remove the toy from the baking soda. Use the dry nail brush or your fingers to gently agitate and brush off the baking soda.