How to Clean Stuffed Animals
To a child, a well-loved stuffed animal is far more than just a toy. It’s a companion. A secret keeper. A playmate. A snuggle bug. But from a plush teddy bear that’s been dragged across one too many dusty floors and dirty playgrounds, to a cuddly elephant recently handled with spaghetti hands, those treasured stuffies pick up all the beautiful messes your kids get into.
We’re here to help you save the day with easy tips for how to clean stuffed animals, so the play never has to stop.
Before washing, follow these all-purpose tips for how to clean stuffed animals with all the TLC they deserve.
- Read usage instructions for any recommendations or washing instructions.
- Double-check to see if there are batteries or electronics. If so, hand wash by spot cleaning with a damp cloth.
- Give the toy a once over to make sure there are no visible rips or tears.
- Think about the size of the stuffed animal relative to your washer. If it’s a jumbo blue whale or a giant ape, we recommend handwashing or spot cleaning.
How to Machine Wash Stuffed Animals
- Double check the care label to ensure the stuffed animal is machine washable.
- Pre-treat any stains or heavily soiled areas by pouring on a small amount of plant-based laundry detergent. Let the detergent work for 5-10 minutes.
- Place the stuffed animal in a mesh bag to keep it safe in the wash. If you don’t own a washing bag, use a pillowcase loosely knotted.
- Wash on gentle using cold water laundry detergent. (Link opens in new window.)
- Air dry. We don’t recommend putting stuffed animals in the dryer as the heat can damage them—so can all that banging around!
How to Spot Clean Stuffed Animals
This is a great option for older or delicate stuffed animals, as well as those filled with rice or foam beads (such as Beanie Babies).
- Mix a teaspoon of mild detergent into one cup of cold water.
- Using a Q-tip or rag, test a small spot on the stuffed animal for color fastness.
- Dip a clean utility rag into the soapy mixture, then gently wipe the toy’s surface, repeating until the grime or dirt are only a memory.
- Use a dry cloth to blot away any soap reside or water.
And there you have it! Use these insider tips on how to clean stuffed animals to help nurture your child’s relationships with their favorite furry friends.