How to Wash Stuffed Animals Without Ruining Them: 4 Best Tips

Every child has at least one soft and snuggly companion that's been through every adventure and bedtime story. But over time, these cuddly creatures can accumulate dust, germs, and unexpected spills. 

This leaves most parents wondering: “Can I wash stuffed animals to keep them clean and safe for my little one to keep playing with?”

The answer is yes. And just like in travel and shopping, there is a way to wash stuffed animals that limits your carbon footprint.

In this article, we will guide you through the best way to clean stuffed animals. You’ll learn a few simple tips and tricks to ensure they come out of the wash just as soft and vibrant as before. 

How to Wash Stuffed Animals: 4 Steps for Cleaning Your Child’s Plush Friends in the Washer

When it comes to washing stuffed animals, like our cuddly Venture Plush, the process is really simple. By following a few easy steps, you can ensure your child's plushies stay clean for years to come.

Step 1: Check for Care Instructions

Always look for a care label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the stuffed animal can be machine washed, that will be your best bet.

Step 2: Pre-Treat Stains

If there are any visible stains, pre-treat them with a gentle stain remover before washing stuffed animals.

Step 3: Protect the Plush

Place the stuffed animal in a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect it during the wash.

Step 4: Select the Right Setting and Start

Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent when washing stuffed animals.

How Do You Clean Stuffed Animals That Are Not Machine Washable?

If you encounter a plushie that’s not suitable for the washing machine, don’t worry. There are other sustainable methods for cleaning stuffed animals that lead to a germ-free (and still fuzzy) result.

A gentle hand wash is often a great alternative to a machine—and in our opinion, it’s the best way to wash stuffed animals. Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of eco-friendly detergent. Submerge the stuffed animal, gently swish it around the water, and rinse thoroughly until all the soap is gone. Be careful not to twist or wring out the toy as this can damage its shape.

You can also try spot cleaning. Opt for eco-friendly cleaning solutions and use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away any dirt or stains. Always conduct a patch test on a discreet area to ensure the fabric remains unharmed.

Need to do a deeper clean? Consider washing stuffed animals using a green foam cleaner suitable for fabrics. Apply the foam, let it sit for a few moments, and then remove it with a damp cloth.

Preserving Your Child’s Plush Toys: How to Dry Stuffed Animals

After giving stuffed animals a thorough clean, the next crucial step is drying them.

Here are a few methods for drying your kids’ favorite plushies that preserve their longevity:

  1. Air Dry: Lay the stuffed animal flat on a clean towel, reshaping it to its original form. It's essential to regularly turn the plush toy to ensure even drying. Placing it near a fan or a well-ventilated area can speed up this process.
  2. Hang Dry: Using clothespins, you can hang the plush toy by its ears or limbs. Ensure it's not stretched or pulled out of shape. Gravity will help remove any excess water.
  3. Drying Rack: If you have a mesh drying rack, it can be an ideal place. The air circulation allows for even drying from all sides.

No matter which method you choose for drying after cleaning stuffed animals, always avoid placing stuffed animals in direct sunlight, as this can cause their colors to fade. Ensure the toy is completely dry before it's returned to its eager owner to avoid mold growth.

Can You Put Stuffed Animals in the Dryer?

While it might be tempting to use a dryer to speed up the drying process, this method can be risky. The heat from the dryer can damage the fabric, cause colors to fade, or even melt any plastic components.

Always check the care label on your plush toy before using this option. If the label says it's safe, use the lowest heat setting and place the toy in a pillowcase for added protection. Otherwise, it's best to stick to the previously mentioned safer drying methods.

A Final Note on the Best Way to Wash a Stuffed Animal

Knowing how to wash stuffed animals is crucial for maintaining their longevity and ensuring your child’s playmates remain in tip-top shape.The goal is to provide them with a gentle, thorough clean that preserves their condition for years to come.

At Fahlo, we can confidently say we know a thing or two about preservation. We’ve made it our mission to help protect the wildlife that inhabit our planet. 

When you purchase our products, like the Venture Plush or the equally impactful Venture Bracelet, you’re supporting our mission to conserve wildlife. Each plush and bracelet comes with a real polar bear to track, blending the tangible with the educational in hopes of sparking a lifelong love for nature in your child.

Join us in our journey towards a cleaner, greener, and more compassionate world. By choosing Fahlo, you're not just giving a gift, you're making a difference.

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