Cleaning Stuffed Animals
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Cleaning Stuffed Animals
Do you have a good recommendation for cleaning stuffed animals?
Ours are not exactly stained, but are looking rather grimy a
few years later and my daughter doesn't seem ready to part with
them for some time to come. I'm hoping for an easy-to-get
product - something that doesn't have to be mail ordered with
extra shipping/handling or minimum order amounts.
I've had great luck just throwing stuffed animals in the washing
machine with the sheets and towels. For the ones with parts
(like wind-up music) I just wash them by hand with Woolite and
am careful not to submerge them. I typically just put them in
the dryer too. Haven't had any ruined loved ones yet!
Both my kids have had stuffed animals that have been loved into
horrible, occasionally smelly, condition. We have always put
them in a pillowcase, tied it with a twist tie, and tossed it
into the washer, then the dryer. (A trick recommended by a store
where one was bought.) The loveys have survived many such
washings, and have always come out fine and smelling a whole lot
Many stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine with
ordinary detergent and then air dried. Start with the
gentle/delicate cycle and cold water and don't mix cotton-covered
animals of different colors (in case the dyes run). Make sure the
filling can get wet. I wash the polyester-covered-and-filled
animals in hot along with any other clothes.
I threw all my son's stuffed animals in the washing
machine, even though every label said not to, and dried
them on hot at the laundromat (really hot). The only serious
casualty was a lion with a long, soft mane. The mane came
out permanently densely ratted. It might have been fine in a
home dryer on medium heat. I don't recommend doing
what I did (laundromat dryer on hot) but I'd do it again with a
home machine, keeping an eye on them, turning it down to
medium after awhile. They were all the usual, squishy type,
and the ALL had dire warnings against anything more than
a damp cloth.
Does anyone have any fancy tricks for cleaning well-loved stuffed
animals that are surface wash only? I've heard something about
cornstarch, but haven't a clue how to go about this. Thanks.
re: cleaning ''surface wash only'' stuffed animals.
Use the washing machine and dryer. My son spit up a lot. I mean a
_lot_. I decided that surface washing just wasn't going to cut it
and machine washed all his surface wash only stuffed animals. The
ones with the crinkling sounds - like w/ paper inside - no longer
crinkled, but the rest were fine. I must say i didn't have or
wash any with anything fragile seeming. There are no guarantees,
but realize that they might be just fine. Good luck!
I ignored the tags that said ''surface wash only'' and threw all
the used stuffed animals that I was given into the washing
machine, using warm water and a scoop of Oxy-Clean along with
the laundry detergent. Thus far, every stuffed animal I've
tried this with has survived and looked almost like new.
Does anyone know a good way to thoroughly clean stuffed animals
and cloth toys that are marked "surface washable only"? My
9-month-old teeths on everything, and I'm trying to find a non-toxic,
but fairly thorough way to clean her cloth books, stuffed animals,
If your child hasn't already attached to one specific stuffed animal,
try allergycontrol.com. They have stuffed animals designed to be
washed in hot water.
I have frequently put in "surface washable only" animals in the washer
and had no problem, as long as they were well-constructed to start
I have a 30-year-old stuffed animal that I want to pass down to my son, but
I'm having a hard time cleaning it. I handwashed it first, but the water
turned so brown that I felt I needed to machine wash it, and now I can't get
it dry. I started off tumbling it on no heat and then moved on to full blast
for almost an hour, but the stuffing still feels heavy like it's wet inside
and seems like it's starting to come loose a little. Now, after taking a hair
dryer to it and letting it sit out for several days, it smells a little
mildew-y. I'd really like this special toy to be played with, not put on a
shelf, but I don't want to give it to my baby if it's unsafe. Should I dry
clean it? What about the chemicals? If I do need to store it, is there some
way to keep it pristine?
The easiest thing to do is to cut a seam, remove all the old stuffing (which
probably isn't very nice after all this time) and restuff it with fresh (you
can also get non-mildew stuffing to avoid this problem in the future). That
will make it like new without taking away it's charm.
Since the issue seems to be the stuffing, have you thought of restuffing
Perhaps you can find where on the seam the last stitches were done,
carefully take enough of the stitches out to get the old stuffing out,
and put in new clean stuffing. It may not look exactly the same as
before, but you won't have the mildew concerns.
this page was last updated: Nov 13, 2005
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