Whether you’re somebody who enjoys collecting vintage toys, and sprucing them up, or you just have a favorite teddy bear that’s been in the family for years, washing plush toys takes a certain amount of skill.
The worst fear of course, is placing your furry friend in the washing machine, only to remove them looking disheveled and unkempt.
Don’t worry though, because there are some ways that you can avoid this, and get your plush looking spick and span.
To find out more about cleaning your plush toy, keep reading, as we take a closer look below.
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Different Methods For Washing Your Plush Toy
So, most plush toys can actually be put safely in the washing machine. But, this doesn’t mean simply throwing them in and hoping for the best.
There are a few key steps that you need to follow to make sure that you don’t ruin them in the process.
First of all, you should make sure to check that they are indeed washer safe. You’ll be able to determine this simply by looking at their label.
If your furry friend can indeed be put in the washing machine, then you can go ahead and start the process.
Begin by placing the toy in a mesh laundry bag, this will help to prevent your toy from being tumbled around and disheveled in the process.
If you don’t have a mesh laundry bag, don’t worry, a simple pillowcase will do the job nicely too.
Place your toy carefully within the pillowcase, and fold it until it’s closed so that it doesn’t fall out. You can also use a stocking to protect your toy, but we’d recommend the previous two methods above this.
After you’ve done this, you should be careful about the setting you choose for your toy.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that it’s on a cold setting. Washing your plush toys in a warm setting may cause their dye to run, and make them look faded.
Choose any type of delicate setting, hand wash would be great for this purpose.
After you’ve done this, you can go ahead and put your regular laundry detergent in. You don’t want to put too much in, as you don’t want the scent to be overpowering on your toy.
Finally, after they’re done washing, you can hang them up with some pegs so that they can air dry. Do not put your stuffed toys in the dryer, as this could mess up their fur.
Washing By Hand
If your toy isn’t washer safe, or you’re just nervous about cleaning them in this way, you can wash them by hand too. Doing so is incredibly easy, and won’t take up much of your time.
In order to wash your toys by hand, we’d recommend filling up your sink with cold water.
After you’ve done this, place a little bit of laundry detergent into the mix. Swirl this around a little, so that it’s mixed in with the water.
After you’ve filled up your bowl, you can then begin to hand wash your toy.
Remember that the method you use to hand wash your toy will be very different from clothing. With clothing we tend to rub quite roughly, but this won’t be beneficial for your stuffed animals.
You should always be careful, because if they’re especially old, you could risk tearing the seams if you’re rubbing too hard.
Instead, we recommend fully submerging them in the water, then after you’ve done this, squeezing them gently.
After you’ve done this, and you’re satisfied that your toy is clean, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve gotten rid of all of the excess detergent in their fur.
You can do this simply by running the cold water tap after you’ve drained the skin, then hold them under the flowing water.
As you hold them underneath the water, be sure to squeeze them at intervals to let out the laundry detergent.
As we mentioned before, we want to avoid harsh handling, so make sure that you’re not wringing them.
Finally, after you’ve gotten rid of the detergent, you can simply squeeze them gently to get rid of excess water. They’re then best left to hang dry in the open air.
Cleaning Plush Toys That Aren’t Water Safe
Some plush toys, for whatever reason, just aren’t safe to be submerged and cleaned in water (see also ‘How Do I Make A Plushie?‘).
This can be frustrating if your furry friend is looking a bit worn. But don’t worry, there is something that you can do about it.
Many people who have plush toys that aren’t water safe will simply do something called ‘spot cleaning’. This is a very easy and effective way to clean your plush animals without ruining them in the process.
In order to spot clean your toys, all you’ll need is some clear dish detergent, and some cold water.
Mix a small amount of the dish detergent into the cold water until it’s slightly bubbly, then go ahead and dip a small rag, or cotton wool bud in the water.
You can then use this to clean areas of your toy that are looking particularly worn, and target problem areas.
Use a clean cloth with just a tiny amount of water on it to wash away the dish detergent mix afterward.
To sum up, there are a few different ways of cleaning your stuffed toys. One of the most effective ways is placing them in a pillow on a gentle setting in the washing machine.
You can also wash them by hand in a cold bowl or water, or just do some simple spot cleaning.