How to Wash Stuffed Animals and Plush Dolls

If your household is filled with Teddy Bears and Squishy marshmallow type stuffed animals and plush dolls, then you know just how much grime and dirt your children’s toys can collect. From daycare to parks and restaurants, they go everywhere. That’s why it’s important to periodically clean them, eliminate germs, and bring them back to life.

Before washing, make sure to look at the stuffed toy’s care label for additional instructions about the fabric and materials. If it’s extremely delicate, you may want to wash it by hand. If it’s approved for machine washing, feel free to.

Washing Machine

The washing machine should be avoided if you’re dealing with stuffed toys that have glued-on eyes or plastic parts—delicate toys can get damaged in the washing machine. Avoid premature wear and tear by considering the use of a laundry detergent that’s mild, gentler, or for sensitive skin. Then, get a mesh bag or pillow case to put the stuffed toys into to provide additional protection.

Next, use a gentle or delicate washing cycle with cold water. Normal cycles and warmer water should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. This process should eliminate germs, clean stains, and help ensure your stuffed toys last longer than ever. Looking for a more tailored treatment for your stuffed toys? Say hello to our TR product line. These models employ the Speed Queen® Perfect Wash™ system, which gently removes stains while also taking better care of fabrics.

For drying, it’s recommended to air dry stuffed toys to further reduce potential wear. However, if you’re in a pinch and need to use the dryer, use the most delicate cycle and set the temperature as low as possible—high temperatures can melt plastic parts or even burn the material. Finally, you might want to consider letting it dry in front of a fan to remove even more moisture.

Hand Wash

For those delicate (or really old) stuffed toys, it’s best to head over to the sink for a hand washing session. Fill up your sink with cool water and make use of a mild laundry detergent. Submerge the stuffed toys into the soapy water and gently squeeze them underwater to ensure soap is permeating throughout them. Again, you’re probably hand washing because you’re dealing with a delicate toy, so make sure you’re being careful with it.

Afterwards, rinse with cold water and squeeze (do not wring as this can cause damage) the detergent out. Pat with a dry towel, then let air dry. Feel free to consider the use of a fan to further remove moisture and ensure mildew doesn’t form.

Ready to play!

After giving the stuffed toys enough time to dry out, it’s time to let the fun begin again! Enjoy!