How to Clean Stuffed Toys


Authored by Michelle Fairbrother in Toys and Games 
Published on 10-23-2009

Anyone with children knows how disgustingly dirty stuffed toys can get after being dragged around for months at a time. Not only is it a hard thing to look at with grime covering them but also there is the issue of all the bacteria that has collected on those adorable little toys which can really be a problem. All stuffed toys should be washed on a regular basis in order to keep them clean. This also ensures that the little ones aren’t snuggling into their favorite blankie that may look clean, but which is actually covered in dust mites and viruses.

Even just sitting around idly a stuffed toy can get dusty and dirty so it is important to make it a regular routine to clean all the stuffed toys in the home. All toys should be cleaned thoroughly, but especially those that the children will be playing or sleeping with. There are also adults that collect stuffed toys. Again, even though these toys will only be on display and will not be played with, over time dirt will build up.

There are a few different methods that can be used for cleaning stuffed toys. Of course the easiest way is to just pile a load into the washing machine and let it do all the work. Most stuffed toys are pretty plain and don’t have any ribbons, bows or other pieces that will have to be taken off. If there are any, it is usually very easy to remove clothing and accessories. You can keep them in a small container in the laundry room where they will stay until they can be put back on after the stuffed toys have been washed and dried.

One tip that some people swear by is to put the stuffed toys into a mesh bag or pillowcase before throwing them into the washing machine. This is supposed to help by keeping the toys together and ensuring that they do not get too roughhoused while going through the wash. Just keep in mind that some stuffed toys are not good with water. For the thicker stuffed toys and those that seem quite delicate, throwing them in the washing machine will probably not be the best idea.

For these situations there is another method of washing stuffed toys that works quite well. This method involves a plastic bag and some baking soda. Most people already have these around the home which makes it convenient. Place a stuffed animal into a large sized plastic bag, pour in some baking soda and shake the bag until the stuffed toy is completely covered. Use that Shake n’ Bake chicken from last night as the perfect example of how to do this. The baking soda should be left on the stuffed toy for about a half hour and can then be dusted off with a damp cloth. This is a great way of washing stuffed toys because it not only kills bacteria but as well it leaves the stuffed toys smelling fresh and clean.

For spots or stains rubbing alcohol is usually the best ingredient to use. With a Q-tip or rag the alcohol can be applied and then rubbed in circular motions onto the stuffed toy and any stains should come right off. It is always best to check the care instructions on stuffed toys before deciding which method to use to clean them. The last thing that any parent wants is to ruin their child’s favorite stuffed animal and some stuffed toys require special care. It is important to take note of what material a toy is made out of before trying to clean it. Most stuffed toys are made with synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and modacrylic.

Stuffed toys are always a favorite for children and as long as they are kept clean they will last a lifetime. Most children have that favorite stuffed toy that they cherish and love through childhood and as long as it is washed on a regular basis, at least once every few months or so, it will be relieving knowing that they are not pulling around a sack of bacteria. Cleaning stuffed toys is very easy but must be made a routine chore because it can be so easy to forget about them.


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