How to Wash a Stuffed Animal Toy

Stuffed animals are soft and cuddly, but they can also accumulate dirt, dust, and bacteria over time. So its important to pry them away from their possessive owners to ensure they get a good clean. 

First here’s how to distract a child so you can get the much-loved stuffie into a washing machine and dryer for an hour. Then we’ll show you how to wash the toy.

  1. Start by offering  an alternative toy: Give your child a new or different toy to play with while you wash their stuffed animal. Offer a toy that your child has not seen before or one that they have not played with in a while.
  2. Engage them in an activity: Involve your child in a fun activity that they enjoy, such as coloring, painting, or playing with play-doh. This will distract them from the fact that their stuffed animal is being washed.
  3. Sing a song or tell a story: Singing a song or telling a story can be an effective way to distract a child while a second parent sneaks off to wash their stuffed animal. Choose a favorite song or story to keep your child entertained and engaged.
  4. Play a game: Play a simple game with your child, such as “I Spy” or “Simon Says.” This will keep them occupied and distracted while your co-conspirator parent washes their stuffed animal.
  5. Offer a treat: Offer your child a small treat or snack that they enjoy, such as a piece of fruit, a cookie, or a favorite snack. This will provide a positive distraction while you wash their stuffed animal.
  6. Late night wash: After the child falls asleep sneak the toy away and wash it and return it before they wake up the next morning.

Once you have the stuffie toy in hand, here are some steps to follow to wash a stuffed animal safely:

  1. Check the Care Label: Look for the care label on the stuffed animal to see if there are any special instructions for washing. If there is no label, assume that the toy should be washed on a gentle cycle.
  2. Remove Loose Dirt: Before washing, remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the stuffed animal by gently brushing or shaking it.
  3. Pre-treat Stains: If there are any stains on the stuffed animal, use a mild stain remover or laundry detergent to pre-treat them before washing.
  4. Wash in Cold Water: Place the stuffed animal in a mesh laundry bag and wash it in cold water on a gentle cycle. Avoid using hot water, as this can damage the fabric and stuffing.
  5. Use Mild Detergent: Use a mild laundry detergent or a specialty cleaner designed for stuffed animals. Avoid using fabric softener, bleach, or other harsh chemicals.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: After washing, rinse the stuffed animal thoroughly to remove any remaining detergent or residue.
  7. Air Dry: To dry the stuffed animal, gently press out any excess water and place it in a well-ventilated area to air dry. You can use a dryer for efficiency but use a cooler setting as heat can damage the fabric and stuffing.
  8. Brush the Fur: Once the stuffed animal is dry, use a soft brush to fluff up the fur and restore its original shape.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively clean your child’s favorite stuffed animal, ensuring it stays soft and cuddly for years to come.

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