Cleaning Stuffed Animals

Cleaning stuffed animals is an inevitability. Children carry their favorite plush toys everywhere. This constant companionship will result in some dust, dirt, and stains. The good news is, more and more manufacturers are making machine washable stuffed animals. The bad news is, if the stuffed animal is older, like a family heirloom, this might approach will not work.

Stuffed Animals on a Clothesline

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

We get a lot of questions every day from our customers. One of the most common questions is, “What is the best approach to cleaning stuffed animals?”. Their circumstances vary, as some are talking about dust, others hard stains. This article will give you some common methods to keep your child’s favorite plush toy fresh and clean.


Let’s face it; dust is everywhere. Stuffed animals are made with a polyester/cotton blend fabric. These fabrics have a tendency to collect dust. If it’s lighter in color, say a tan teddy bear, eventually enough will collect that the color distorts. We recommend using a light brush or dust cloth to loosen it from the fabric. Then, if you have a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, periodically use it to collect the dust. Vacuum cleaning stuffed animals with long fur is not the best approach. Too much suction could separate the plush fur from the stuffed animal.


This is the method we recommend most-highly as it is the least destructive to the plush. If it’s a small spot or stain, you can use warm water, diluted liquid soap, and a small gentle brush. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove any residual detergent. Try club soda if you’re worried that soap will damage the plush. If it’s a tough stain, try an oxygen-based stain remover like OxiClean.

Baking Soda

If the problem is not stains, but odor, you can sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda over the stuffed animal. Put it inside of a pillow case or plastic bag, shake, and leave for about a half hour or so. This will absorb the oil on the plush and help eliminate the odor. Wipe the powder off with a damp paper towel.

Professional Dry Cleaning

If the stuffed animal is irreplaceable, either because it’s personalized or has been discontinued by the manufacturer, consider dry cleaning. Many professional dry cleaners will take care to remove any stains without risking damaging the plush with detergent or water. This will cost more than a do-it-yourself method, but is worth it to protect something of great sentimental value.

If you have an questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. For more in depth information on cleaning stuffed animals you can visit the help section of our website. Once you are doing cleaning your stuffed animals check out these great ways to display them!

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  1. February 15, 2017
    • February 28, 2017

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