stuffed animals with bubbles and soak in the water

How to Clean Stuffed Animals for Different Materials [Full Guide]

easy ways to wash stuffed animals

Stuffed toys hold a special place in our hearts as they grow up with us and may even be cherished gifts.I have a large collection of stuffed animals, and keeping them clean and beautiful is a significant concern for me. In this article, I have categorized the stuffed animals based on the materials used to make them. Different cleaning methods apply to different materials, and I hope that this article will help those of you who are also passionate about stuffed animals.

Method 1: How to Clean Plushies Made of Acrylic Fiber

Nowadays, many dolls are made from a soft and fluffy material called "plush". It's perfect for making stuffed animals that feel like they're alive. Plush is usually made from special fibers called "acrylic", which are really soft and light. It's great to touch and feels like natural cotton. Plus, it's easy to keep clean because it doesn't get wet or dirty easily. You can just clean it with common detergent.
wash stuffed animals by washing machine


1. Washing machine: When it comes to cleaning plushies, most of them can be washed in a washing machine. To determine if your stuffed animal can be washed in a machine, check the care tag attached to it. You can also visit the manufacturer's website for additional washing instructions and recommendations.

2. Dryer: If you want to get a clean and dry doll in no time, you can use a dryer to help you.

3. Drying racks:  You can choose the ideal drying rack based on the size and weight of your plushy.

4. Laundry detergent:  As plushies made of acrylic fiber are good at resisting acids and alkalis, a normal detergent is usually enough. Of course, you can also buy special detergent.

Important Tips for Washing Acrylic Fiber Stuffed Animals with a Washer

You can refer to the following important tips on how to clean plushies to complete the cleaning process. Make your plush toys look new again!
  • Water temperature control: To ensure that long-pile acrylic plush toys do not become distorted when washing them, use a low water temperature. Control the water temperature for the best results.
  • Choice of programme: choose a gentle, or wool, option to avoid cracking of the stitching during the wash.
  • Prohibition of tumble drying: this function of the washing machine should be avoided, as the stuffing in stuffed animals can distort or swell during the tumble drying process. Instead, you can use squeeze and drain or air dry.
  • Choice of drying: low-temperature drying could be used when drying, as high temperatures can lead to deformation of the fabric.
  • Choice of detergent: a normal laundry detergent or a special detergent.
  • Colour classification: If you are washing more than one stuffed animal at a time, it is better to wash the different colour ranges separately to avoid staining each other.


    We recommend keeping your stuffed animal collection as clean as possible to reduce the need for washing. This will help to protect the environment. Washing acrylic materials can cause tiny pieces of plastic to be released into the environment, which is not good for our planet[1].

    Method 2: Washing By Hand(suitable for cleaning weighted plushies)

    It's important to note that not all stuffed animals can be washed in a washing machine. If you have a stuffed animal that is not machine washable, hand washing may be the best option to ensure that your plushies are protected. For instance, weighted plushies should be hand washed. The following answers can also help you solve the issue of how to wash stuffed animals that have weight in them.

    Spot Clean

    Spot cleaning is a method of scrubbing only a portion of the fabric, rather than wetting the entire stuffed animal.

    Cleaning step

    1. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water in a bowl.
    2. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the detergent solution and wring out any excess liquid.
    3. Gently dab the soiled area of the stuffed animal with the damp cloth or sponge.
    4. After you've finished cleaning the soiled area, rinse the cloth or sponge with clean water and wring out any excess liquid.
    5. Use the damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe away any remaining soap residue from the stuffed animal.
    6. Allow the stuffed animal to air dry completely before using or storing it.

    Soak the Plush

    Soaking stuffed animals can have several benefits. It helps to loosen dirt and grime, making it easier to remove during the washing process. Soaking can help to dissolve stubborn stains, making them easier to treat and remove. Also, It can help to remove any odors that may have accumulated over time. 
    soak the stuffed animals in the water with soap
    Wirecutter's editors recommend soaking as a gentler cleaning method for most fabrics. Recommended to soak for 15-60 minutes.
    Wirecutter recommends soaking and cleaning stuffed animals

    Cleaning step

    1. Prepare the wash: Fill a basin or bathtub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of gentle laundry detergent.
    2. Soak the toy: Submerge the stuffed animal into the water and gently swirl it around. Let it soak for a few minutes.
    3. Rinse: Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean, lukewarm water. Submerge the stuffed animal again and gently squeeze it to remove any soap residue.
    Tip:Weighted plushies are better suited to spot cleaning than soaking

    Dry the Toy

    Use a clean towel to gently squeeze out any excess water, then reshape the toy and let it air dry. Avoid high-temperature drying.

    Method 3: How to Clean Stuffed Animals with Batteries

    It is important to note that many stuffed animals now come equipped with batteries, which means water can damage their electronic components. Therefore, the cleaning methods mentioned earlier cannot be used for these products. Here are some alternative procedures to clean stuffed animals that contain batteries, without using water.remove batteries out of a stuffed animals

    Using Fabric Water-free Cleaners (suitable for plushies with non-removable batteries.)

    Cleaning stuffed animals without using water can be a challenging task. However, you can use a fabric water-free cleaner to spot clean them. This is the best cleaning solution, particularly for plushies with non-removable batteries.

    To clean the plushies, spray the fabric water-free cleaner directly onto the soiled area and wipe it clean. This cleaner is highly effective in removing stains without requiring you to disassemble the stuffed animal. Moreover, it won't damage the electronic components due to water.

    Cleaning step

    1. Shake well, follow the principle of high frequency in small amounts and spray 2-3 sprays on the stain

    2. Wait a few moments and wipe back and forth with a wrung out towel

    3. Repeat the above steps for stubborn stains

    4. Air dry.

    How to Clean Stuffed Animals with Removable Batteries

    1. Remove the battery compartment cover and remove the batteries.

    2. Use a dry cloth or brush to gently remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface of the stuffed animal.

    3. Apply the detergent directly to the stain and use a damp cloth to gently rub the area.

    4. Let it air dry completely.


    Is it safe to wash and dry stuffed animals?

    Yes, it is safe to wash and dry most stuffed animals, but it depends on the type of material and any specific care instructions listed on the label. In general, it's best to hand wash stuffed animals using mild detergent and cold water, and then let them air dry.

    How often should I clean stuffed animals?

    The frequency of cleaning your stuffed animals will depend on factors such as how often they are played with, their age, and any allergies in your household. As a general rule, it's a good idea to wash stuffed animals at least once every few months to keep them clean and hygienic. Actually, how often you should clean your stuffed animals will depend on your personal preferences and any specific cleaning instructions that are provided with the toy.

    Can I soak stuffed animals toys in vinegar?

    Soaking stuffed animals in vinegar is generally a safe and effective way to clean them. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help eliminate germs and odors that may linger on the toy.

    However, it is important to note that some stuffed animals may not be suitable for soaking in vinegar, especially if they have any delicate or electronic components that may be damaged by the liquid.

    Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the cleaning instructions or manufacturer's recommendations before soaking or washing any stuffed animal toys.


    Taking care of your plush dolls is important if you want them to last a long time. Not only can they be decorative, but they can also be a source of comfort and companionship. Regular cleaning is key to ensuring their longevity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to clean different types of stuffed animals based on their materials. This is particularly useful for collectors who own a large number of stuffed animals. The author has gained valuable experience through practice and aims to share that knowledge to assist you in taking good care of your stuffed animals.

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    1 comment

    This guide is really useful and thanks to the author for sharing it


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