A Quick Guide for Stuffed Animal Care & Cleaning


A hugging teddy bear can become a messy business. You can use several techniques to restore a vintage find or your child’s beloved stuffed animal when it starts to look worn. When cleaning something priceless, it’s crucial to choose cleaning techniques that will ensure the best long-term care and avoid any methods that might accidentally result in more stains or damage. Let’s begin our guide with a few crucial mistakes to avoid.

Important Cleaning Advice for Stuffed Animals: Read these first! 

  • Be sure to rinse any soap applied to a plush thoroughly. No matter how small, any residue will eventually draw in more dust and dirt.
  • If you wash your plush in the washing machine, protect its eyes and nose from scratches by using cold water, a mild detergent, and securing it inside a pillowcase. It would help if you did not use fabric softeners as they may leave a sticky residue on the plush’s fur.
  • It is not advised to put a large plush through the washing machine. In some cases, washing oversized plush can also damage your machine because of the spindle in the center of the washer drum, which can harm the plush’s fur.
  • Do not ever, ever dry plush items in the dryer. The plush fur may singe from the heat, resulting in permanent harm.
  • To avoid musty odors, it can be an excellent idea to hasten the drying process if you have a larger plush that is damp. If you have a safe and secure location, you can put the plush close to a fan or outside in the sun.
  • Plush fur is allowed to dry while rumpled. It usually keeps its unkempt appearance after drying. To achieve the best results, comb or gently comb the fur while it is still wet.

Light Surface Dirt Removal and Spot Cleaning

If your plush is in good condition besides some light surface dirt, you can treat the stain by dabbing diluted soap on it. To avoid harming the plush fibers, gently rub at the stain in the fur direction. Keep in mind that soaking the plush in the soapy mixture will make it difficult to rinse it away completely. Take extra care to thoroughly rinse the plush after you’ve removed the stain because any amount of soap, no matter how small, will eventually draw dirt and dust over time due to the sticky nature of soap.

Deep Cleaning & Machine Washing

This might be the best method for you if your plush is small enough to fit into the washing machine. Your large stuffed animals have a lot of built-up stains, or you want to give them a deep cleaning. To keep the plush inside, stuff it into a pillowcase and tie off the end. By doing this, its eyes and nose will be shielded from damage. Use a gentle cycle on your washing machine. To wash the plush, use cold water, a mild detergent, and something soft and light-colored, such as towels, as this might harm the teddy bear. You should not add fabric softeners because they might leave a sticky residue.

After finishing the wash cycle, take the plush out of the pillowcase immediately. Place the animal somewhere clean and safe where it can air dry, then smooth the fur toward the plush hairs. The heat from the dryer could permanently harm the plush, so avoid using it.

Cleaning Extra-Large Plush

Large plush items can be challenging to clean and restore because of their size. Because the spindle in the middle of the washer drum can harm the plush’s fur, we don’t advise washing these stuffed animals in it. Additionally, these stuffed animals or hugging teddy bear occasionally even have the potential to harm your washing machine due to their size. Our above Light Surface Dirt & Spot Cleaning tips should work for you if the dirt is light and doesn’t cover a significant portion of the plush. If the stains are more severe, you can clean the large plush’s surface with a portable carpet/upholstery cleaner.


Use a gentle cycle on your washing machine. To wash the plush, use cold water, a mild detergent, and something soft and white, like towels. You should not add fabric softener because it might leave a sticky residue on large stuffed animals. After finishing the wash cycle, take the plush out of the pillowcase immediately.

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