Introduction: How to Wash Stuffed Animals

Picture of How to Wash Stuffed Animals

"Surface Wash Only" is a myth.  Standard stuffed animal toys can be submerged and washed carefully.  I'll show you how to rescue your most loveable (and roughly loved) from being discarded on the grounds of being "unsanitary."

Step 1: Select a Creature

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Find one that really needs a bath.  This guy has a mystery stain.  Gross.

Step 2: Submerge!

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Soak in cold water, submerging and squeezing.  Nasty stuff will most likely come out of the stuffing.  Keep squeezing it out until the water comes out clear.

Step 3: Scrub

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Scrub your critter with a mild detergent (i make my own with Ivory soap).  Cold-water liquids like Woolite work well, but your usual liquid detergent or liquid dish soap are good too.  Use a toothbrush to really get down into the fur.  (sorry, no photo of the scrubbing action; can't do that one-handed)

Step 4: Squeeze

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Press out the excess soap by squeezing your animal under the water again.  You'll probably see more gross stuff.  Continue until the water coming out runs clear.

Step 5: Rinse

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Rinse under cold water and continue squeezing out the suds.

Step 6: Hang to Dry

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Hang outside on a line, because these guys drip a LOT.  If you can't put them out in the sun, devise a way to hang them over the bathtub or other area where water isn't a problem.

Step 7: (optional) Squeeze Again

Picture of (optional) Squeeze Again

Gravity alone might not allow more dense stuffed animals to drain properly; squeeze the water down from the legs and out through the feet (or whatever is hanging lowest from the line).  The motion is admittedly not unlike milking a cow.


AronT5 (author)2017-02-06

Step 4 is a very disturbing photo.

aryavb (author)2016-07-26

Thanks. I'll try it.

HongL5 made it! (author)2016-06-01

Great! I bought many plush toys on and don't know how to clean them. thanks for your suggestions.

LaundryL made it! (author)2014-11-23

I didn't see the stuffed animal smile until the end. Thanks for sharing.

jayas1 (author)2014-08-09

Interesting to read…here below I have pasted a link and that was quite amazing to

twill2 (author)2013-08-07

Depending on the solution of the fluff, it may be adapted to be accommodated. In the washing machine before, assured that there are no protruding eyes or other parts that may be damaged during a cycle. It takes a lot of time to dry, as the internal filling can cause odor wet.

frenzy (author)2013-06-29

This would have totally saved ernie from getting his hair all frizzy in the dryer. Great Instructable!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2011-11-14

Awesome Instructable! I always feel bad for those guys that are just too dirty with no way to clean them.

We're saving (imaginary) lives!

Wolfbird (author)2011-11-14

You can also toss them in your regular washing machine, but only in a gentle cycle, cold water only and if you have them in a pillowcase/laundry bag. What gets most upholstered items is usually the heat of the water or the dryer; fake fur will melt into a crispy mess and it's all over if that happens :(

hippie_mama (author)Wolfbird2011-11-15

My mom always stuck dolls and stuffed animals into a leg of old pantyhose; i always end up with a bear with a smooshed snout though using that method!

The Papier Boy (author)Wolfbird2011-11-14

Yeah, we usually just throw them in the washing machine.

sunshiine (author)2011-11-15

Nice Instructable! Thanks for sharing. Sunshiine

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