How to Clean Those Lovable Plush Toys

Are YOUR Stuffed Animals DIRTY?

Stuffed animals and dollies can lead a hard life, if they're loved. Whether they sleep with you, tag along to play dates or Day Care, play hide and seek in the back yard, or just cuddle up by the TV sharing your snacks, they can really get dirty. Even the ones we "grownups" have out for "show" will eventually get dusty.

If you're collecting your animals as an investment, by all means protect them, take good care of the swing tags, and don't wash them.

But for the rest of us, who love on our plush pals, here are some suggestions on how to get them clean.

There are symbols on the tush tag of many toys that tell you how to clean that toy. They typically indicate if it can be washed, the temperature for the wash water, if it can be bleached, and if it can be machine dried.

If it can be machine washed, the best way we have found is to put it in a pillow case and tie a loose knot in the end. Run it through the washing machine on gentle cycle in cold water, with detergent, but no bleach. We use dye-free and scent-free Tide. We then place the stuffed animal on a large absorbent towel to dry. Occasionally, there will be a need to pre-treat an area of soil, for which we use Shout. Sometimes we find a plush lovey with just a little light soil from being on a shelf. In that case, I usually hand wash it with mild dishwashing liquid and let it air dry.

We do suggest that you wash any toy that you intend to allow a young child to play with.

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