How To Clean Plush Toys

Kids' stuffed animals are often carried with them wherever they go. These plush friends get dirty from being dragged in the dirt and drooled on while sleeping or sick. Keep your child's plush toys looking great and free of germs by cleaning them often. Follow these steps to clean plush toys.

  1. Start with a light dusting. If the plush toys you need to clean are display items that are rarely handled, all they need is a light dusting with a damp cloth. When spring cleaning comes around you should gently wipe each animal with the damp cloth to remove dust and particles that have settled from the air. You may also remove dust with a light, hand held vacuum cleaner if you have one. For a more thorough cleaning, continue on to the remaining steps.
  2. Pre-treat any stains. Apply a pre-treating solution such as Shout to any serious stains. Follow the instructions to let the pre-treater soak in before you move on to the next steps.
  3. Check the tag. Some plush toys are made to be machine washable in the gentle cycle. The tag should include instructions that include temperature to use when washing. If the plush toys are machine washable, toss them into a pillow case before you toss them into the machine so you can protect any buttons, eyes or noses that might be attached. Be careful not to mix brightly colored toys with white or light colored ones, especially if washing in hot water. Colors from plush toys rarely run but it does happen on occasion and you wouldn't want your toys to bleed or fade.
  4. Hand wash the remaining plush toys. For plush toys that cannot be machine washed and immersed in water, you will need to use another method. Start by using a soft toothbrush to remove any stuck on dirt or debris. This also loosens any dirt that might be stuck deep in the fibers. Then use a warm, damp cloth to wash the surface of the toy.
  5. Allow the toy to dry fully. Whether you hand washed the plush toy or machine washed it, most cannot be dried in a hot dryer. Air dry the plush toys or place them in the dryer on an air only cycle for up to twenty minutes.

Plush toys are often your little one's best friend. Your child puts these toys in his or her mouth, sleeps with them and places his or her hands all over the toy. To keep your child and your home free of germs and illness, keep the plush toys as clean as the rest of your home.


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