Household cleaning tips: How to clean a stuffed animal

Tips and suggestions to clean stuffed animals when they get dirty.

Stuffed animals are so well loved they get taken everywhere. When you go everywhere, chances are you get dirty. How do you clean a stuffed animal?

Don’t put a stuffed animal straight into the washing machine, not all stuffed animals can go through the washing machine. First look at the stuffed animal and see what exactly needs to be cleaned off. Is it a small stain? Is it a food stain? Did the stuffed animal drop in something unhygienic?

It is important to realize that while most times a stuffed animal can be cleaned, sometimes it is better simply to replace a stuffed animal. If the animal has dropped in something toxic, like a gasoline spill or bleach, think about buying your child a new stuffed animal. Isn’t it worth the small amount of money to know that your child will not be putting that substance into their mouths?

How to clean a stuffed animal

Once you’ve identified the problem, an excellent way to wash any stuffed animal is with baby shampoo. Baby shampoo is gentle and will clean your stuffed animal well. Dab a paper towel in water and wet the area that needs cleaning. Add a dime sized amount of baby shampoo to the area and rub it in using a circular motion. You will begin to see bubbles as the shampoo starts to work. It will start to clean the stuffed animal. Then take another paper towel and remove the shampoo and the stain. Allow the stuffed animal to air dry.

The challenge with using other cleansers to clean a stuffed animal is that sometimes there can be residue left on the stuffed animal. Children often put stuffed animals in their mouths and most detergents should not be ingested. Baby shampoo is a very safe and non-toxic stuffed animal cleaning option.

Sometimes you do need to wash the animal completely. A good way to do this is use a spray bottle. Spray the animal with a combination of water and shampoo with the spray bottle. Rub the mixture into the animal’s fur. Then add just water to your spray bottle. Spray water on the stuffed animal and rub the water into the animal’s fur. Remove all of the shampoo.

When cleaning your stuffed animal, allow the animal to air dry. Most of the time, this will work best in terms of its fur settling back down to where it once was. Putting the animal through the dryer can unsettle its fur or even its stuffing, giving its body an unusual look. It depends on the animal. So if the animal is very wet, and you feel that you have gotten the inside of the animal wet, then dry it with a hair dryer on a very low setting. Otherwise allow it to naturally dry.

At times these options are not enough, sometimes you need more. The best thing to do is to first call the manufacturer of the stuffed animal. Often they have suggestions for cleaning and caring for their product. Some stuffed animals do very well in the washing machine and can even go in the dryer and come out looking like new. Other stuffed animals that have jointed limbs cannot go in the washing machine and the dryer, they must be cared for in other ways. The manufacturer of the stuffed animal will offer you options and suggestions that will work in your circumstance. Stuffed animals are so very different, not every cleaning option works for every one. It is better to go slow and to call someone who will have more knowledge.

Stuffed animals are true treasures of children and deserve to be treated as such. Clean stuffed animals well and they are likely to last throughout the years of childhood and be saved for fond memories.

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