The other day a friend of mine asked me out of the blue “how do you clean a stuffed toy?”. The question made me realize that there aren’t as many DIY tips for cleaning stuffed toys as there are for plastic or solid ones. So, I decided to write an article on answering this puzzling question.
Whether you work at a daycare/nursery and want to know how to create a safer environment for the kids, or, you’re a parent who’s looking to restore your child’s favorite stuffed animal, there are a few easy and practical ways to make them both clean and new-looking. The great news is you won’t have to throw them into the washer and dryer. In fact, we recommend you don’t put them in the washer, as stuffed toys won’t get cleaned or can get ruined.
When cleaning, be aware of the toy fabric
Who knew there was such a selection of material that stuffed animals can be made out of? From cotton to upholstery, fur and even felt – toys these days are made with a variety of fabrics, and being mindful of this is important, as you don’t want to use a product that could potentially harm the toy. We recommend staying away from chemical-based cleaners and using green products.
Best cleaning products to use
If you’re looking to improve the sanitation of the stuffed toy, we recommend using:
● Damp microfiber cloth, like Norwex or e-cloth
● Method Natural Disinfectant Cleaner
These two products are green, meaning there aren’t any harsh chemicals that could harm the toy’s fabric. If you’re wanting to restore the look of a toy that’s old and heavily matted, we recommend the following products and tools:
● Krud Kutter Cleaner (diluted)
● Slicker Pet Grooming Brush
● Hair Blow Dryer
Krud Kutter is also a natural product that can be used diluted to help remove grease, dirt and grime out of fabric-based areas, such as carpet yarns, upholstery furniture and yes – stuffed toys!
How to quickly sanitize stuffed toys
Make sure to spritz the toy all over with your Method disinfectant cleaner. If you have several stuffed toys that need cleaning, spread them out in a pile near each other and spritz them down at the same time to make the most of your time.
Next, take your damp microfiber cloth and gently wipe all areas of your toy. Norwex and e-cloth offer special microfiber cloths that can remove 99% of germs from objects, so be sure your microfiber cloth is from one of these companies.
How to restore a dirty stuffed toy
Dilute your Krud Kutter into a 16 oz spray bottle following the directions on the back of the product. Spritz the toy down, and then take the pet groomer comb and gently begin to make passes on the stuffed toys fur or yarns to allow the Krud Kutter to break down the grease and dirt.
Take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the toy down (this will help remove any product leftover). For a quicker dry time, take your hair blow dryer and air the toy out for 2-3 minutes.
Don’t put the toy in hot water to soak
There are YouTube videos that show people how to wash and soak stuffed animals in a sink of hot water. This is not the best way to clean them, as the following issues can occur (trust me – we’ve tried and learned from our mistakes!)
● Toy fabric can shrink
● Cotton density can change in a negative way
● Dry time takes longer, allowing mildew to set in
By using the products we’ve listed, you’ll be able to safely and effectively clean stuffed toys without any problems.