29 answers

How to Properly Clean Stuffed Animals??

My daughter is 14 months old and chews on the noses of all her stuffed animals. It's adorable...but they get really nasty. I know the tags say to surface clean with mild soap...but will that really get rid of the germs?? I also heard that you can place them in plastic bags and place in the freezer?? Is this true? Any help would be appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for your responses. I put about seven different bears into the regular washing machine in a mesh bag. They came out great! My daughter is glad to have them back!

Featured Answers

Just throw them in the wash and be done w/it. My daughter has two lovies. Her mamma duck and HuggyDuckie. She has had both of them since she was born and still sleeps with them and brings them with her any time we go out. I could not imagine not washing them. These ducks have had every known bodily fluid on them. I wash them weekly because they get so grubby and 2.5 yrs. later both duckies still have all their parts. Although Huggyduckie has definitely seem better days and is not resembling a duck these days!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
Despite what the tags says, I just throw them in the washer and let them air dry. It works great and they get nice & clean. Only problem: I need to do it quickly and not let my 2 year old know because he gets upset.
Good Luck
N.

I put my daughters in the wash and dryer and never had a problem. As long as there are no electric devices.

More Answers

Just throw them in the wash and be done w/it. My daughter has two lovies. Her mamma duck and HuggyDuckie. She has had both of them since she was born and still sleeps with them and brings them with her any time we go out. I could not imagine not washing them. These ducks have had every known bodily fluid on them. I wash them weekly because they get so grubby and 2.5 yrs. later both duckies still have all their parts. Although Huggyduckie has definitely seem better days and is not resembling a duck these days!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I am a Mom of a fifteen year old asthmatic daughter and I washed all her stuffed animals in the washing machine as per her doctor and threw them in the dryer on fluff and made sure all tags were off and the doctor was pleased. Hope it helps....Lee G

personally, I put them in pillow cases and wash them on delicates. You tie the pillow case shut and it saves the eyes and such. Then I dry them for a few minutes on delicates and then let them air dry the rest of the time. Good luck!

I put my daughters in the wash and dryer and never had a problem. As long as there are no electric devices.

My kids are teens now. We had some well loved beanie babies that got between my son (who was about 4 years old & had a stomac virus) and the basin. He was so upset when he realized that his beloved beanie babies were covered in what was supposed to make it into the basin! This was actually our only hope because they were in pretty bad shape. I decided to wash them in the washing machine (warm water, gentle cycle) with a couple old towels. Then, I placed them into the dryer with the towels on the delicate cycle. They came out looking brand new! He was so happy he didn't lose his beanie babies. This also worked for my daughter's larger stuffed animal. It's been washed & dryed at least 4 times.

Throw them in the washing machine; they're dust collectors.. if they don't make it out intact, oh well. Better to be safe then sorry. They're cute, I know but it's more importatnt for the babys health.
Good luck..

put them in the washing machine..and then the dryer..in one of the mesh lingerie bags...good as new!

I find that most of them go fine in the washing machine even if they say on the label not to. My daughter used to throw up constantly (reflux) and so her teddies etc just had to go in the machine. Her favourite, which says surface wash only, has been in the machine maybe 50+ times and is still absolutely fine!!

i know that they say to suface clean but if they do not have any noise makers in them i put them in the washer on a delicate cycle with some mild detergant like woolite and put them in the dryer on a low heat cycle and they do just fine i have not lost one yet and my kids are 18 16 and 11 believe me we have had lots and lots of stuffed toys. and my two girls still do.

M.

hi,
i always just put them to the washing mashine. i did with my stuffed animals to get rid of dust and i did it with my sons too, nothing ever happened to them, if you want to be on safer side, put them in pillow case (as a bra) and use shampoo instead of regular detergant (i use shampoo also when i wash my sweaters)

Hi L. - I wash my daughter's stuffed animals right in the wash on a regular cycle with her clothes. They come out very clean and have not been destroyed yet.

just recently i went through all my old stuffed animals, and took out a few for my daughter (the rest since i had SO MANY are now thrown in the shed for if my brother ever has any of his own) and my carebears (for some reason only them) came out smelling like that "old people" smell while the rest just smelled of the garage. i threw some of the carebears in (i do 1 with every load of laundry) and have a few more to do. the ones that have been in the laundry came out smelling great, just like the clothes do. i completely forgot about the pillowcase deal even though everyone keeps "bashing" it into my mind and nothing's wrong with them. they even dried completely through (though with this stupid dryer i have to put it on 70 min 2 times on full high heat for just clothes to be dry, so that's what the carebears have gone through. the ones that didn't look dirty, my grandmother just took and threw in the dryer with a dryer sheet and for maybe 15 min...but that's because they didn't need to REALLY be cleaned. hope this helps. just remember things that are made now aren't always the best quality as YRS ago...so remember the pillow case lol. good luck.

If you want a safer way to clean toys, try these non-toxic cleaners and laundry detergents. I know they are recommended by dermotologists for children with allergies or sensative skin and they do a great job! It's nice not having to worry about our babies ingesting chemicals or detergents when they put their toys in their mouth. Also, they are CHEAPER than the cleaners we buy at the store! Ck them out at www.shaklee.net/superiorhealth/getclean

Honestly? I dropped them in a lingerie bag and threw them in the laundry with the rest of my kids stuff. Beanie babies, all kinds of stuffed animals. My daughter threw up once on her favorite stuffy and that was the clencher. I would not feel comfy with just a light cleaning!

Hi L.,
Despite what the tags says, I just throw them in the washer and let them air dry. It works great and they get nice & clean. Only problem: I need to do it quickly and not let my 2 year old know because he gets upset.
Good Luck
N.

I just throw my daughter's in a laundry bag and wash and dry normally. Most of them with batteries you can take the electrical components out of them for this, if you can't, I just surface wash them with dish soap. Hope this helps ;)

I have never heard of the freeer idea, I guess this may freeze the germs, but wouldnt they just come back when it thaws? Also, it wouldnt do anything for the chewed up appearance.

I know the labels of a lot of stuffed animals say "surface wash" only. Here's what I do (becasue I never liked them to sleep with or suck on stuffed toys that were carried all over the place and got dirty!) put the stuffed toy (or more than one)in a pillow case, tie a knot at the top and throw it in the washing machine on delicate. Depending on what it is, I either hang it out to dry or leave it in the pillow case and throw it in the dryer. It always seems to work fine and then they get clean!

I am a married mom with 3 kids, ages 8, 5 and 2.

I throw my daughter's with the wash.. never had a problem. good luck

Try putting the stuff they sell in any pharmacy for children to stop sucking their thumbs on the noses of the stuffed animals. Your daugher will think it's gross and will stop.

I have no idea if this works, but I saw it in the One Step Ahead catalog (which I love!), so maybe some has bought it and can report. Germ Guardian Dry Heat Sanitizer - seems like it works on stuffed toys. Hope this is helpful.

As long as it's not something that makes a sound or has lights you can wash it. Even some toys that have sound have it where you take out the main part. You can either put them in a pillow case with a zipper and wash them with the appropriate color regular laundry. Or you can wash them all together in one load of their own.

I have always put the stuffed animals in a pillow case tied at the top,then right in the washer and drier.

My 3 yr. old son attached himself to a bear that also says surface wash. I have a front load washer and have been washing that bear for all this time. It has done nothing to "him". The bear is in great shape still to this day!! (I even put him in the dryer and he does well in there too...although, I don't leave him in long because they do dry fast!) Hope this helps!

I have heard of putting them in the freezer too. I think it would work, but would they come out fluffy and soft? You could also use steam. If you have one of those little steamers for cleaning you could try that. If not you could put the tea pot on to boil and steam it using the spout. Hold it farther rather then closer to the steam, that way you would be less likely to burn yourself. I would test a spot on the back to make sure it doesn't damage the toy. You could clean plastic things this way as well, but it would damage stickers.

I personally would try and put them in the washer on gentle cycle. That is if you have a front loader, a top would loader would twist them around too much. You could then dry it in the dryer on perniment press cycle or fluff cycle. I have done this, but not on a super special toy!!!! Good luck.

A little about me:
I am a 45 yr old mother of 2 boys, 23 and 18. With my hubby for over 30 yrs and still deeply in love with each other! Both still at home and happy here. So I might be helpful with some teen or dating problems.

Small ones...I ran through the washer....put them in a garment bag before the dryer or the shiny eyes will dull from the dinging in the dryer. Dry on NO HEAT...or the fur will become nappy and singe at the ends. Large ones don't completely dry and might get smelly or mildew. If your crafty....open a seam and unstuff it....hand wash it and hang it to dry it then re stuff. Hey, Build a bear stuffs them and it doesn't traumatize the kids. And, just like build a bear.... an old hair brush and a blow dryer on low re fluffs the fur.

And, it would have to be an industrial subzero freezer like for cryopreservation to even harm a germ.....Don't bother trying....

My daughter was sick this winter and threw up all over most of her animals. I put them all in the wash and they all survived.........and are clean!

I know despite tag instructions we take some stuffed animals that get loads of attention from our children and put them inside a pillowcase. Then, tie the end closed and put in a hot wash with some color safe bleach/detergent.
Toss in the dryer the same way. We think this method of laundering has helped our 2 children continue to have unlimited time and access to their beloved stuffed pets.

I machine wash them on the delicate cycle with woolite as if I were washing my fine lingerie. I also dry them in the dryer on the delicate cycle... I have been doing this for over 10 yrs. with my daughters stuffed animals... have not destroyed a single animal! Good Luck...

Hi L.,

Putting the animals in the freezer will do nothing. All it'll do is put the bacteria on the stuffed animals to sleep, and they will wake up and multiply again as soon as the stuffed animal is back to room temperature.

The solution I've used, which seems to have worked very well, is to wash the stuffed animals with a very mild, non-toxic soap for the stains, then spray them thoroughly with a solution of water and a blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils called Thieves. I usually put 3-4 drops of essential oil for a cup of water. This blend of essential oils is extremely effective at killing bacteria, and it is perfectly safe (i.e. it can be used orally - its made of rosemary, cinnamon, lemon and a couple of other oils, all coming from plants we use for food), so your baby won't have any cleaning chemicals getting in her mouth. She may even stop chewing the noses of her animals since the taste of Thieves is fairly strong.

You can find this oil online by going to www.youngliving.org/dailymastery, and I'll be happy to answer any question you might have offline.

Warmly,
K.

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