Stuffed Animals.... - Haysville,KS

Updated on July 14, 2010
R.D. asks from Haysville, KS
17 answers

Alright moms, my daughter has three stuffed animals that she loves. One is a USMC bear her uncle gave her, the other is a bear grandma gave her, and the last one is that dog, Violet that talks and stuff. She sleeps with them every night and carries them around during the day. Problem? They need aired out! None of these are machine washable, of course. I would hate for anything to happen to them because they all have a special meaning. I was thinking of maybe sticking them on tumble or something for about 2 or 3 minutes with a dryer sheet and seeing if that works. Any thoughts? TIA!

***EDIT*** Tags on the animals say spot clean only or something like that....and my daughter is 15 months old. I'm just wondering if you can machine wash them or will it totally mess them up>?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice! I of course only meant putting the two bears in, not the Violet dog :) I forget that part haha! I think I will get another USMC bear since that is her fave and that one will be really hard to replace and see how it goes!

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answers from Kansas City on

I find if they are soft, not stiff and have no components inside like things to make them talk then I would try washing them on delicate and do not dry in dryer
Put them in the sunshine to dry
Good luck
It is risky and since they are son special I am really a little afraid so try one she isn't in love with and see how that goes
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I wash my kids special stuffed animals, they get so nasty from being dragged around the house and slobbered on, they're so gross! However, I have Violet and wouldn't wash her. I would probably just spot clean (or give her a good hard scrub with a soapy washcloth) if I needed to.

I wash the others on hand wash or gentle cycle, then tumble dry low heat. Good luck getting them away from her to wash!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I understand that the one that talks probably can't be washed, but why not the other 2? Put them in a delicates bag or tie them in a pillow case, and machine wash on gentle. I'd even tumble dry them on low heat. For the other one, I'd do an exterior wash, maybe, and then a quick, tumble or put out in the sunshine for a few hours. A few hours in the sunshine will help to freshen them, but personally, I'd wash them.

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answers from Portland on

I machine washed one and it was all mashed. So I put it in the dryer the fur came out all funny. It wasn't important, thank goodness.

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answers from Madison on

Are you sure you want to wash them? I heard that they may not like their loveys anymore once they are washed. I would highly recommend not washing all 3 of them all at once! You can try washing one of them first and see how she reacts.

Stuffed animals that are not washable are almost always fine even if you wash them, unless they have some parts inside that should not get wet (probably like the dog that talks etc.). The bears should be just fine if you use a cold gentle cycle and put it in a wash mesh bag, and air dry. We washed lots of second-hand stuffed animals this way and they were all just fine.

Otherwise, you can surface-wipe and leave outside in fresh air for some time.

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answers from Washington DC on

Take a big trash bag and put the stuffed animal in it. Empty a big box of baking soda on top of it. Close the bag really well and then shake the daylights out of it. Let it sit for an hour and then take the animal out and shake/bang the remaining baking soda out of it.This is best done outside. If you want to make sure that all the soda get off you can give it a quick vaccum. Good luck.

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answers from Portland on

Most fabric softeners contain a really horrendous list of toxic ingredients, but tumbling the toys alone on gentle cycle will help. Sunlight is a great purifier, and fresh air is good.

I've also known parents who put stuffed animals (with no internal electronics) through a whole wash with baking soda in the wash cycle and vinegar in the rinse. A gentle cycle doesn't seem to harm a well-made toy. But quick and complete drying would be important.

There are probably no living germs on the toys, other than what gets newly deposited each day – bacteria and viruses die quickly as they dry out – but molds, mildews, and dust mites are a possibility.


answers from New York on

Thanks so mush for asking this, I have the same problem. My daughters favorite one has some electric parts that I couldn't take off.
I will be checking the answers too.
The only thing I know is that you can put them in a zip bag in the freezer, if I remember well to killl dust mites.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I have put many stuffed animals through the washing machine on the gentle cycle, usually because they were vomited on. All have made it through just fine, but seeing as yours are "special" I would not risk it. I agree with Annette H. that is what I would have suggested. The only thing I would add is perhaps after the animal comes out of the bag hang it on the clothes line outside for a few hours.



answers from St. Louis on

Just wanted to add that while sunlight is great for killing germs and thus--making things smell better--it can fade alot of fabrics too. Best of luck!


answers from Topeka on

I machine wash my kids teddy bears no matter what. They have to get clean somehow.
Or you can just spray them with febreeze and place them outside for a whole day. That should get them aired out.


answers from Harrisburg on

How old is your daughter? If she's not putting them in her mouth anymore you could Febreeze Violet (how great is that dog by the way?!) and hang her on the line until she drys off.



answers from Seattle on

ALL my son's "friends" get regularly washed in the machine and dryer on normal warm/cold and low heat. Frequently. As in every couple months. They've survived well for the past 8 years. I stick bandaids over the eyes to protect them from being scratched. Only one (talking Stitch) do I NOT do this with ((Note: Disney, you need to pony up and start making the electronics removable!!! It wouldn't be that hard! I'd pay double!)) The MOST IMPORTANT THING is to dry them on low or no heat... or fur can come out wonky.

For Stitch I take a scrub brush, shampoo, & water. I clean it by scrubbing it with the brush and soap addind water only to the brush... then use a wet towel to scrub it it "rinse" it... then use a dry towel to scrub it to mostly dry it... then leave it out.

I would STRONGLY suggest getting a 2nd USMC Bear now, while they still make the same type. Use him as an experiment to run through the wash brand new (This machine has been tested on animals ;) ALSO if he stands up, you've got yourself a replacement lovey if the "unthinkable" happens.



answers from Kansas City on

I have washed stuffed animals and put them in a pillow case and tied it shut and washed on gentle cycle then put on low setting in dryer. I don't know why the pillow case helps but it seems to keep them fluffy.

I also wash most of our shoes in the washer, work boots, tennis shoes, sandals, etc. and they come out fine. I usually don't dry the shoes in the dryer even though we have a dryer rack for them as they tend to crack or shrink them.



answers from Kansas City on

I have to tell ya, as long as my daughters stuffed animals dont have any noise maker or electronic thing inside it or on it I machine wash them and dry them. Nothing has ever happened to any of them so far.


answers from Knoxville on

Aaahhh, the love of stuffed animals. We have boxes of them which my 18 year old still can not part with.

We had one which said none-washable go through the wash by accident. It was inside a pillow case and came out looking great. Since then, I have washed a couple through the years inside a pillow case, which I have tied close. I have also used this trick and sent some un-washed ones through the dryer to help air them out. If you place a damp towel and a dryer sheet in the dryer but not in the pillow case, you can get them fresher smelling.



answers from New York on

As for the bears, I think it would be save to put them through the wash. I've put lots of stuffed animals through the machine. Put them in a pillowcase and tie it shut and wash on the gentle cycle. Then leave them out in the sun to dry. I wouldn't wash the dog, because of the talking mechanism.

Doing some spot cleaning and letting them spend the day out in the sun should also help to air them out.

You could also try taking them to a dry cleaner.


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