What is the best way to clean plush toys/stuffed animals?

Andrea - posted on 03/28/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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As we all know, everything a baby holds goes straight to the mouth. I just want to make sure they are clean! I worry about soap and water - what if I don't get all the soap off?

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April - posted on 03/28/2009

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Put in a pillow case, only one to a pillow case, and tie it then stick it in the washer on delicate then take out of the case and hang them to dry.....

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Cindy - posted on 03/29/2009

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Thanx Ginger! We do have vanish here in South Africa, I will definitely try it!

Ginger - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Cindy:

Thanks for the tip, but, and you're probably gonna think I'm stupid, what is oxyclean. I'm from South Africa and we don't have it here, but I'm sure we should have something like it.


Oxyclean is the same as Vanish Oxi Action here in the UK.  I would just look for anything in the laundry aisle that says 'oxy'.  Good luck!

Cindy - posted on 03/28/2009

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Thanks for the tip, but, and you're probably gonna think I'm stupid, what is oxyclean. I'm from South Africa and we don't have it here, but I'm sure we should have something like it.

Melissa - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Cindy:

This is an interesting question, and I have a related one. My daughter has a singing baby Barney, obviously I can't put it in the washer. It has a white diaper that isn't that white anymore, how do I clean it. I've tried upholstery cleaner, but it just looks dirtier.


Try oxyclean!  I love this stuff which comes in detergent or spray form.  I have bought things at yard sales to later discover it had a small food stain on it and it removed the stain even though it had clearly been washed and dried in it.  I have also used it to get red Crystal light out of my clothes.  If anything will help it would be that stuff!

Cindy - posted on 03/28/2009

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This is an interesting question, and I have a related one. My daughter has a singing baby Barney, obviously I can't put it in the washer. It has a white diaper that isn't that white anymore, how do I clean it. I've tried upholstery cleaner, but it just looks dirtier.

Melissa - posted on 03/28/2009

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Instead of Dreft I plan to use All Baby because it is cheaper and my baby's ped said as long as the detergent has no perfumes or dyes in it there was no need to shell out the big bucks for Dreft. Remember if a toy has batteries in it or a buzzy thing in it to remove those parts if you can before washing them or it will ruin the toy. My aunt washed some stuff I got for my baby that had noisemakers in them. some of them dried out and worked others got ruined. I stood there and watched her do it and did not think anything about it until it was too late to do anything I was so busy so it can happen to anyone! I notice febreze has an antimicrobial spray now but I have no idea about using it on baby items as I have not asked her about that one yet but it is suppose to kill bacteria and germs so it might be good for items that cannot be washed as long as it is safe. I will check before using that one myself.

Stephanie - posted on 03/28/2009

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I just recently read an article about this exact thing, just like everyone's already said baby detergent, gentle cycle, and the mesh (lingerie) bag per toy.  Another trick is to put the toy in a plastic bag with some baking soda and shake if you need to sanitize quickly & don't have time to wash/drip-dry.

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Tara:



use the same detergent you use for your babys clothes.....hypoalergenic, non scented.....put the stuffy in a pillow case tie it up and wash it in it ..... do the same to dry them ....hang them to dry for a few hours then tumble on low heat as to fluff them back up and not shrink the material.......I have a girlfriend who runs a toy cleaning service for daycares and docs offices, and this is what she does





you can also purchase mesh washing bags for fairly cheep if the toy has vomit or poo on it, so to get more soiled problems without ruining the integrity of the toy itself ....ewww ...good luck!

Ginger - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Cynthia:

Use Dreft. Some of my kids toys I just threw into the washer on delicate. I put them in the dryer on low with a couple of towels, and brushed out afterward. (They needed BIG cleaning- they were vomited on) Although the tags said don't wash, it was either that or throw them out, and one of them was a lovey stuffy. They came out pretty good.
Other things I just used a damp washcloth over the fur.
Everything else that's a toy that isn't plush, I run through the dishwasher, every couple weeks.


I agree completely with this.  You can also use Woolite, or any other mild detergent.  It also helps to tie it in a pillowcase to wash and dry--it helps keep it fluffy and also catches any bits that might fall off (eyes, noses, etc) so you can easily find and repair them!  That's not a good idea if it's covered in vomit or poo or other nastiness, though... =)

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009

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use the same detergent you use for your babys clothes.....hypoalergenic, non scented.....put the stuffy in a pillow case tie it up and wash it in it ..... do the same to dry them ....hang them to dry for a few hours then tumble on low heat as to fluff them back up and not shrink the material.......I have a girlfriend who runs a toy cleaning service for daycares and docs offices, and this is what she does

Cynthia - posted on 03/28/2009

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Use Dreft. Some of my kids toys I just threw into the washer on delicate. I put them in the dryer on low with a couple of towels, and brushed out afterward. (They needed BIG cleaning- they were vomited on) Although the tags said don't wash, it was either that or throw them out, and one of them was a lovey stuffy. They came out pretty good.

Other things I just used a damp washcloth over the fur.

Everything else that's a toy that isn't plush, I run through the dishwasher, every couple weeks.

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