In 2020, the plush toy market was worth over $8.7 million globally and is still growing at a rapid pace. With that many plush toys taking up residence in homes worldwide, there will come a time for the inevitable cleaning of such toys.
Maybe your plush toys look a little dusty, or a toddler with sticky fingers got ahold of your favorite Beanie Babies or Beanie Boos. Don’t despair! You’ll be happy to know there are several ways to clean plush toys.
Keep reading to learn the best steps to how to clean plush toys.
When to Clean Plush Toys
If you are an avid collector of plush toys, chances are they’ve been sitting on your shelves, bringing joy to your heart for many years. However, that also means that dust and even cobwebs have been collecting on those beloved toys. Noticeable dust is a good sign that it’s time to clean your plush toys.
Or, perhaps you have a young child at home who is in love with their favorite teddy bear. They play with it, sleep with it, and take it on car rides. But over time, you’ve noticed sticky stains and patches of dirt. Maybe you’re concerned about the idea of all that grime collecting on your little one’s favorite toy. More than likely, it is time to give that favorite toy a bath.
A good rule of thumb is to clean your plush toys once a month. However, you may want to clean your child’s toy more often if it is vulnerable to a lot of dirt and grime.
Remove Dust First
To remove dust from your favorite plush toy, you will need a vacuum cleaner. You will want to use the hose extensions that come with your vacuum cleaner. Vacuum the surface of your toy using your vacuum’s upholstery tool to remove any dust from its soft, plushy fabric.
Removing the dust from your plush toy will remove any surface dirt that could become a base layer of soil later on. Also, regularly eliminating dust from your toy will keep it looking as good as it did when you bought it.
Can I Use a Washing Machine?
Some plush toys are considered machine-washable toys. Look at the tag on your plush toy to be sure. The tag is where you will find washing instructions.
Does the tag say it can be machine washed? If so, at what temperature do you need to set your water? What type of detergent do you use?
You may be able to clean plush toys using your regular laundry detergent in cold water on the delicate cycle. However, some detergents are too strong to use on your beloved stuffed toys. Good alternatives are cleaning products for plush toys, such as Woolite or Dreft.
Not sure if your plush toy should be put through a rigorous machine cycle? It’s best to err on the side of caution and spot clean or hand wash your plush toys instead.
How to Clean Plush Toys by Hand
While hand-washing stuffed toys may be a little more time-consuming, it may be better for your plush toy in the long run. If you want to avoid matting your toy’s fur or fabric, or if you have an older toy that needs gentle care, hand-washing is a good option.
First, fill your sink with cool or lukewarm water and a gentle detergent. Place your plush toy into the soapy water and gently squeeze your plush toy to allow the detergent to do its work.
Once you are satisfied that the toy is washed all the way through, hold it under cool running water. Squeeze the toy until all of the soap has been rinsed from it. Do not wring out your toy.
Drying Your Plush Toys
Now, if you use a washing machine to clean plush toys, you can opt to dry your toy in the dryer. Use the lowest heat setting or air-fluff (if your dryer offers that option). Keep in mind that some plush fibers may melt with the heat, even if low heat is used. Instead, you can air dry your plush toy by laying it flat or hanging it on a clothesline with clothespins.
If you hand-washed your plush toy, roll it up in a folded towel to remove any excess water. Once you have done this, let your plush toy air dry. After your plush toy is dry, gently brush its fur with a soft-bristle brush to return your toy to its plushy state.
Removing Dirt and Minor Stains
Dirt and minor stains are inevitable when it comes to children’s plush toys. If you notice a small area of dirt or a light stain, simply wipe the spot or dirt away using a damp cloth. Then, press a dry cloth into the area to remove any excess moisture. Allow your plushy to air dry.
Removing Tough Stains
Got a stubborn stain? Wet the stain with cool water, then spray the area with a gentle stain remover or cleaner. Using a toothbrush or soft-bristle brush, scrub the stain, rinse, and air-dry.
What About Beanie Babies?
Who can resist these tiny, adorable, collectible plush toys? The world is in love with Beanie Babies. Taking special care of your cherished collection is essential to keeping it in tip-top shape.
Here are a few tips for cleaning Beanie Babies and Beanie Boos:
- Only clean when necessary
- Protect the tag by wrapping it in plastic wrap
- Do not machine or hand wash
- Spot clean your Beanie Babies using the methods above
- Air dry only
Don’t Put It Off Any Longer
Now that you know how to clean plush toys properly, it’s time to get to work! Your plushies will look like new, and you’ll smile every time you see them knowing they are well cared for.
Looking to add to your stuffed toy collection? MyBBs offers a large selection of Beanie Babies in need of a loving home.