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Easy Dry-Cleaning Tips to Clean Stuffed Animals

 

Daily grooming will not be enough for the most prized of our furry friends.  Every time we touch our stuffed animals, we leave oil on the fur. Over time, the fur on the stuffed animals will start to clump and unpleasant odors can accumulate. Just like wrinkles are the first signs of the human aging process, the clumping of the fur and the odor are the furry friends’ first signs. So be wary!

Aside from the physical signs, dust mites are the invisible culprits that eat away the stuffing inside the stuffed animals.  Dust mites feed off of the dead skin cells.  They can cause harmful allergies over time.  This quick home remedy will keep the creepy crawlies away and rejuvenate the stuffed toys so that they will look and smell young!

“Snow Play”

  • Put the stuffed animal(s) in a dry-cleaning bag or a pillowcase.  This activity can be done with a group of stuffed animals but just make sure that the bag fits all of them comfortably.
  • Measure the amount of baking soda
    • The amount of baking soda will depend on the size the stuffed animal.  The right amount should be just enough to create a thin layer of “snowflakes” on the furry friends.  The following is an estimate of the amount of baking soda for the different sizes:
      • Small Furry Friends (Beanie Babies) 1 tablespoon
      • Medium Size (Medium Size Winnie the Pooh) (2-3 tablespoons)
      • Larger Medium Size (3-4 tablespoons)
  • Douse the baking onto the stuffed animals. Spread it over the fellow as best you can.
  • Close the bag or pillowcase tight.
  • Shake the bag for a few minutes.
  • Keep them in the bag for 20-30 minutes. (Let them play in the snow for a little bit).  During this time, the baking soda will absorb the oil from the fur.
  • After 20-30 minutes, get the stuffed animals out.
  • Get a damp towel/paper towel.
  • Wipe the furry fellows gently over the bathtub to rub off the baking soda.  The baking soda will stick to the damp cloth or paper towel. (Please note that the baking soda will also leave the fur a bit dry. Do not despair! The baking soda absorbed all the oil and the following steps will help them gain the softness back.)
  • Dump all the baking soda from the bag.
  • Before putting the furry friend in the dryer for a tumble, please go to How to Dry Stuffed Animals After Cleaning for all the crucial details on the drying process.
  • Put the furry friends in the dryer and the heat will kill the dust mites!
  • Take the bag out of the dryer. Use the soft bristle brush to brush off any remaining baking soda and for last-minute touches for the grooming.

This should be done once every (2-3) several months to kill the dust mites and rejuvenate the furry friends!

Materials

  • Dry-cleaning bag OR a pillow case that will fit the stuffed animal
  • Baking soda
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Paper towel/Towels

Good For: All types of stuffed animals/toys, plush toy, plush stuffed animals, Beanie babies, teddy bears, stuffed dolls, stuffed bunnies.

 

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Comments

Tell us what you think.

  1. Mags says: February 10, 2013

    Just wanted to say thanks for the tip of cleaning with baking soda. Our little tiger is now clean and soft again :)

    • admin says: February 10, 2013

      I’m so glad to hear the great news! Welcome!

  2. cch says: September 17, 2013

    Thanks very much for this! My little Ebay woolly doll is all fresh and smart again!

    • admin says: September 26, 2013

      So happy to hear the great news!

  3. sai says: December 26, 2013

    hello friend, i have many soft toys and wish to buy some.. but my mom used insists me, not to buy coz its hard to clean them! i wish to do it myself now and have a small doubt on the regard..
    after dumping and cleaning baking soda, is a machine wash recommended., i mean before dryer?

    • admin says: January 28, 2014

      It depends on the type of stuffed animal, some might not be able to take the experience of machine-wash. The dry-cleaning method is good routine cleaning method for the stuffed animals. There are many ways to keep them clean! Let me know if you have further questions.

  4. Monty says: March 17, 2014

    Hi there! I have a 12″ stuffed hippo with a velvet-like outer material. I want to clean him but I don’t want anything to happen to him. Do you have any special recommendations aside from this method?
    Thanks again

    • admin says: August 17, 2014

      Hello,

      Apologies for the late reply. If your hippo has velvet-like material, getting it wet or washed would not be a good idea. Dry cleaning with a little bit of baking soda would be most helpful. How old is your hippo? Can you send us a pic? That might be helpful for me to assess. Thanks.

  5. Rosalind Fowlkes says: November 10, 2014

    Thank you for tips on freshening up my polar bears. The worry I have is will they be white again. They are dingy from dust as they are not stored in plastic. Will this method actually clean them?

    • admin says: March 18, 2015

      Rosalind,

      Sorry for the late reply. This method will clean the stuffed animal!

  6. sewing task says: December 30, 2014

    Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks fine but
    when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

    • admin says: March 18, 2015

      Will look into it! thank you

  7. celeste says: January 20, 2015

    My son has a stuffed animal that is 4 ft long and he peed on it. How would I clean it best

  8. Sharon says: February 20, 2015

    My son routinely puts his stuffed animals in his mouth, like all day long. And we have been washing him whenever he starts to smell which seems to be almost right away, but at least every other day. Unfortunately this is causing our bills to be a lot higher from running our washer/dryer every day. Would your method be advisable even for a stuffed animal that is going to go right back into the child’s mouth? I wouldn’t want leftover baking soda to harm him or cause him to have dangerously high sodium levels or anything. Any suggestions?

  9. Cindy says: May 18, 2015

    Can this method be used for winding-up stuff animals or those with batteries?

  10. Jessica says: March 30, 2016

    Hi! My daughter and I have a couple little stuffed bunnies that are very well loved…and by this I mean they look about 20 years old and they are only 3 yeats or so, since they became part of the family. They are white… ( jelly cat brand) and have made quite a few trips though the washer and dryer, however, they are no longer white and have started to wear a lot. I have tried to whiten them by hand, even made a bathtub for them with warm water and baby laundry cleaner, baking soda, etc. While they had fun playing and soaking in their little make shift tub they did not whiten. I am scared to continue using the washer machine, ( always in a pillow case with the delicate cycle), as you can see tiny tears beginning in a couple spots. I am wondering what the safest whitening agent would be and if you have any other tips. At the moment they are soaking in your baking soda “snow” and hopefullyare surviving the delicate cycle in the wash. :/

    Any tips would be appreciated!
    Thank you from my daughter and I…and our bunny friends, Ambrosia and Billy!

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