5-Minute Crafts
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4 Ways to Clean and Disinfect Stuffed Animals

If you have stuffed animals, like to collect them, and have a special place for them in your room, it’s important to wash them regularly. Over time, they can lose their neat and cuddly appearance as they get dirty, collecting dust and possibly germs. 5-Minute Crafts will teach you some simple methods to clean and disinfect your stuffed animals at home. This way, your plush friends will look as good as new.

Method 1: washing it by hand

You will need:

  • Powder or liquid detergent
  • Fabric softener

1. Fill a container with cold water. Mix it with a little detergent and fabric softener.

2. Dip the stuffed animal into the soapy water. Rub it with your hands to create a lather and remove any dust or dirt residue.

3. Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the dirtiest areas or potential stains.

4. Rinse it with plenty of water, removing any detergent residue. Once the stuffed animal is completely rinsed off, gently squeeze it to remove the excess liquid.

5. Let it dry in a ventilated area. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, as this may discolor the toy over time.

Method 2: using the washing machine

You will need:

  • Laundry detergent

  • Fabric softener for delicate clothes

  • 1 pillowcase

  • It’s advisable to place the stuffed animal inside a cloth bag. You can tie it with an elastic band, but make sure it’s tightly closed. Another option is to put it in a mesh bag for washing delicate clothes.
  • This will prevent the toy from getting damaged. Even if you wash it along with other clothes, the lint will get trapped inside the bag and won’t stick to your clothes.
  1. Add detergent in accordance with the number of pieces you’re washing.

  2. Add fabric softener. Program a wash with cold water on a delicate cycle according to the specifications of your appliance.

  3. When you finish washing the stuffed animal, let it dry in a ventilated area. You can use the “air dry” option but check the label first.

Method 3: dry cleaning

You will need:

  • Baking soda (1-3 tablespoons, depending on the size of the stuffed animal)

  • 1 plastic bag

  1. Place the doll inside the plastic bag. Add the baking soda.
  2. Close the bag, leaving a little air inside.
  3. Shake it vigorously for a couple of minutes.
  4. Let the stuffed animal sit in the bag for at least 1 hour. Then remove it from the plastic and shake it to remove any possible baking soda residue.

Method 4: disinfecting in the freezer

  • Stuffed animals, especially if they’ve been stored for some time and have been handled by several people, can accumulate bacteria and mites that are harmful to your health.

  • To eliminate these germs, put the stuffed animal in a plastic cover with an airtight seal. Leave it in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

  • The next day, remove the toy and put it in the dryer on a delicate cycle for about 15 minutes. If you don’t have this appliance, place it in a clean area and allow it to return to room temperature.


  • If your stuffed animal has stains or dirt on it, apply liquid soap with the help of a soft bristle brush that was previously moistened in water. Scrub the area and let the detergent work for about 30 minutes before handwashing it or putting it in the washing machine.

  • Check the label of your furry friends to determine which cleaning method you can use.

  • Don’t use vinegar to clean them. While this liquid is used for general household cleaning, in the case of soft fabric stuffed animals, it does not disinfect them completely.

  • If the stuffed animal has an opening to remove the stuffing, wash it by hand.

  • When you want to store your stuffed animals for a long period of time, put them in your closet or in a cool area. Wrap them in tissue paper and put them in a cardboard box or a cotton cloth bag.

5-Minute Crafts/Tricks/4 Ways to Clean and Disinfect Stuffed Animals
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