How to Clean Plush Toys
What You Need
Much like everything else in a kid's world, stuffed animals can double as perfect napkins. Between sleeping with them, dragging them around the yard, and wiping dirty faces and hands, the plush toys strewn about a child's room need a quick refresh every once in a while.
Depending on the care instructions on the tag, you'll need to decide whether to use a washing machine, hand wash, or spot clean your plush toys. Older or more delicate toys should not be thrown in the wash. Toys with built-in battery packs, mechanical parts, or metal should only be spot cleaned, as water will cause damage.
Some laundry detergents tend to contain chemicals that are too harsh for more delicate items. Simple Green Laundry Detergentuses plant-based surfactants and a smart enzyme system that's tough on dirt and stains but gentle on the skin and the environment. It's free of chlorine, optical brighteners, borax, and phosphates commonly found in other detergents, all of which can irritate the skin. It works perfectly in tandem with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to lift tough stains from your kids' favorite plush toys.
Clean stuffed animals weekly if your child sleeps with them. Otherwise, it's fine to clean them as needed when they look dirty or give off a smell. Wash your child's stuffed animals immediately after he or she has been sick.
Directions for Cleaning Plush Toys:
When in doubt, always spot test the material first in a spot that won't be visible.
- Protect the stuffed animal. Place the stuffed toys in a mesh laundry bag, zippered pillowcase, or tied up pillowcase to protect them from wear and tear.
- Select settings. Use the delicate, hand wash, or gentle cycle setting on your washing machine, along with cold water to help keep colors from fading.
- Add laundry detergent. Pour in a capful of Simple Green Laundry Detergent.
- Add Simple Green. If you have a top-loading, traditional washing machine, pour ¼ cup of Simple Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner into the drum. If you have a HE washing machine, first wet the stuffed animals, then spray them with full strength Simple Green.
- Wash. Run your washing machine.
- Dry. After washing the stuffed animals, take them out of the mesh bag or pillowcase and lay them flat to air dry. You can roll each one in a clean, dry towel first to help remove moisture. Use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process if the little one gets antsy and wants his or her toy back.
- Fill a bucket or your sink with cold water. Use enough water to submerge the toys.
- Add Simple Green Laundry Detergent. Pour a capful of laundry detergent into your bucket or sink.
- Agitate for 2-3 minutes. Gently squeeze each toy to saturate it with water and detergent. Don't scrub too hard, as older stuffed animals might have loose strings or fabric.
- Drain. Drain or dump the used water.
- Rinse. Refill your bucket or sink with clean, cold water or run the stuffed animals under cold running water. Squeeze each one gently to rinse the detergent, but avoid wringing.
- Lay the stuffed animals flat to dry. You can roll each one in a clean, dry towel first to help remove moisture. You can also use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
- Wet. Wet the stains with clean, cold water.
- Apply Simple Green. Spray a 1:10 dilution of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaneronto the stains. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Scrub. If necessary, use an old toothbrush or nylon brush to scrub the stains.
- Rinse. Wet the stains again with clean, cold water to remove both the stains and the cleaner. Blot the cleaned stains with a clean, damp cloth as a final step to remove any remaining cleaner.
- Air dry. Lay the toys flat to dry.