After you have purchased your plush toy, you need to care for it appropriately in order for it to continue to provide years of entertainment, love, and companionship.
Plush toys are grouped either as Surface-washable or Machine-washable (Washer or Dishwasher in some select instances). Specific cleaning instructions differ, but can be found on most labels that are attached to the plush toy.
Typically most plush toys, especially those that fall into one of the following categories are surface-washable only:
- Scented plush: If not one, then definitely two washes will fully get rid of the scent
- Contains polystyrene foam, foam beads, excelsior, leather, natural fur, mohair, or wool: This will most likely become damaged if thrown into a washing machine
- Electronic: Any plush with a motor of some sort or a music box that utilizes batteries should never be put into a washing machine
- Already damaged: Any plush already damaged will only be further damaged if put into a washing machine
- Stiff: Any plush that is stiff will more than likely become less stiff if put into a washing machine.
- Glued on parts: These can come off potentially as it will weaken the glue.
- Delicate clothing or clothing with lots of glittery or small attachments: These can easily be damaged or broken and the parts lost.
Surface wash your plush toy, a lightly dampened cloth is all that is needed. Gently rub the plush toy all over to get rid of any dust. For stains, pay extra attention to the stained area. Also consider using a stain remover made specifically for plush toys. Always test on a small spot though and follow the stain remover manufacturer's directions when using it. Another way to surface clean is to put the plush toy into a big bag and put baking soda into the bag. Close the bag and then give it a good shake and then take it out and brush off all the baking soda. You can pat it to get rid of the remaining baking soda.
Machine wash by putting your plush toy into the washing machine and then setting it to 'Gentle' or 'Delicate' cycle spin, warm or cool water, and use a gentle, mild detergent. If you choose to do this, consider loading the plush toy by itself with no other garments to prevent any bleeding of colors into the plush toy. Additionally, it is recommended that the washer be one that is front-loading since top-loading machines typically have an agitator in the middle which can damage the plush toy. Finally, place your plush toy inside a mesh bag before loading into the washing machine. This gives it some additional protection.
It is not recommended to your stuffed animal into the dryer. Air drying is the number one option. A blow dryer set on 'cool' or 'low heat' can be used to help speed up drying when it is almost dry. Make sure that the label indicates that it can use a dryer.
Re-shaping the Plush Toy
After it has dried, use a hairbrush to straighten out the fur and use your hands to fluff up not only the fur but also the body itself.