Is It Okay To Wash Plushies?

Is It Okay To Wash Plushies?

Plushies, those beloved soft and cuddly companions, often become treasured keepsakes and essential parts of our lives. Whether it’s a childhood favorite, a comforting presence, or a decorative addition, plushies can hold significant sentimental value. However, as much as we adore them, plushies can accumulate dust, dirt, and germs over time. This leads to the inevitable question: Is it okay to wash plushies? The answer is a resounding yes, but with some important considerations to ensure your plushie remains in great shape.

Why Wash Plushies?

Hygiene and Health

Plushies can harbor allergens, bacteria, and dust mites, which can be problematic for those with allergies or respiratory issues. Regular cleaning helps maintain a healthier environment, especially if the plushie is frequently handled or shared among children.

Longevity and Appearance

Washing your plushie can help preserve its appearance and extend its lifespan. Removing stains, dirt, and oils from handling can keep the fabric looking vibrant and feeling soft.

Emotional Comfort

A clean plushie is more inviting and comforting, making it more enjoyable to cuddle and interact with. Keeping it clean ensures it continues to provide the same level of comfort and joy.

How to Wash Plushies: Step-by-Step Guide

Check the Label

Before washing your plushie, always check the care label. Manufacturers often provide specific instructions regarding washing methods, temperature settings, and whether the plushie can be machine washed or should be hand washed.

Machine Washing

If the care label indicates that machine washing is safe, follow these steps:

  1. Prep the Plushie: Remove any accessories or clothing that may be attached to the plushie. Secure any loose parts, such as buttons or ribbons, to prevent damage.
  2. Use a Laundry Bag: Place the plushie in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it during the wash cycle.
  3. Gentle Cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine, using cold or lukewarm water. Avoid hot water as it can damage the fabric and stuffing.
  4. Mild Detergent: Use a mild, fragrance-free detergent to avoid skin irritations and preserve the plushie’s softness.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Ensure the plushie is rinsed thoroughly to remove all soap residue.

Hand Washing

For more delicate plushies or those with electronic components, hand washing is the safer option:

  1. Prepare Soapy Water: Fill a basin or sink with cold or lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Clean Gently: Submerge the plushie and gently scrub it using your hands or a soft cloth. Pay extra attention to any stained or soiled areas.
  3. Rinse Well: Rinse the plushie thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap.
  4. Squeeze Out Water: Gently squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting, which can damage the plushie’s shape.


  1. Air Dry: The best method for drying plushies is to let them air dry. Place the plushie on a clean towel and reshape it as needed. Lay it flat or hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
  2. Tumble Dry (If Allowed): If the care label permits, you can tumble dry the plushie on a low-heat or air-dry setting. Adding a few clean towels to the dryer can help cushion the plushie and speed up the drying process.

Special Considerations

Delicate or Antique Plushies

For older or more fragile plushies, consider spot cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent to avoid potential damage. In some cases, professional cleaning may be the best option.

Electronic Components

Plushies with electronic parts, such as sound or motion mechanisms, should not be submerged in water. Instead, spot clean the fabric exterior and consult the manufacturer’s instructions for care.


Yes, it is absolutely okay to wash plushies, and doing so can help maintain their cleanliness, appearance, and longevity. By following the proper washing and drying methods, you can ensure your plushie remains a cherished companion for years to come. Always remember to check the care label and handle with care, especially for more delicate or electronic plushies. Happy cleaning!

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