How to Clean Stuffed Toys – A Step By Step-By-Step Guide

updated: 27/12/2023

Everybody Loves a Stuffed Toy

Whether it’s your kids’ toys or mementoes from your youth, everyone loves stuffed toys. They have a special quality about them that no other toys, especially the modern electronic ones, can ever have. And if properly looked after, they can last for ages. Unfortunately, because of their very nature, stuffed toys attract dust and dirt and need to be cleaned regularly to keep them looking and smelling fresh.

This is easy. Include them in your weekly house cleaning task sheet and Bob’s your uncle ;).

To Clean Stuffed Toys:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck off as much of the surface dirt as possible. Be careful not to suck up any accessories that may be loosely attached to the toys.
  2. Next, use a cloth dampened with plain water to wipe the surface of the stuffed toy and remove surface grime.
  3. Let any residual dampness dry and then brush the surface areas. A brush with well-spaced-out plastic bristles is the best. Do not use a hairbrush that you have used – oils and grooming products sticking to the brush may stain the toy.
  4. If there are any grease or oil spots cover them with talcum powder, allow the powder to sit for about 15 minutes and then brush it off. This should remove most, if not all of the stain.
  5. If the grease stains remain and if you find other spots of dirt that have not been cleaned so far, you can use a homemade cleaner. Mix a quarter cup of water with half a cup of rubbing alcohol and half a teaspoon of dishwashing soap. Mix well until a froth appears on top.
  6. Use a cotton swab to apply some of the froth to an inconspicuous part of the toy. Let the area dry and if there is no discolouration, whip up the froth again and apply it to all the stains. Wipe off immediately and do not allow the liquid to soak into the stuffing.
  7. Many newer stuffed toys can be machine-washed. Check the labels to see if the toys are suitable for machine washing. Make sure you remove any batteries and detachable accessories before placing the toy in the machine. Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. If nothing is mentioned about being machine washable, presume that the toy should not be placed in a washing machine.
  8. Even if a toy is machine washable, if it is old or in a delicate condition, it is best not to subject it to the strain of the washing machine.


Cleaning stuffed toys may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be done effectively and safely. Regular cleaning not only helps maintain the appearance and longevity of these cherished items but also ensures a hygienic environment for your children. Whether using a vacuum cleaner, a homemade cleaning solution, or a washing machine, remember to treat each toy according to its specific needs and conditions. With these simple and careful cleaning techniques, your stuffed toys can continue to be a source of joy and comfort for years to come.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.