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Lutero

Safely Cleaning Plush Toys!

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For many people who loved stuffed animals, from young children to adults (and even Babyfurs or Plushophiles!), having a smelly not-so-soft plushy isn’t all to fun.

This quick guide will have your dirty and rugged plushies feeling and smelling nice in no time!

What will I need?
• A stuffed toy, such as your favourite stuffed puppy or giraffe!
• A garbage bag, or a zip-loc bag, depending upon the size of the toy to be cleaned up. Just make sure the bag doesn’t have holes and the animal fits inside along with the hose end of you vacuum, or it won’t work well.
• A vacuum cleaner with an extension hose/tube
• Baking soda (Arm & Hammer works great!)
• A flat surface or towel to work on, to help prevent messes or catch the excess powder. (As if getting a bit of powder on the carpet will hurt it any!)
First of all, we need a toy. My favourite plushy for example: Click image for larger version. 

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Boo here, as I’ve named him, has become worn and not-so-fresh smelling; and his fur feels scratchy and not as soft as it once was.

1. First of all, beat the animal (like fluffing a pillow) to loosen the cotton up for the next steps. Also, make sure it isn’t wet or damp, or the powder will become a yucky mess!

2. Set the toy on a flat surface or even your bed, then bounce onto step three. Easy right?


3. Sprinkle some of the Baking Soda onto your palm.
If the toy is rather large, use plenty. The baking soda will come out just fine, so unless you dump the whole darn box on your plushy pal, use as much as you think is necessary.

During this step, I’ll break the guide into separate sections depending on size. Follow whichever one suits you
4.

Small Stuffed Toys

For a smaller stuffed animal, take some or the entire amount in your hand and sprinkle it on the toy, then rub it in as if petting it. Be vigourous, so the baking soda will actually go deep into the fur.
Not much will be required here.
Large Stuffed Toys

For the larger plushy companion, you can sprinkle from the box. If the toyl is like Boo here, having “sides” then do one at a time, in order of body, extremities, then another onceover if you wish

Use more Baking soda for the larger toys

If the toy has thicker or thinner fur, use more or less depending upon the circumstance
5. After you do either of the above, open up the bag and put the animal inside, then grasp the upper most part of the bag into a ring like an “O” and give it a good shake to loosen the baking soda a little.Click image for larger version. 

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Once you’re satisfied, move along to step six!

6. Here comes the loud part!
Take the hose of your vacuum and put it in the bag along with the toy. Try to position it on the main body of the plushy, away from the bag (otherwise it’ll fail)
Now, again wrap the bag into an “O”, this time tightly around the hose. Try not to let any air escape or get in!

7. Now, turn the vacuum on. The air will be sucked out of the bag and from the toy, causing it to compress. Wait until it stops shrinking, and then turn off the power. The air will go back into the space it left, causing it to spring back up on its own.

8. Repeat the last step at least 3-4 times. Take your now fresh buddy out and rub the fur briskly. You shouldn’t see any baking soda fling off of it, if so, shake him and apply the suction once or twice more.


Now, your plushy should be smelling better than before, as well as feeling softer. He’s dry, not ripped apart by the evil washing machine, and most likely, even fluffier than before.


Now all that’s needed is to put him back with the collection, on your bed, or in loving arms and you’ll be done!

Updated 12-Jul-2012 at 14:18 by Lutero

Tags: cleaning, plushy
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Comments

  1. Tygon's Avatar
    Interesting concept... I've always gone for surface cleaning with Gund Teddy Bear Bath (now out of production) or Siege Teddy Bear Cleaner. I agree, the washing machine is sometimes evil. Though, I've never had a plush ripped apart or really damaged by the washer (it's a vertical drum HE machine, so no rough agitator; I think that helps). I have resorted to the washer on occasion, when the plush is beyond surface cleaning and the fur style is not something that would be wrecked in the washer (longer fur like a lion mane will become very matted). I just put my plush in a white pillow case before subjecting it to the washer.
  2. Lutero's Avatar


    Quote Originally Posted by Tygon
    Interesting concept... I've always gone for surface cleaning with Gund Teddy Bear Bath (now out of production) or Siege Teddy Bear Cleaner. I agree, the washing machine is sometimes evil. Though, I've never had a plush ripped apart or really damaged by the washer (it's a vertical drum HE machine, so no rough agitator; I think that helps). I have resorted to the washer on occasion, when the plush is beyond surface cleaning and the fur style is not something that would be wrecked in the washer (longer fur like a lion mane will become very matted). I just put my plush in a white pillow case before subjecting it to the washer.
    True, but some plushies just wont fit into a washing machine easily; as is the case with Boo. Also, the factor of being able to dry them. Normally when washing one, I would take it out and let it dry under the sun, but since it's winter... well. yeah x3
  3. FurtiveKit's Avatar
    From what I have seen, Build-A-Bears can be washed in a washing machine, on delicate, if you place them in a pillow case. I did this once before with my Border Collie, and it was not harmed in the process.
  4. Jewbacca's Avatar
    You should turn this into an article.
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