Care Tips for Soft Toys

Cuddly and plush toys need a thorough cleaning from time to time. If the plush toy has a label with washability information – possibly even machine-washable instructions – cleaning is straightforward.

However, many plush toys have no washing instructions. Dry cleaning is unsuitable in such cases, especially if the plush toy is used as a cuddly toy by children. Generally, hand washing in lukewarm soapy water at about 30 degrees Celsius is sufficient. Stubborn stains should be treated beforehand. Then thoroughly squeeze out the plush toy and let it air dry. For larger toys, where drying time might be lengthy, a brief pre-dry in the gentle spin cycle can help.

Care instructions for Carl Dick cuddly toys:
Care instructions for Carl Dick cuddly toys:

Of course, it is more convenient to put the plush toy in the washing machine. Many have no reservations about this and are often lucky that the plush toy remains undamaged. Most materials nowadays are machine washable and dryer safe. There is hardly any risk with terry cloth, microfiber, and short-pile fabrics. Long-pile materials often become particularly soft again in the dryer. However, caution is advised with synthetic fibers that are already matted (commonly with lower-quality products). Such plush toys do not survive either the washing machine or the dryer.

Long-haired plush toys should only be hand washed, lightly spun, and air-dried. After drying, thoroughly shake out the plush toy and gently shape it with a coarse comb.

Plush toys that cannot be washed or whose material composition is unclear are best wiped carefully with a soft cloth and soap foam. Then wipe down with clear water and let it air dry.

If you clean the plush toy only on the surface and feel it is not entirely clean, here’s a tip: After drying, place the plush toy in an airtight plastic bag, ideally vacuum-sealed, and put it in the freezer for a few days. Then thaw and let it dry well. This kills dust mites and other pests. This method is also suitable for moth and lice infestations. The longer the plush toy stays in the freezer (at least 3 days), the better.

If the plush toy is too large for the freezer, you can store it in an airtight package for at least 4 weeks to achieve the same effect.

Note: If the plush toy has a battery or voice module, remove it before washing. If there is no opening, unpick the seam in a discreet spot, take out the module, and sew it back in after drying.

Due to the various materials used by manufacturers, there is always a certain risk with both hand and machine washing.

These tips are based on personal experiences and research.