Can You Wash Soft Toys In Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Soft Toys In Washing Machine

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Yes, soft toys can be washed in a washing machine. However, it is important to check the label on the toy before washing it, as some toys may require a delicate cycle or hand-washing. Before washing, it is recommended to spot-treat any stains on the toy and remove any loose dirt or dust with a vacuum cleaner.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Soft Toys In Washing Machine


  • Check the Care Label: Always read and follow the care label on the soft toy. It provides essential information on how to clean the toy properly.
  • Spot-Treat Stains: Address any visible stains or spots on the soft toy before washing. Use a gentle stain remover or a mild detergent diluted in water.
  • Remove Loose Dirt and Dust: Vacuum the soft toy to remove loose dirt, dust, and allergens. Use a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the toy’s fabric.
  • Use a Pillowcase or Laundry Bag: Place the soft toy inside a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect it during the washing process and prevent damage.
  • Choose a Delicate Cycle: When using a washing machine, select a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water to prevent damage to the toy.
  • Use Mild Detergent: Opt for a mild, hypoallergenic detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics.
  • Dry Thoroughly: Ensure the soft toy is completely dry before returning it to use. Damp toys can develop mold or mildew.


  • Ignore the Care Label: Do not disregard the care label instructions. Following these guidelines is crucial to avoid damaging the soft toy.
  • Use Hot Water: Avoid hot water as it can cause colors to fade and damage delicate fabrics. Stick to cold or lukewarm water.
  • Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading the washing machine, as it can lead to ineffective cleaning and potential damage to the toys.
  • Skip Spot-Treating Stains: Stains should be addressed before washing to improve the chances of complete removal.
  • Use Harsh Detergents: Steer clear of harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the toy’s fabric and color.
  • Tumble Dry: Never use a tumble dryer to dry soft toys, as the heat can distort the toy’s shape and fabric.

Steps To Wash Soft Toys In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Check the Care Label: Read the care label on the soft toy for specific cleaning instructions.

Step 2

Spot-Treat Stains: If there are stains or spots on the toy, gently spot-treat them with a stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Step 3

Remove Loose Dirt and Dust: Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and allergens from the toy’s surface.

Step 4

Place in a Pillowcase or Laundry Bag: To protect the toy during washing, place it inside a pillowcase or laundry bag.

Step 5

Select a Delicate Cycle: Set your washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water. Ensure the machine is not overloaded.

Step 6

Use Mild Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics to the machine.

Step 7

Wash and Rinse: Start the washing machine and allow it to complete both the washing and rinsing cycles.

Step 8

Remove and Dry: After the cycle is complete, remove the soft toy from the machine.

Step 9

Air Dry: Place the toy in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Ensure it is completely dry before returning it to use.

Alternative Washing Methods For Soft Toys

Hand Washing:

  • Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  • Gently agitate the water and immerse the toy. Use a soft cloth or your hands to gently scrub the surface.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and air dry.

Spot Cleaning: For minor stains, create a mixture of water and mild detergent. Dip a cloth or sponge in the mixture and gently blot the stained area.

Freezing: Place the toy in a sealed plastic bag and freeze it overnight. This can help kill bacteria and eliminate odors.

Dry Shampooing: Use a dry shampoo specifically designed for fabric. Sprinkle it over the toy’s surface, let it sit for a while, and then brush or shake off the excess.

Professional Cleaning: If the toy is very delicate or valuable, consider taking it to a professional cleaner who specializes in cleaning soft items.

These alternative methods can be especially useful if your soft toy is not suitable for machine washing or if you want to take extra care in preserving its condition.


Can I use fabric softener when cleaning soft toys?

Answer: No, it’s best to avoid fabric softener as it can leave residue and may not be suitable for certain fabrics.

How often should I clean my child’s soft toys?

Answer: Cleaning frequency depends on usage and conditions. Cleaning every few months or when visibly soiled is a good rule.

Can I wash battery-operated toys?

Answer: No, water can damage electronic components. Wipe them with a damp cloth instead.

Can I dry soft toys in the dryer?

Answer: Air drying is safer to prevent shrinking or warping. Dryers can harm fabrics.

How can I clean toys with delicate parts?

Answer: For toys with delicate parts, consider spot cleaning, freezing, or professional cleaning.

Final Words

Washing soft toys in a washing machine is a convenient and effective way to keep them clean and fresh. By following a few simple steps and using the right settings, you can ensure that your beloved stuffed animals are not only free from dirt and bacteria but also maintain their shape and softness. Remember to remove any detachable parts, place the toys in a laundry bag or pillowcase for extra protection, and use a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Once the wash is complete, air-dry or use a low-heat setting in the dryer to prevent any damage. So go ahead and give your furry friends the spa treatment they deserve!

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