How to Clean and Organize Stuffed Animals

If you have children than you probably have way too many stuffed animals hanging out in every nook and cranny of your home. They often get food on them or even dropped in the mud puddle out in your own backyard! Often time they are even carried to daycare and who knows what kind of germs and nasties they get on them there! Often time I chance it..... check the tag and throw it in the washing machine but if your child has a favorite stuffy that needs a good cleaning you may want to handle with a little more care.

How to Wash Stuffed Animals
  • Fill you sink full of cold water and add about 2 tablespoons very mild detergent.
  • Gently place your stuffy into the sink and hold down under the water until he/she is fully saturated.
  • Begin squeezing and swishing your stuffy around to aid in the cleaning process.
  • Grab an old toothbrush and scrub at the dirty areas a bit.
  • If the stuffy is really dirty you may want to drain your sink and complete steps 1-4 again.
  • One he/she is scrubbed clean drain your sink and start fresh with cold water to begin the rinsing process.
  • While the sink fills hold your stuffy under the running tap water gently squeezing and swishing it around.
  • Keep squeezing and swishing until the suds are all out of the stuffy. This may take a couple times of times draining and refilling the sink. Just be patient your little one is worth all the time and effort. 
  • Once you have your stuffy thoroughly rinsed it's time to get him dried.
  • Hang him/her outside to dry. You may want to go outside from time to time and keep squeezing the water out otherwise it will take forever.
* If you need stuffy to dry quickly you can try putting him in the dryer on air dry. Just note that there is always a risk that he/she could get caught on something and rip or worse yet.....loose an eye. Just be very careful when you wash stuffed animals, especially the special ones.

So now that you have your stuffy all clean and dry finding a place to organize them poses a challenge all by itself. Most kids have problems parting with their stuffed animals so organizing them is a definite must. Here are some ideas that hopefully will help you organize stuffed animals at your home.

  • Up Up Up and Away - Keep a few favorite stuffed animals down for your child to play with and organize the rest way up high. Hanging a rope from the ceiling and attaching them to it with wooden clothes pins is a cute idea. You can always find nets that hang in the corner of the room and make a cute display.
  • Ladder - An old painted ladder looks really cute with stuffed animals displayed on the steps. If your worried about your child climbing on it then turn it sideways and attach it to the wall and display them that way.
  • Shelves - If you have plenty of shelves in your child's bedroom make a cute little animal area on one of two of them. If you don't want to take up valuable wall space you can try placing the shelves up high about a foot from the ceiling all the way around the room and create a cute zoo display.
  • Bins and Baskets- Colorful bins and baskets placed in different areas of the room can help hold your child's beloved friends very well and they will look cute too.
  • Change them Out - Sometimes the amount of stuffed animals your child has can be quite overwhelming for everyone involved. Try keeping a Rubbermaid bin in the closet and exchange the stuffies out every now and then. That way they are out of site but still available to play with.
  • Under the Bed - The space under the bed often times is unused. Grab some bins that will slide under easily and teach your child to put them back when they are done playing with them. Wheels on the bins can aid them in pulling them out and pushing them back in.

Does your child have a stuffed animal that they can't live without? How do you wash stuffed animals in your home?


  1. My niece and nephews have a ton of stuffed animals, mostly build-a-bears. My sister-in-laws need to read this posts because they sure have them everywhere and I'm not sure they get washed either. My niece has one that is so filthy it's disgusting but she doesn't want anyone to touch it.

  2. So needed this, because we have a few stuffed animals in need of some TLC. So, thank you so much for sharing :)

  3. These are wonderful tips. With Des, his absolute favorite lovey is so beloved that I bought four spares. (don't tell him)
    For the rest, we really aim to take great care of them. I had no idea you could wash them!

  4. These are actually some really great tips. Even I myself have a few stuffed animals laying around my room that I refuse to get rid of. I'm really liking the shelf idea. Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. I have a collection of stuffed mini beanbags around my house. They do get dusty. I did try something similar to this to clean one once and it got ruined. Now I occasionally dust them off with the feather duster but other then that leave them alone as I don't want to ruin any more.

  6. I remember my mom washing and drying my stuff animals all the time.