March 24, 2021 4 min read

Your daughter's wolf plush is in a very shabby and somewhat worn condition. You need to clean it to get it white again, but you're afraid to put it in the washing machine. These beloved treasures can be a trickier item to launder. How do you clean it without it getting damaged? How do you launder it again? It no longer has a label so you can't read the instructions on it. Don't worry, I'll tell you how!

Will my toddler burst into tears if I take off his wolf plush for too long to wash it?

A little advice: don't wash this kind of stuffed animal at nap time or bedtime. Trust me.

There are several reasons why you should wash stuffed animals:
  • A bedbug attack,
  • They can get dusty from sitting on a shelf,
  • A little too much love from the owner,
  • Lice or other vermin,
  • If your child has allergies or asthma.
Soft toys are like clothes - the less you wash them, the newer they will look.

Your child probably loves his or her stuffed wolf more than anything else in the world. However, there can be differences in washing stuffed toys. Some stuffed toys are older, or more beloved, than others, which can dictate how you choose to clean them.

In this tutorial we will explain two types of washing:
  • A gentle hand wash for worn lint that you don't want to damage.
  • Washing in the washing machine for ordinary stuffed animals.

1) Washing your plush in the machine

Can it go in the washing machine or not? Can you use an ordinary detergent or do you have to use a special product?

Most stuffed animals can safely take a spin in the washing machine, although there is always the possibility of damage, which is something you need to take into consideration.

That said, machine washing will be a great choice for most parents looking to clean their children's stuffed animals. Here are the best practices for doing this:

  • Use the gentlest cycle available on your washing machine.
  • Wash your wolf plush in cold water with a mild detergent.
  • If sanitizing is a concern, consider using a product like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, which is safe for whites and colors, unlike chlorine bleach. Avoid using hot water because if parts of the comforter are glued, hot water can dissolve some of the glue.
  • If the size and shape of the toy allows, place the stuffed animal in a washable mesh bag that will help protect its parts. Padding the washer drum with towels can add another layer of protection.
  • Air drying is the gentlest choice. A hair dryer turned on at low to medium heat can help fluff up the wolf's fur once the toy has reached the damp stage (think of this as a finishing touch!).

Machine drying is also fine, but it's best to use the low temperature setting so you don't melt the glue.
You can't wash your stuffed animal in the washing machine if they:

  • Have a music box sewn inside
  • Are extremely old and fragile
  • Have glitter or other objects stuck to them. Glued eyes will probably survive a wash.
  • Have delicate clothing that cannot be removed (think sparkly net dresses or small fragile crowns or similar).
  • Are filled with small balls of foam inside.

Do you love wolves and soft toys? Come and adopt our cute plush wolves !


 2) Washing your wolf plush by hand

Step 1: Choose a convenient place to wash your wolf plush

The kitchen sink is great for hand laundering, but a spacious sink, bathtub or wash bucket are also great choices. What you want is a space big enough for you to submerge the item in water, with enough room for you to reach in without making a huge mess of water. And, of course, make sure the space where you wash the lint is clean.


Step 2: Add water, detergent and a booster, if necessary.

Fill the sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. It's easy to overuse detergent, which will make rinsing a nightmare. Measuring out a teaspoon and adding more if necessary is a good way to avoid excess detergent.

As for products, regular laundry detergent, Dr. Bronner's Baby Shampoo or even Johnson's Baby Shampoo are fine - you don't need a specialized product, but if you do, there is Soak, which is a no-rinse formula, to whiten laundry.

For stuffed toys that are dingy, stained or discolored, using a booster like OxiClean, Borax or baking soda, coupled with a long soak in the detergent solution, will help brighten up your stuffed animal.

Step 3: Wash the wolf plush.

Dip the plush toy into the water using a pumping motion (apply pressure to the plush as if it were a sponge), so that it is saturated with the detergent solution. Then, let it bubble and soak for 15 to 60 minutes, depending on its condition and degree of soiling. Shaking it occasionally will also help release the dirt.

Step 4: Rinse the plush wolf.

After letting the stuffed animal soak, drain the wash water. It will probably be pretty gross! It's okay if you find the condition of the water oddly clear.

After the water drains, wipe or rinse the sink free of suds, then fill it with clean water and apply a little pressure to the stuffed animal while it is submerged to help release the soap. Repeat as needed until the toy is lather-free. If the toy is solid, you can also rinse it directly under running water.

Step 5: Dry the wolf toy.


Before removing the stuffed animal from the sink, gently squeeze to extrude as much water as possible. Then transfer it to a clean towel and roll it up, pressing again to extract more water. Then place the object on the towel to air dry. If, when the toy has dried to the point of being just damp, it looks a little tangled, use a hair dryer on its lowest setting to bring the fibers up.

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