How to clean and repair loved stuffed animals~
Removing dust from plush:
- Use a lint roller to remove dust, hair, and other particles from the fabric’s surface. Take caution when lint rolling felt plush, so that it does not damage the fabric.
- To remove particles more thoroughly, You can also vacuum stuffed animals with a small attachment.
How to clean stuffed animals:
- The method you should clean stuffed animals depends on the fabrics you used for the stuffed animal. If your plush is washable, use cold water with baby detergent, and air dry by pressing on a towel. Allow to dry fully near a fan or under the sun, as plush left damp can grow mold.
- If you used dried beans instead of polyester pellets, they will rot inside the plush if you get them wet.
- If your stuffed animal is very durable and washing machine resistant, place it in a pillowcase, and wash on cold on delicates with fabric softener.
- To spot-clean or remove stains, I recommend “Siege Teddy Bear Cleaner” for a general light cleaning, or “Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover” to get rid of any kind of stain.
- Do not bring plush toys to the dry cleaners, as the chemicals used can damage them.
See the fabrics guide here for specific cleaning guides for various fabric types.
Repairing a plush:
The ladder stitch and back stitch are two strong stitches that are great to repair rips and tears. I recommend using upholstery thread when repairing, as the thread is much stronger. Make sure your knots are large enough to hold, and that you use a series of ‘sinking knots’ to make sure the piece won’t come apart again.
If you’re not sure how to do these stitches, I can teach you in this lesson.
Replacing stuffing in a plush:
In case the stuffed animal loses its’ shape from lots of love, you can replace the stuffing quickly, easily, and durably. Find an area of the plush (usually at the back center seam), and seam rip or carefully use small sharp scissors to cut the threads holding the seam. Remove old stuffing, and replace with new polyester. Insert stuffing more firmly at the ends of the hands or paws. Re-stitch using a ladder stitch and upholstery thread. Use a toothbrush or wire brush to smooth the fur fibers back down.