Anyone know how to clean a really old stuffed animal without de stuffing it or soaking it…

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Jul 23, 2021
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haha yeah…. I managed to find a plush that looks exactly like my dads childhood toy and I snatched it right up to give him for his birthday… Only issue is: it’s fur is really dirty.

But I don’t think a plush from the 70’s is going to survive a trip to the washing machine or dry out properly from a soak…

Unfortunately I do not know the materials of this creature and am waiting to see the results of a baking soda paste gentle scrub on its butt (and I’ve cleaned all the dirt from his rubber face that’s in the first pick)

I was thinking of maybe softly scrubbing the outside of his fur with a mild watered down gentle detergent

Any thoughts 😂😂😂


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Looks collectible… a lot of stuff like that is best left with some “condition” if you don’t care about it’s value, maybe some woolite sweater washing stuff, just dampen it and maybe lightly vacuum it… or rub in some dry baking soda, and lightly vacuum it…
Nah don’t really care about value… just wanna make it soft and clean LOL.

It needs to stitch repair and a touch up paint job. It has a deep chip on the chin so also gonna look into a filler if it exists.
I used to stick my dog's stuffed toys in the washing machine, hot wash with lots of detergent. Unfortunately without knowing the exact material, a hot wash could shrink cotton and you end up with a sheltie instead of a rough collie :)

Dry cleaners can do them but they usually leave a chemical residue on the material :(

Furniture shampoo that you use to wash material car seats or lounge chairs might be an option.

The material is probably cotton or a polyester/ cotton blend, which was commonly used for clothes and stuffed toys around the 1970s.

Chances are the inside is either cotton wadding or foam rubber, both are fine in the washing machine. However, the face could be an issue in a washing machine.
I ordered some woolite delicate detergent and its other booty cheek is gonna get a test scrub 😎😎
Feeling and squeezing it, it doesn’t feel like traditional stuffing inside of it. It feels sorta like a leather encasing? For lack of a better way to describe it. Or like something is a specific shape in there matched to fit the body part it’s in. So it’s not really squishy in the traditional stuffing sense. It squishes somewhat but it has some form to it. Or it could just be really tight stuffing.

I am not well versed in the way of stuffing
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Normally when you stuff a toy like a plushie, you fill it with cotton or acrylic wadding. If you are making a decent toy and want it to stand up, you push the wadding in quite hard so it can support some weight. If you are making a cheap toy with floppy limbs, you have less stuffing and don't pack it in as tightly.

Some stuffed toys can be filled with a polyurethane foam rubber cut out that resembles the animal/ toy and the material outer cover is put over top of it. These usually have flexible limbs and small toys can sometimes support their own weight but bigger toys can't.

Some companies filled the inside of stuffed toys with grain (rice, wheat or occasionally corn). These feel like they contain gravel and it's noticeably different to foam rubber or cotton wadding.
That's a thoughtful project.

I once cleaned a kid's stuffie with the spray on spot remover, brushing, and a lot of rinsing. Diluted dish soap also worked (my kids loved their stuffed animals, so I learned a new skillset). The work is getting the cleanser off the ones with the more rigid foam inside. But unless your Dad is likely to take the stuffie to bed with him, that's less of an issue than it would be if a kid had the toy.
I second the diluted dish soap, it's mild but should be strong enough to get the dirt and dust off. Use a microfiber cloth and give it a gentle rub, any debris should stick to the cloth anyway. You can dry it in the sun (if you have any). I bet your dad is going to love that 😁
Result of the baking soda paste. Left it a little clumpy but isn’t there a brush out there you can get to help fluff it back up?
I watched a show where a teddy was cleaned up recently. It had already been destuffed by the owner so they could move it around with them. But iirc they used a damp cloth with a gentle detergent ie a wool or hand wash one, and gently cleaned it that way. Then after that gentle clean… they knocked seven bells out of it with a slicker brush lol. Looked fab at the end. Just be gentle with the brushing.

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