How to Clean & Disinfect Stuffed Animals

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Things You'll Need

  • Pillow case or mesh bag

  • Vacuum

  • Large, sealable plastic bags

  • 1 cup baking powder or cornstarch

Clean and disinfect stuffed animals every few months to reduce allergens.

A bed full of stuffed-animal friends provides a comfortable, imaginative environment for children. Unfortunately, stuffed animals can also harbor dust mites and other allergens that may trigger allergies in children and adults in the house. Clean and disinfect stuffed animals every few months in order to keep allergens at bay. Always check stuffed animals for manufacturer's directions before you clean them. Most items are washable, but others may require alternative cleaning and disinfecting methods.

Washing Machine Instructions

Step 1

Place stuffed animal in a pillow case or mesh bag.

Step 2

Wash in cold water. Do not use bleach.

Step 3

Air-dry stuffed animals overnight or tumble dry with no heat.

Odor Removal

Step 1

Vacuum stuffed animals to remove dust and dirt.

Step 2

Place the stuffed animals in sealed plastic bags with 1 cup of cornstarch or baking soda in each bag. Shake each bag vigorously to coat the toys.

Step 3

Remove the stuffed animals from their bags and shake them off outside.

Step 4

Leave the toys outside in the sun for at least two hours. This method is particularly effective for removal of moldy odors.

Dust Mite Treatment

Step 1

Place stuffed animals in sealed plastic bag.

Step 2

Put the bags in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Step 3

Remove toys from the freezer and then wash them in the washing machine. Air-dry thoroughly.


Nicole Crawford

Nicole Crawford is a NASM-certified personal trainer, doula and pre/post-natal fitness specialist. She is studying to be a nutrition coach and RYT 200 yoga teacher. Nicole contributes regularly at Breaking Muscle and has also written for "Paleo Magazine," The Bump and Fit Bottomed Mamas.