How to wash a teddy bear or other stuffed animals

How to wash a teddy bear or other stuffed animals

Teddy bears are one of the most popular stuffed toys, equally loved by younger and older owners. While some kids tend to keep them in their beds as a sleeping buddy, others take them wherever they go. Most of us have seen teddy bears that have been to the park, the playground or restaurants, so here are a few tips and tricks from Ariel on how to clean a teddy bear after a long day of adventures.

6 steps on how to wash a teddy bear

  • 1

    Check the care label

    First thing you should do is to check the care label. If the teddy bear is washable in a washing machine, go to the next step. If not, check out the next section.

  • 2

    Check the bear

    Check the seams on the teddy bear from head to toe. You don’t want to have any surprises when you’re taking your kid’s favourite toy out of the washer.

  • 3

    Use a laundry bag

    For the safety of the teddy bear and the happiness of its owner, put it in a laundry bag and make sure it’s zipped up tight.

  • 4


    Add detergent based on the instructions on your pack. You can also check out our guide on how to dose detergent correctly.

  • 5


    Put your teddy bear into the washing machine and select the programme for your delicates or the gentlest cycle you have. Make sure you don’t have any bright-coloured clothes in the washer next to the bear that could run.

  • 6


    When the wash cycle is over, simply remove the teddy bear and put it on a kitchen cloth on the floor to dry. Turn it over from one side to the other every once in a while to ensure even drying. Don’t hang it out with a clothes peg, as it can damage the teddy bear’s shape. Machine-drying it is also dangerous, because stuffed toys are too delicate for that.

5 steps on how to spot wash a teddy bear

  • 1

    Check the teddy bear

    Just as you would do when cleaning a teddy bear in the washing machine, you should check all the seams on it to make sure they hold properly.

  • 2

    Prepare a solution

    Mix some laundry detergent, like Ariel Matic Front Load, or Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent with lukewarm water and wait for it to dissolve.

  • 3

    Wet your brush

    Get a fingernail brush, wet it in the solution you’ve just made, and start gently brushing the bear where it needs cleaning.

  • 4


    When you’ve managed to remove the stain or dirt, rinse that area well under running water.

  • 5


    Dry the teddy bear just as you would after a machine wash: lay it on a kitchen cloth on the floor and let it dry.

How to disinfect stuffed animals

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you want to sanitise stuffed animals:

  • Wash regularly. Plush toys like teddy bears should be washed every other week if they are washable. If not, spot cleaning works great too. If your kid is sick, toys should be washed more often.

  • Use a solution of laundry detergent mixed with water for the best effect.

  • Don’t use vinegar. It’s not powerful enough when it comes to disinfecting a teddy bear.

  • Use other methods. If the toy is not supposed to be washed at all, you can use a garment steamer on the teddy bear, then vacuum it with the upholstery attachment on.

Additional tips on how to clean a teddy bear

  • Dust. No matter if you’re machine washing it or only spot cleaning it, make sure to dust your teddy bear first.

  • Avoid sun. When drying, don’t put stuffed toys out in the sun, as it can easily fade the colour.

  • Check guarantee. In case any accidents happen, it’s always useful to know if there’s any guarantee on the toy.

  • Soak for a short time. Even if the teddy bear is washable, soaking it in water for a long time may damage it, so it’s best to keep it under water only until it’s necessary.