How to clean barfy stuffed animals

I have wrestled with this unfortunate problem a couple of times in the past year or so. While I do not have a definitive sanitizing method for plush dolls, I have come up with something that I, a certified germophobe, can live with.

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Every time I’ve researched this question I’ve found some good ideas, but never came upon a simple step-by-step plan. So, here I offer mine — which I’m sure it will at least be useful for my own reference!

Photo: “Is Piggy Lou all clean?”

Two methods to clean barfy stuffed animals

  • If there is a lot of vomit on the toy:
    • Wipe off as much as you can
    • Put the item in a clean zippered pillowcase or mesh laundry bag
    • Place it in the washing machine
    • Use the gentle cycle and hot water and detergent
    • Let air dry
    • If the toy needs some fluffing when it is all dry, try tossing it in the dryer for a few minutes or drying it with a hair dryer
  • If there is not much vomit on the toy:
    • Wipe off as much as you can
    • Wipe the toy off with a couple of disinfecting wipes, or with a rag sprayed with disinfecting spray
    • Rub a good amount of hand sanitizer on your hands, then rub it all over the stuffed animal
    • Air dry or use a hair dryer to fluff up Fluffy

As I say, this certainly doesn’t kill every last germ. But after completing this process, I feel that I can give the stuffed animals back to my daughters without being too squeamish. Here’s to healthy gastro-intestinal tracts!

5 Replies to “How to clean barfy stuffed animals”

  1. Luckily Mo isn’t into stuffed animals, and only recently has Kaia become attached to stuffed animals. I still am the mean mom that throws it in the wash and into the dryer (I did this when we battled lice in February). So far, all have come out just fine. Hope you are all doing better, and stay well!

  2. I’m glad you posted your strategies! It’s my job to ‘spring clean’ all the dolls and stuffed animals at the girls’ preschool this weekend.

  3. Never thought of using hand sanitizer to disinfect stuffed animals. What a great idea! I now realize the importance of making sure to buy toys that are washable.

  4. Thank you for your post! Using Yahoo I searched, “How to clean vomit off of a stuffed animal”. Yours was the first link. Very easy strategies! Poor Piglet has been sitting on top of the dryer for days while I fretted and fretted over how best to clean him. I’m on it! =o)

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