An Easy Guide to Disinfecting Stuffed Animals

Almost every child has a favorite stuffed animal that they cling to day in day out. The bond gets tighter when they are sick, and if the toys are not properly disinfected, they could be a cause of re-infection in the child or their siblings.

You may have a hard time separating the child from the stuffed animal, but you have to get smart. Ensure you have a temporary replacement. If you don’t, trick the child into playing a game that involves hiding the toy, or come up with a clever story about the toy’s whereabouts. However you do it, the fact remains that you have to properly disinfect the stuffed animals in your household on a weekly basis.

How to Properly Disinfect the Stuffed Animals

By disinfecting stuffed animals using the following procedure, you guarantee that every germ is killed. Check the laundering instructions on the tags of the toys to avoid destroying your child’s best friends.

Machine Cleaning a stuffed toy

    • For Machine Cleaning, If the toy is machine washable, remove its clothes and any other items such as bows and ribbons. Put these clothes and the stuffed toy in a mesh bag and into a washing machine, set on hot water. For toys that are too big to fit in the washing machine, cut them open along the seam, remove the stuffing, and wash the cover on a hot water cycle.

Dry the stuffed animal toys

    • Dry the stuffed animal toys and all associated items on hot for at least 45 minutes to finish off any stubborn germs. Replace and sew back the filling on the large toys.


ensure that you use bleach and mildly warm

    • When Cleaning with Water To clean with your hands, ensure that you use bleach and mildly warm, clean water to scrub the outside of your child’s stuffed animals thoroughly.

use a piece of clean cloth or a brush with soft bristles

    • You could use a piece of clean cloth or a brush with soft bristles. Be sure to properly clean every hidden corner and fold, including any buttons. If the toy is clothed, separate the clothes from the stuffed animal and wash each thoroughly. Rinse with lots of clean water, and ensure all the detergent is off. Leave them out in the sun to completely dry.

store the dry toy in a freezer

    • If you are cleaning the stuffed animal immediately after an illness, store the dry toy in a freezer for 72 hours in order to sanitize it. But of course, use a freezer bag.



When Disinfecting Stuffed Animals using bleach, be sure to follow the instructions on the label for diluting it. Ensure it has an EPA registration number which is a guarantee that it is risk-free. Some kiddos will put accessories such as pearls on their stuffed animals.

Wipe them as well using a clean cloth some warm water and disinfectant or bleach. Rinse it well to remove any traces of the bleach. Washing the stuffed animal is not enough, you need to wipe the surface they are frequently stored with a disinfectant.


separating the child from the stuffed animal

If it was up to your child, they would never let go of their favorite stuffed animal. But stuffed animals are notorious carriers of germs, especially after the child has been through a period of sickness.

The child will drool, bite, sneeze on, and touch the toy after touching any part of their body, or using the bathroom. This transfers millions of germs to the stuffed animal’s fur creating a health hazard for the entire family.

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