How to Clean Soft Toys for Babies

Learn how to wash and clean plush toys and soft toys for babies

Babies love playing with their soft toys and these toys need to be washed and clean after being thrown around and spit up on. Some babies even develop a bad habit of putting toys into their mouths. You do not want your babies playing with soft toys that harbor germs because these toys can make your babies sick and ill.

Regular cleaning of soft toys can protect your children from bacteria and germs. You may also want to clean your children’s soft toys after a playdate with other babies or disinfect soft toys after an illness. Harmful germs can spread on toys so it is a must to clean soft toys immediately if they appear dirty or on a weekly basis.

Generally, washing soft toys is easy. However, there are some soft toys that are more delicate than others and cannot be washed using a washing machine like soft toys that have electronic components or soft toys with bells like soft rattles. You cannot submerge these soft toys in water. Instead, what you can do is clean these toys wiping them with a damp cloth. So if you do not have enough time to hand wash, buy a soft toy that is machine washable. Take note that these tips are only for regular cleaning and not for disinfecting after an illness.

Washing Machine

Most soft toys are machine washable. But do not assume that yours is machine washable until you make sure you read the care instructions of the toy manufacturer. Using a washing machine is the most convenient way to clean soft toys and it is ideal for busy parents. If your soft toys are machine washable, use cold water and set your washing machine to a gentle cycle. Use mild detergent as much as possible. Regular detergents are also fine but do not use too much detergent because doing so might cause your soft toys to lose their colours. Worse if soap residue is left behind, it could lead to skin irritation. Put your soft toys inside a mesh washing bag if it is glued or buttoned parts like the eyes. If you do not have a mesh washing bag, you can use an old pillow case and close it up with a pipe cleaner.

Hand Wash

If your soft toys are not washing machine friendly, do not worry. You can hand wash them instead. To start, fully submerge your soft toys in a bucket of water or utility sink. Use no-rinse mild detergent or regular detergent. Do a pumping motion on your soft toys to saturate it with water and detergent. Leave the soft toy to soak for 20 minutes up to an hour before rinsing. Make sure to read your soft toys’ care instructions to know how long you can soak the soft toys. Some soft toys are made from delicate fibers so soaking them for too long in the water will damage them. Rinse properly, making sure that no water and detergent residue is left behind.


There are a few ways to dry your soft toys. You can air dry overnight, use a hair dryer at the lowest setting or sun dry. When sun drying, make sure not to leave your soft toys under the sun for too long because they might lose their colour.


Next Up: Why Are Soft Toys Good for Babies

FREE Shipping Available & No customs charges for GB and EU customers!