How To Make Stuffed Animals Soft Again (2023 Updated)

How To Make Stuffed Animals Soft Again (2023 Updated)

Your stuffed animals will inevitably go through wear and tear, no matter how careful you handle them. 

We'll show you how to make stuffed animals soft again. 

6 Techniques In Making Stuffed Toys Soft & Fluffy Again 

1. Carefully Handwash It

Carefully Handwash It

The first thing you can do to make an old stuffed animal nice and fluffy again is to hand wash it. This gentle method might be time-consuming, but rest assured that the plush toy won’t get damaged.

Fill a large basin with warm water and mild detergent. Check your favorite stuffed animal for rough spots and pre-treat them. Submerge the teddy bear in the mixture and let it soak anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once done, give the toy a final swirl before rinsing it with clean water. Repeat until the dirty water runs clear and hang out to dry in the heat of the sun. 

2. Use A Conditioner

Conditioner works wonders in plush toys with long fur. Fluff your plushie’s fur with a bit of conditioner after step one. Make sure that you rinse out any conditioner residue. 

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3. Use Clothes Dryer with Softener Sheets

Use Clothes Dryer with Softener Sheets

If you don’t want to handwash your stuffed animal, it’s more than durable enough to handle a gentle cycle in the washing machine and dryer. 

Again, check the stuffed animal for tough stains and pre-treat them if necessary. Put the toy in a pillowcase to protect it from the wash cycle. Run it with a load of your other laundry with warm water on the gentlest cycle. Once that’s done, and the toy is still slightly damp, run it through the dryer on low (this is important!) for anywhere from five to ten minutes to fluff up the fur. Hang it up to air dry or use a hair dryer. 

4. Use A Towel & Rub It Dry

If the stuffed animal is still damp, rubbing a towel through it is highly effective. Use a soft comb alongside the towel method until you see the plushie returning to its original shape. You can also use a hair dryer and your fingers to fluff up the fur. 

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5. Brush Its Fur 

Brush Its Fur

Once the stuffed animal is dry but you notice its fur is not that fluffy, you can use a pet slicker comb or a wire comb (it mustn’t have the little balls at the end). Slowly brush the stuffed animal back to his original style, taking care not to snag the thread at the back. [1

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6. Use Steam Cleaner (If With Electronics)

If the old stuffed animal has electronic accessories, dunking it in water won’t be the best option. Here are some ideas on how you can bring new life to teddy bears with electronics. 

Firstly, determine whether or not you can remove all the electrical parts. If you can, great! You can proceed with step one or three on this list. 

Don’t fret if you can’t, though. Fill a large basin with warm water and mild detergent, and make sure you have two rags ready. Dunk the first rag into the mixture and carefully wipe down the stuffie. Repeat this step until it’s clean, then use the second rag to wipe the stuffed animal with, this time with clean water. Air dry or use a hair dryer once done. 

Of course, if you don’t want to get them wet, you can opt to run them through the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum them using the brush attachment to remove dust and fluff up their fur. 

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2 Steps On How To Fix Matted Stuffed Animal Fur 

1. Soak The Stuffed Animal In Fabric Softener

oak The Stuffed Animal In Fabric Softener

Fabric softener can be a hit-or-miss thing in making plushies fluffy again.

Unless you know specifically that the material of the stuffed animal is fabric-softener friendly, it’s best not to go this route (after all, fabric softener is said to leave a sticky residue). 

Learn how to make a weighted stuffed animal here

2. Brush It Down

Brushing the plushies will more than suffice. Use the appropriate wire comb for this step and carefully brush it, so you don’t snag the thread holding the fur together. Brush along the direction of the fur until the tangles have been tamed. But how do you dye a stuffed animal?


Is it okay to put stuffed animals in the washing machine?

Yes, it’s okay to put stuffed animals in the washing machine. Make sure you use the gentlest cycle on your washing machine, so the stuffed animal doesn’t get damaged. It’s also best to put it inside a pillowcase, so it is not completely exposed to the wash cycle. Learn how to wash stuffed animals here

Do dishwashing soaps make stuffed animals soft?

Yes, dishwashing soaps make stuffed toys soft! It can serve as a substitute if you don’t have mild detergent. Simply dilute a bit of dishwashing soap in a basin of warm water and use the mixture to clean the stuffed animals and make them soft. 

Final Thoughts on Softening Stuffed Animals 

Softening stuffed animals is extremely simple — so don’t despair if you have a few in your collection that needs a bit of cleaning! 

Remember, it’s best to use gentle cleaning methods to make stuffed animals fluffy again, so handwashing is your best option. Once that’s done, hang it up to air dry. 

If you can’t be bothered with handwashing every one of them, you can invest in a good wire brush to fluff your stuffed animals. Make sure you do this step carefully, so you don’t risk damaging the thread.  

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