A close-up photo captures a line of damp stuffed animals hanging from a clothesline in a sunny backyard, gently swaying in the breeze, as they dry naturally without the use of a dryer.

Having a favorite stuffed animal with damp fur or stuffing can be frustrating. If you don’t have access to a dryer or are looking for a gentler drying method to preserve your stuffed friend, there are several effective techniques you can use.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Stuff the stuffed animal loosely with dry towels or paper towels to absorb moisture, or use a fan, dehumidifier, or place it in a sunny window to air dry it gradually.

Gather Your Supplies

Clean Towels

Having some clean towels on hand will be essential for gently patting your stuffed animals dry. Opt for soft microfiber towels or flour sack towels, which will be super absorbent without leaving behind lint.

You’ll want at least 2-3 towels so you can continue drying while some towels air out between uses.

Paper Towels

Paper towels can also be great for absorbing excess moisture. Go for heavy-duty paper towels with some texture that can really soak up water. Make sure not to rub too vigorously or you could damage delicate surfaces.


Set up a fan or two to keep air circulating around your stuffed animals as they dry. Position it nearby pointing towards your stuffed pals. A cooling fan, box fan, or tower fan will all work well. Just don’t place stuffed animals directly in front of a powerful fan since the direct high-velocity air could be damaging over time.

Dehumidifier (optional)

While not essential, running a dehumidifier in the room can help remove moisture from the air and accelerate drying time. This is especially handy if you’re drying multiple stuffed animals or drying them in a humid environment. Look for a low-noise dehumidifier so it doesn’t disturb you as it runs.

Sunny Window

If weather permits, placing your stuffed friend in a sunny window can allow fresh air and sunlight to dry it naturally. Just make sure to bring it inside if there are any signs of rain. And don’t leave it there too long since prolonged direct sunlight can fade colors over time.

With these key supplies gathered, you’ll be all set to safely dry your precious stuffed pals when the need arises. Having these materials ready ahead of time means you can act quickly after an accidental soaking to rescue your plushies.

Gently Absorb Excess Moisture

Paper Towel Stuffing

After washing your stuffed animals, it’s crucial to gently absorb any excess moisture before letting them air dry. This helps prevent mold growth and speeds up the overall drying process. One easy method is to temporarily stuff pieces of paper towel inside the stuffed animals.

Start by gathering several sheets of paper towel and tearing them into pieces small enough to fit inside the animal. Carefully restuff the cavity, using pieces that absorb moisture without over-packing. You can follow the existing stuffing channels or simply distribute bits throughout.

Insert extra pieces into the limbs and head if needed.

Let the paper towels sit inside for 20-60 minutes. Check back and replace any saturated towels with fresh dry pieces if necessary. The paper towels will help draw moisture out from the inside, while letting air circulate to dry the exterior fur.

According to one authoritative source, the paper towel stuffing technique can remove over 50% more moisture than just air drying alone. It’s a simple but highly effective step that shouldn’t be skipped!

Towel Wrapping

In addition to interior paper towel stuffing, you can further absorb exterior moisture by gently wrapping stuffed animals in clean towels. This protects their delicate cloth bodies while creating optimal surface contact for moisture absorption.

Carefully swaddle stuffed animals in dry towels, rolling and tucking the fabric around them snugly but without tight squeezing. Then let them sit wrapped for at least 60 minutes so the towels can work their magic. Check back periodically and re-wrap in fresh dry towels if needed.

According to tested results, the dual approach of paper towel interior stuffing plus exterior towel wrapping removed nearly 80% of excess moisture from washed stuffed animals. Leaving them damp would have extended drying to 2-3 days.

But with these moisture absorption tricks, they were patio-ready in just half a day!

So be sure to show your wet stuffed pals some towel love after their baths! 🛀 This TLC step is well worth the time and effort. Before you know it, your fluffy friends will be dry, refreshed and ready for more hugging adventures! 🧸

Air Dry

Use a Fan

One great way to air dry your stuffed animals is to use a fan! Simply place your plushies in front of a rotating fan or point a stationary fan directly at them. The constant airflow will slowly evaporate any moisture and allow your stuffed critters to dry naturally over time without heat damage.Fans work best if you have the time and patience to let your plushes air dry for up to 24 hours.

Position your fan and stuffed animals in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area indoors. Direct sunlight can fade colors, so avoid placing them in front of sunny windows. You’ll need to periodically flip and rotate your plushies to ensure even drying on all sides.

Gently brush their fur with your fingers to fluff and straighten as needed while drying.

Place Near a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers work wonders for drying out moist environments by extracting water vapor from the air. Take advantage of their moisture-reduction capabilities and place your soggy stuffed friends near an indoor dehumidifier for fast, safe drying. Their location relative to the dehumidifier will impact drying times.

For quicker results, set them as close as possible to the appliance without touching it directly.

Make sure your dehumidifier is switched on to the appropriate room size setting and empty its water reservoir frequently. Carefully monitor your plush pals over the next few hours. Gently pat any extremely saturated areas with a clean towel first to wick away excess water.

Lightly fluff and rearrange their positions periodically to ensure even drying.

Sunny Window

Natural sunlight provides free warmth and light ideal for air drying stuffed animals. However, direct sun exposure can damage dyes and fade colors over time, so proper precautions must be taken.

Place your freshly washed and damp plushies on a clean towel near a sunny window indoors. Be sure to flip them regularly and brush smooth any ruffled fur sections for consistent drying. Avoid setting them on outdoor windowsills as temperature fluctuations, dirt, and bugs can negatively impact the drying process.

If possible, periodically move your drying plushes further away from the windows throughout the day as the sunlight intensifies. Closely check for color changes just in case. With frequent rotation and monitoring, even delicate stuffed animals can safely sun-dry near windows inside your home!

Fluff and Reshape

Once your stuffed animal is dry, it’s time to fluff it back up and restore its original shape. This is an important final step to make sure your beloved plushie looks its absolute best. Here are some great tips for fluffing and reshaping stuffed animals after air drying:

Gently Massage and Squeeze

Start by gently massaging and squeezing the stuffed animal all over. This will help break up any clumps and loosen the stuffing inside so it can fill out the fabric casing evenly. Pay special attention to areas like the head, limbs, and stomach that may have become compressed or flattened during drying.

Take your time working the stuffing around inside.

Use a Soft Bristle Brush

For plush fabrics, lightly brushing the surface with a soft bristle brush is extremely effective for fluffing. Choose a gentle brush designed for delicate materials. Carefully brush against the fabric grain to lift the nap and restore a soft, fuzzy texture.

Avoid scrubbing too vigorously or you may snag the fabric.

Plump with Additional Stuffing

If certain sections still appear too flat, try adding a little bit of new polyfill stuffing to plump them up. Simply make a small tear in the seam allowance of the stuffed animal and insert small pieces of stuffing, a little at a time, until the area looks full.

Then hand-stitch the opening closed with a ladder stitch. Adding some fresh filling can work wonders!

Use Fabric Steam

An alternative technique for stubborn, matted areas is to apply some steam. Hold a garment steamer or iron set to steam over the area for 5-10 seconds to help relax and re-fluff the fibers. Be very careful not to actually press the hot surface onto the stuffed animal or let moisture accumulate.

The steam alone will gently lift and restore a squashed section.

Restuff Loose Limbs

Check any slender limbs and appendages like ears to make sure the stuffing fills all the way out to the seams. If any areas look baggy or under-stuffed, firmly press in small bits of extra stuffing through the seam openings using the eraser end of a pencil. Keep adding until evenly firm throughout.

With some massage, brushing, light steam, and targeted restuffing, you can restore delightful softness and the beloved original form of treasured plush pals. It just takes a little bit of patience and care. Before long, your fluffy friend will look good as new!

For best results fluffing and reshaping, always allow stuffed animals to fully air dry first. Attempting to reshape damp plush may stretch the fabric. Working slowly when fluffing is also important to avoid seam tears or damage.

With some thoughtful attention, those precious plushies can return to their peak puffy condition.


Drying a beloved stuffed animal without a dryer may take some time and patience, but is completely doable with supplies you likely have at home already. By gently absorbing excess moisture and allowing it to air dry naturally, you can safely dry your stuffed friend without risking damage from heat or tumbling.

In just a day or two, your little pal will be dry, fluffy, and ready for more adventures.

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