A close-up shot capturing a pair of hands delicately washing a colorful and plush weighted stuffed animal in a basin filled with gentle soapy water, surrounded by fluffy bubbles.

Do your weighted stuffed animals need some TLC? Over time, these cozy companions can get dirty and start to smell less than fresh. But cleaning them properly is important since they contain weighted beads or pellets that need special care.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Handwash your weighted stuffed animals in cool or lukewarm water using a very gentle detergent or soap. Avoid submerging them fully in water to prevent damage to the interior. Air dry thoroughly before returning any beads to the stuffing.

Prepare For Washing

Remove beads/pellets from stuffing

Before washing your weighted stuffed animal, an important first step is to remove any plastic or glass beads, pellets, or other weights from the stuffing inside. This will help ensure an even wash and prevent any damage.

Use a seam ripper or small scissors to carefully open up some of the seams and remove all of the weighted material from inside the stuffed animal.

Check care label instructions

If your weighted stuffed animal has a sewn-in care label, check the instructions before washing to see if there are any special considerations. Following the specific care recommendations, such as water temperature or drying method, will help keep your stuffed friend clean while preserving quality.

Have supplies ready like basin, mild detergent, towels

In preparation for washing, have these supplies assembled and ready to go:

  • A basin, sink, or bathtub filled with cool or lukewarm water
  • A mild laundry detergent or soap specifically for delicates
  • Some towels to set items on for air drying

Avoid using hot water, as this could damage materials or dyes used in manufacturing. Lay out the towels in an area with good airflow to let your freshly washed stuffed animal drip dry. Now that everything is prepped and ready, it’s safe to move forward with cleaning!

Handwash Exterior Fabric Gently

When it comes to keeping your weighted stuffed animals clean, it’s important to be gentle, especially with the exterior fabric. Follow these simple steps for safely handwashing the fabric exterior of your beloved companion.

Use cool or lukewarm water

Avoid using hot water when washing, as this can potentially damage or fade fabrics. Lukewarm or cool water is ideal for handwashing, ensuring fabrics stay vibrant while getting items clean.

Submerge exterior fabric only, don’t immerse whole stuffed animal

Only submerge the exterior fabric in water rather than the whole stuffed animal. This prevents the interior weighted material from getting excessively wet and taking longer to dry or potentially developing mold if moisture gets trapped inside.

Use small amount of gentle/sensitive skin detergent or soap

Choose a mild laundry detergent for sensitive skin, which will clean fabric exteriors gently without irritation or damage. Only a small amount is needed – about a teaspoon should suffice to get items clean without being too harsh on fabrics.

Gently scrub with soft brush or washcloth

Use a soft-bristle brush or microfiber cloth to gently scrub fabrics, lifting dirt and stains. Avoid abrasive scrubbing, which can damage or pill fabrics. The soft brush helps lift dirt without being too rough on fabrics.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water

After washing, rinse extremely thoroughly with clean, cool water to remove all traces of soap or detergent residue. This prevents any soap from being left behind, which could irritate skin over time. Rinsing well helps fabrics feel clean and fresh.

By following these simple handwashing steps, you can safely clean the fabric exteriors of weighted stuffed animals. Taking care to use mild detergent, lukewarm water and gentle scrubbing ensures fabrics stay in great shape for years to come.

Dry Thoroughly Before Restuffing

After washing your weighted stuffed animals, it is crucial to let them dry fully before putting the filling back in, to prevent mold or mildew growth. Here are some great tips for ensuring your plush pals dry completely.

Lay Flat or Hang Up With Towel Underneath

Find a safe spot indoors where you can lay the wet toy flat on top of a dry towel or hang it up with a towel underneath to catch drips. Laying flat spreads the fabric out so air can circulate inside better. Hanging up allows gravity to pull moisture out. Just don’t hang over carpets or wood floors!

May Speed Up With Fan Blowing Indirectly

To accelerate drying time, set up a fan 6-10 feet away blowing gently in the direction of the wet plushie. The indirect air movement helps evaporate moisture faster. But don’t aim the fan directly at it, as that can cause the fabric and stuffing clumps inside to blow around instead of drying.

Ensure 100% Dry to Prevent Mold or Mildew

It is crucial your stuffed friend dries all the way before putting the filling back in. Any remaining moisture can allow mold or mildew to grow inside. Yuck! To test if your plush pal is completely dry, feel deep inside seams and crevices for dampness.

Also smell for any lingering musty odor, which means more drying time is needed.

For Stubborn Smells, Air Out in Sunlight

If your washed stuffed animal retains any faint mildewy or musty smells even after fully drying, some extra sunlight can help. Place it in direct sunlight outdoors for a few hours, turning occasionally. The UV rays have natural deodorizing powers to break down odor molecules.

Just don’t leave unattended outside for long periods, or the fabric colors may fade.

With some time and TLC, your precious plushie pal will soon be fresh, fluffy, and ready for more cozy cuddles! Just be patient and ensure 100% dryness before filling, and mold will not be an issue. For more toy care tips, check out StuffedAnimalSafety.org.

Return Weighted Fill Safely

When it’s time to wash your favorite weighted stuffed animal, properly removing and returning the weighted fill is an important step. Handling the fill correctly ensures your plush friend stays huggable for years to come without spill risks or overstuffing.

Use a small funnel to carefully refill if needed

A small plastic funnel, like those found at hardware or kitchen stores, helps guide the fill back inside the stuffed animal. Carefully pour beads, poly pellets, or other fill from its temporary storage bag through the funnel and into the washing machine-cleaned plush exterior.

Go slowly to avoid overfilling or spills. Gently shaking the plushie during refilling helps distribute fill evenly. Leave about 1-2 inches of room inside to allow sufficient squishing and hugging!

Make sure not to overstuff

When a weighted stuffed animal becomes overstuffed, seams can split. Too much fill also reduces soft squishiness for comfort hugs. Refer to the original fill weight if known, or fill until slightly understuffed vs risking overfill.

If you don’t have the original fill amount, a good guideline is filling 3/4 full by volume, leaving that last bit of wiggle room. Underfilled is better than overfilled if unsure!

Distribute beads evenly before closing up

Before sewing your plushie friend back up, ensure fill is distributed evenly inside for the best weight distribution and huggability. Gently squeeze and shake to spread beads throughout before closing.

For tricky spots like arms and legs on a stuffed animal, try carefully bending or squeezing those areas to shift beads internally right before closure. Evenly dispersed weighted fill helps the toy feel balanced and allows it to stand or sit its best!

With some handy fill handling tips, washing your precious weighted stuffed critter doesn’t have to be scary. Carefully funneling fill back inside, avoiding overstuffing, and evenly distributing beads means many more years of fluffy cuddles from a clean companion.

Caring For Weighted Stuffed Animals

Spot clean when possible to limit full washing

When caring for your cuddly weighted stuffed animal, it’s best to spot clean as needed instead of fully washing frequently. This prevents wear and tear over time. For small spills or dirt, use a damp cloth with mild soap to gently spot treat the affected area.

Allow to fully air dry before use or storage.

Check for ripped seams or damage after washing

If a full wash is required, carefully check over your weighted companion afterwards. Gently stretch and manipulate the limbs, turning the toy inside out if needed. Examine the seams and stitching for any rips, tears, loose threads or damage. Catching issues early prevents bigger problems later.

Consider hand washing for gentlest cleaning.

Store properly when not in use

To maintain your weighted stuffed animal in great condition, store properly between uses. Keeping toys in protective bags or bins prevents dust build up and soiling over time. Storing flat or loosely stuffed helps retain shape.

Consider placing a few cedar balls in storage containers to add a light fresh scent and repel moths or insects. Proper storage equals longer lasting toys!

Follow all safety guidelines for use

As with any weighted object, safety comes first with weighted stuffed animals. Always follow age and weight guidelines for safe appropriate use. Supervise children under 3 years closely. Inspect toys routinely for damage, loose beads or stuffing, which can pose choking hazards if ingested.

Ensure any detached parts are immediately discarded and keep weighted items away from pets to prevent chewing and damage. Following basic safety rules lets the whole family enjoy these soothing, therapeutic toys.

Weighted Toy Type Max Recommended Weight Intended User Age
Small Animals 1-2 lbs 3+ years
Medium Animals 3-5 lbs 7+ years
Large Animals 6-10 lbs 10+ years

By following age guidelines, supervising use, routinely inspecting condition, washing properly, and storing weighted stuffed animals with care, these soothing comfort companions can offer years of joy and relaxation.


Cleaning your weighted stuffed animal properly ensures it stays fresh and lasts for years to come. By handwashing the exterior only and fully air drying the interior weighted parts, you can keep your cuddly companion clean while avoiding water damage.

With some mild detergent, your favorite scrub brush, towels for drying, and a bit of time and patience, you’ll have your weighted stuffed critter fluffed up and ready for more cozy snuggles in no time.

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