- The toy cannot have any electronics in it (obviously). In some unlikely cases, the electronic component can be totally removed and then it would be safe to wash.
- The toy cannot have any odd accessories attached to it. I try to be careful if it has felt on it. Also, my girls have several My Little Pony plushies with hair that I do not think would wash well. Washing stuff with yarn is also probably not a good idea. Ribbons and things like cat whiskers are fine.
- Most stuffed toys and beanie babies can be washed without a problem.
- Make sure that your toy qualifies for washing.
- Thoroughly check the toys for any rips in the plush and fix them before washing.
- Smaller to medium sized toys should be washed in pillowcases. Put 2-4 toys per pilllowcase. Do not try to stuff the pillowcase full of stuffies!
- Try to keep any toys separate that might bleed (i.e. red and pink toys).
- Larger toys (pillow sized) can generally be thrown directly into the washer.
- Pretreat any major stains with your favorite pretreater.
- You may wash several pillowcases at once but I would keep the load small.
- Knot the open end of the pillowcase to secure the animals inside. Use a zippered pillowcase if you have one.
- Add a small amount of detergent to the washer. I use Tide with Febreze (makes them smell wonderful). A gentle detergent like Woolite would also work. Use less than the smallest amount indicated on the detergent measuring cup.
- Wash the pillowcases/toys in cold water on the gentle cycle. Remove promptly when done.
- I normally open the pillowcases to make sure that nothing has gone wrong during washing before drying. Re-knot the pillowcase if you do this.
- Dry the pillowcases/toys on low heat.
When you are done, you should have nice, clean smelling stuffies.
I would not recommend doing this to anything "collectible" or anything that is in danger of falling apart.