An In-Depth Guide to Washing Jellycat Plush Toys
Jellycat plush toys have become beloved staples in many households thanks to their super soft fabrics and adorable designs. However, their delicate nature means that some special care is required when it comes time to clean these precious stuffed animals.
Follow this comprehensive guide to properly machine wash your Jellycat soft toys and keep them looking their best for years to come.
Step 1: Check the Tag
The first step is to check the tag on your Jellycat toy for any special washing instructions. Most are safe to machine wash, but some may have restrictions. For example, some toys advise hand washing only or have limitations on water temperature. Adhering to the tag instructions is the best way to prevent damage during washing.
Step 2: Pretreat Any Stains
Before placing your Jellycat plush in the washing machine, pretreat any tough stains. For food, beverage or dirt stains, apply a bit of gentle laundry detergent directly to the spot and let sit for 5-10 minutes. For more stubborn stains like ink or makeup, use a stain removal spray or stick and let sit as directed on the product label. This pretreating will help ensure stains come out in the wash.
Step 3: Use a Gentle Wash Cycle
Always opt for the gentlest wash cycle on your machine when cleaning Jellycat plushes. Aggressive agitation can be rough on their soft fabrics and cause pilling. Delicate or gentle/handwash cycles are ideal. If possible, use a front-loading washing machine as the tumbling action is gentler than top-loaders.
Step 4: Wash Separately
Be sure to wash Jellycat plush toys separately from other laundry. Washing them with heavier items like towels can cause damage during cleaning. A delicate wash bag can provide further protection and prevent toys from rubbing against other items in the load.
Step 5: Use a Mild Detergent
Stick to gentle, dye-free detergents when washing Jellycat stuffed animals. Harsh detergents can fade colors, while dyes can bleed onto the light fabrics. Baby shampoo or sensitive skin detergent are great options. Use the minimal amount of detergent needed to avoid buildup.
Step 6: Skip the Fabric Softener
It’s best to avoid using liquid fabric softener on Jellycat plush, as it can leave behind residue that diminishes the signature soft feel. Dryer sheets can have a similar effect. If you want a light scent, add a few drops of essential oil to the detergent.
Step 7: Rinse Thoroughly
After washing, be sure to rinse Jellycat toys multiple times to remove all traces of detergent. Leftover soap residue can cause skin irritation for kids and leave toys feeling stiff or crunchy. Run an extra rinse cycle if needed.
Step 8: Air Dry Only
Never put Jellycat stuffed animals in the tumble dryer – the heat and friction can damage fabrics. Always air dry toys by laying flat on a towel or drying rack in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Natural drying preserves softness.
Step 9: Fluff and Brush
Once fully dry, use your hands to fluff out the fibers of the plush to restore its loft and cushioning. You can also use a lint brush or roller to remove any surface fuzz. Avoid wire pet brushes that may snag.
Step 10: Spot Clean In-Between
For light soiling between washes, spot clean Jellycat plushes by dampening a cloth with warm water and dabbing stained areas. Let air dry. This helps extend time between full washes.
Helpful Laundry Tips for Jellycat Toys
Follow these additional care tips when machine washing your beloved Jellycat stuffed friends:
- Turn toys inside-out when washing to protect decorations and embroidered features.
- Close Velcro properly to avoid snagging on other items.
- Wash large toys individually rather than overload the machine.
- Never bleach or iron Jellycat plush fabrics.
- Wash toys made with battery packs by hand only and remove batteries first.
- Inspect older toys for damage and do a patch test on discrete area before full wash.
- Line dry flat or on a rack. Avoid hanging toys upright by loop tags to prevent stretching.
Knowing When To Discontinue Washing Jellycat Toys
With proper care, Jellycat plush toys can withstand many trips through the washing machine. However, there comes a point when the fabrics and stuffing are no longer restoring to their original quality. Signs it may be time to discontinue washing a toy include:
- Excess pilling, balding or holes developing in the fabric
- Stuffing becoming lumpy or compacted
- Colors fading significantly despite proper laundering
- Sewn components becoming loose or detached
- Strange odors developing even after washing
If a beloved Jellycat toy has reached this point, consider displaying it in a safe spot for nostalgia rather than subjecting it to further washing. Retire it with care and opt to purchase a brand new Jellycat friend for the heavy-duty hugs and snuggles!
Caring For Your Jellycat Plush Keeps Them Huggable for Years
Jellycat’s impossibly soft plush toys deserve special handling when it comes time for cleaning. By minding fabric tags, using gentle cycles and detergents, air drying, and knowing when to retire toys, you can keep Jellycat stuffed animals in top condition so they can remain snuggly companions.
Always refer to manufacturer’s instructions, launder with care, and show your Jellycat toys some love so they stay cuddly and adorable as long as possible.