How to Make Jellycat Toys Soft Again
Jellycat stuffed animals and plush toys are beloved by children and adults alike for their adorable designs and incredibly soft, silky plush material. However, after years of love and playtime, even the most cherished Jellycat can start to lose its softness and fluffiness.
Fortunately, there are several easy methods to restore the luxurious softness of your Jellycat plush toys!
Why Do Jellycat Toys Lose Their Softness Over Time?
Jellycat uses high-quality plush fabrics like faux fur and velour to create their signature soft and silky feel. However, the materials can gradually become less plush and supple with regular use and cleaning.
Friction from play and cuddling can compress and mat down the fibers. Body oils, dirt, and dust also collect in the fibers over time. Frequent washing is another major cause of plush toys losing their softness.
The agitation and heat of the washer and dryer cause the fibers to untwist, clump together, and become compressed. The good news is with some simple maintenance and TLC, you can restore the heavenly soft texture of your beloved Jellycats!
Cleaning Methods to Fluff Up Your Jellycat
Giving your Jellycat a deep clean is the first step to replenish its softness. Over time, body oils, dust, dirt, and grime build up in the fibers. Thoroughly cleaning the plush will remove the buildup and allow the fibers to fully fluff up.
Here are some tips for cleaning your Jellycat without damaging the delicate plush material:
- Regularly vacuum your Jellycat using a brush attachment to remove loose dirt and dust from the surface. This helps slow down the buildup of grime in the fibers.
- For minor surface stains or dirt spots, spot-clean the area with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid excessive rubbing to prevent matting the fibers.
- For deeper periodic cleaning, give your Jellycat a surface wash: Mix a gentle laundry detergent with cool water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the plush with the solution then wipe down with a clean damp cloth. Let air dry completely before brushing.
Full Soak Wash
- Every few months, give your Jellycat a full soak wash to revitalize the plush fibers. Fill your sink or tub with cool water and a mild detergent or plush toy cleaner. Fully submerge the plush and gently swish it around to loosen the dirt.
- Drain the dirty water then refill with clean cool water for rinsing. Avoid twisting, wringing or scrubbing the toy. Press down gently with a towel to soak up excess water.
- Lay the plush flat on a towel and reshape any matted areas while still damp. Let air dry completely before brushing.
Restoring Softness Through Brushing
Thorough brushing is key for bringing flattened fibers back to life after washing your Jellycat. Using a wired plush animal brush or pet grooming brush:
- Gently brush against the natural nap of the fabric, avoiding excessive pressure. Lifting and fluffing the fibers helps restore softness and volume.
- Pay extra attention to frequently loved parts of the plush like the arms, legs, face, and belly. These high-friction spots are more prone to matting.
- For seriously matted spots, hold the brush underneath the mat and brush the fibers upward from the base. This helps tease apart the compressed fibers without damaging them.
- Use a soft bristle hand brush to freshen up delicate facial features like noses and ears. Carefully reshape any indentations with your fingers as you brush.
- When finished, use a lint roller or fabric shaver to remove any excess fuzz and fibers stirred up in the brushing process.
Bathing in Fabric Softener
For an extra softness boost, give your Jellycat a luxurious fabric softener bath. The liquid softener will coat the fibers and make them feel silky smooth again.
- Mix a small amount of liquid fabric softener (about 1⁄4 cup) into a basin of cool water. Submerge your plush and gently move it around allowing the water to fully saturate the fibers.
- Drain the basin then rinse with plain cool water until the rinse water runs clear. Press gently with a towel to remove excess water.
- Shape and smooth any matted areas while the plush is still slightly damp then lay flat to air dry.
- Once fully dry, use a brush to lift and separate the rejuvenated fibers for a sublimely snuggly texture.
Freshening Up with Baking Soda
Over time, plush toys can develop musty odors even with regular washing. Baking soda helps eliminate built-up odors by absorbing and neutralizing smells deep in the fabric fibers.
- Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of your Jellycat plush. Using your hands, gently rub the baking soda into the fibers.
- Allow the baking soda to sit for 2-3 hours to fully absorb odors. Overnight is even better for severe odors.
- Shake off excess baking soda then vacuum thoroughly using a brush attachment. This helps remove any lingering odors and powder.
- Finish by giving your freshened-up plush a quick surface wash and brush to maximize softness.
Maintaining Softness Between Cleanings
With some ongoing TLC, you can maintain your Jellycat’s heavenly softness between deep cleanings:
- Keep plush toys out of direct sunlight which can fade colors and dry out fibers.
- Spot clean faces, tails, paws, and other high-touch areas if they become soiled. This prevents build-up between full washes.
- Use a lint roller on the plush frequently to remove dust and pet hair from the surface.
- Every few weeks, sprinkle with carpet powder then vacuum to freshen the plush. Bonus scent if you use a lightly scented powder.
- Regular gentle brushing to lift flattened nap and fluff the plush back up. Focus on the most loved parts prone to matting.
- Avoid excessive heat from dryers, heat vents or direct sunlight which can damage fibers.
When To Consider Re-Stuffing Your Jellycat
If your beloved Jellycat has become extremely matted and limp or the stuffing is clumping, it may be time for some restuffing TLC. With age and use, plush toy stuffing can become compacted and lose loft.
Re-stuffing helps restore shape and plump up flattened areas. Some tips if your Jellycat needs a stuffing refresh:
- Carefully unseam the plush using small stitches that are easy to redo. Remove all of the old stuffing.
- Wash the empty plush shell according to the tag instructions to thoroughly clean the fabric.
- Allow to air dry fully before re-stuffing to prevent mold growth.
- Lightly restuff smaller areas then gradually fill out the body evenly. Overstuffing can cause seams to rip.
- Use new poly-fiber stuffing that matches the original density. Too little stuffing will result in a floppy plush.
- Hand-sew the seams closed using tight, small stitches and sturdy thread.
- Fluff and shape the rejuvenated plush then brush well when completely dry. Enjoy the renewed snuggliness!
When To Consider Replacing Your Jellycat
If the fabric of your beloved Jellycat is extremely worn and thinning or damage like rips, tears, or holes has occurred, replacement may be your best option for regaining softness.
Trying to repair severely damaged plush fabric rarely restores the pristine softness of a brand-new Jellycat. Get many more years of blissful cuddles with a replacement in the same adorable style!
Love Your Jellycat For Years To Come
With the proper care and maintenance, your treasured Jellycat plushies can remain your snuggly bedtime companions for many years. Investing a little time into deep cleaning, brushing, and freshening up your Jellycats helps maintain that luxurious softness from the very first cuddle.
Follow these tips and enjoy your Jellycat’s uniquely cozy and velvety soft fabric for a lifetime of hugs and nuzzles. Sweet dreams!