Minky Plush Washing Guide
This guide was originally created by My Little Waifu and posted on DeviantArt and describes how to clean a (smaller) minky plush without using a Rug Doctor. The instructions here can be used to clean larger plushies, but it is highly recommended to explore purchasing a Rug Doctor to help with such jobs.
All images in this guide are taken from the original guide posting referenced above.
What You Need
- A dirty plushie
- A wash bin or sink
- Detergent without fabric softener (fabric softener ruins minky)
- A toothbrush
- Clean, dry, white towels (you don't want any dyes to transfer)
- Love, probably, or you'll end up throwing it in the machine
You may optionally need:
- Paper towels
- Wash cloth
Put a small amount of detergent in the wash bin (very small, you don't want the water too soapy or you can't easily remove it). Add warm water to the container. Hot may set the minky fibers the wrong way. Agitate the water to mix in the soap.
Dip part of a clean towel (or wash cloth) into the diluted detergent. Gently wring it out. It should still be pretty wet, but not dripping. Rub the towel in a circular motion, gently, but enough to get that grime off. Re-soak and wring the towel every so often. Continue until the whole plush is moist and scrubbed.
Be extra gentle around areas that may be hand-stitched, such as the mane, tail, and neck.
If your plush had problem areas that still appear dirty, you can use a toothbrush to scrub out the stains. Moisten the toothbrush as you would the towel.
You want to avoid scrubbing on and around the embroidery if you can. Embroidery is delicate, you don't want to snap the threads or pull out the minky nap that is tucked under the embroidery.
If your plush has iron-ons, or anything glued, you may want to avoid those areas. If you choose to, use COLD water instead to avoid un-sticking the glue.
Overall it's best to avoid getting your plush TOO wet, because if the stuffing inside gets wet, it's very hard to dry and could mold or just smell bad.
Here's Pinkie, thoroughly wet.
Time for rinsing! Empty your wash bin and add clean, warm water.
Use another dry towel and rinse using the same method as before. Rub in a circular motion and rinse and wring the cloth several times to remove as much detergent as possible. If the water gets too soapy, empty and re-fill the bin and rinse the plush a second time.
You can also wring out the smaller areas of the plush such as manes and tails. You want to avoid wringing out larger areas as you may dislodge the stuffing, as well as get more water inside.
As for drying, there are several ways to go about it.
The safest method is to use a dry towel and rub, again, in a circular motion while pressing on the surface, trying to absorb the water. Alternatively, you can use paper towels if your plush isn't very damp.
If you are feeling evil (or lazy), you can put your plush in the dryer on LOW heat. If you are worried about delicate areas coming undone (which you should be), you can put your plush in a WHITE pillowcase or mesh bag.
You don't want to dry the plush in the dryer completely, only enough to get most of the water out.
Do NOT use dryer sheets! It will leave your beloved plush with nasty clumpy areas that are not easy to get rid of.
Your plush should be pretty dry, but just a little bit damp. Now is the time for BRUSHIE BRUSHIE.
Use a toothbrush and comb through all the minky.
First, brush it up against the nap (fur direction) and then down to its proper place.
Leave your thoroughly brushed plushie to dry. It's best to leave it in a warm, sunny spot if possible.
The minky should look mostly back to normal now.
This tutorial is intended for hand-made and fragile plushies. Washing machines are very hard on fabrics. The insides are not meant to get wet as they do not dry well. Even on many store bought plushies, the tags say
surface wash only for a good reason. If you want your plush to last, do not put it in the washing machine.