How to Clean Plush Toys with Music or Voice Activation

Ladyblue asked: How do I clean stuffed plush toys with music/voice activation? I would like to know how to clean stuffed toys such as talking Elmo, as well as other musical plush toys. They are getting very grungy bringing them everywhere, dropping, spilling, etc. Short of buying another, some of these toys are a bit price. I would like to stay on top if regularly and get as much use as possible. Thank you in advance. Some of our favorites need help…

Toys with electronics can’t be sent through the washing machine, so a simple spot clean will have to do. To clean or deodorize stuffed or plush, follow these basic steps.

You Will Need:

  • Woolite or another mild laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner

Steps to Clean the Plush:

  1. Before cleaning any voice activated or electronic toy, remove the batteries. In some cases, the battery compartment can be removed from the doll to help avoid it getting wet or damaged.
  2. Begin by filling a bowl with clean, warm water.
  3. Add a small amount of laundry detergent and stir well to mix.
  4. Dip the washcloth in the soapy mixture.
  5. Gently scrub the outside of the plush.
  6. Rinse by rubbing the surface with a clean cloth moistened with plain water.
  7. Repeat as necessary until as much of the soap is removed as possible.
  8. Allow the toy to air dry completely in a warm, dry spot.
  9. To remove odors, sprinkle the plush with baking soda. You can also mix in a small amount of vinegar with the cleaning water above.
  10. Wait several hours or a day or two, then vacuum free of baking soda and odors.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Don’t use regular soap or excess amounts of detergent. If you leave residue behind on the surface of the toy, it will attract more dirt and the toy will become soiled again more quickly.


  1. Mary M. says:

    My husband found a baby rocker that has an UNDETACHABLE musical plush toy animal on it that is used for a seat. It is covered with dust and stains. How do I clean and sanitize the UNDETACHABLE musical plush animal?

  2. I guess the same way.

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