How to Wash Squishmallows (Mom-Approved Methods!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 06/13/24 •  10 min read

As a mom with multiple kids, I know how much they love their Squishmallows and how important it is to keep these cuddly friends clean and looking their best.

Squishmallows are adorable plush toys that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and characters, making them a popular choice for children. Over time, these soft companions can become dirty or stained, and knowing how to properly clean them is essential for maintaining their longevity and keeping harmful germs and allergens at bay.

So how do you wash squishmallows? Let’s dig in!

  • You can wash squishmallows several ways including the washing machine, spot cleaning, and hand washing.
  • Be sure to read the washing instructions carefully before beginning to keep your squishmallows in good condition.
  • Avoid hot water and heat drying and store your squishmallows properly to keep them in good condition.

Preparing to Wash Squishmallows

Materials Needed

To effectively wash the Squishmallows, you will need a few essential materials:

Reading Manufacturer’s Tag

Before washing your Squishmallows, always check the manufacturer’s tag for specific care instructions.

The tag might mention machine-washing guidelines, suggested water temperature, and details on using specific types of detergents. Following these instructions is crucial in preserving your children’s beloved plush friends and maintaining their softness and quality.

If you cannot locate the tag or if it is missing, it’s best to exercise caution and opt for a gentle washing cycle with a mild detergent to prevent any potential damage.

How to Wash Squishmallows

How to Clean Squishmallows

1. Washing Machine

If you’re short on time or dealing with larger stains, you can use the washing machine to clean your Squishmallows.

Before washing, place the Squishmallow in a mesh bag or zippered pillowcase to protect it from snagging.

Use a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water and mild laundry detergent. Avoid using hot water, as it may damage the fabric or stuffing. It’s important to note that washing in a machine should only be done occasionally to minimize wear and tear.

2. Hand Washing

For a gentler approach, hand washing is a great alternative.

Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a few drops of mild detergent. Gently submerge your Squishmallow into the water and soak it for a few minutes. You can use your hands to massage the soapy water into the fabric, paying extra attention to stained areas. Rinse it thoroughly with cold water, making sure there’s no soap left behind.

3. Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning is my go-to method for dealing with smaller stains and spills on my children’s Squishmallows. To spot clean, use a clean, damp cloth or a wet wipe to gently dab at the affected area. If needed, you can also use a mild detergent for stubborn stains. Make sure to pat the area dry once the stain is removed, and let it air dry before your little ones start snuggling with it again.

Remember to always practice gentle cleaning methods when dealing with Squishmallows to preserve their softness and texture. With proper care, your children’s beloved plush toys will stay clean and huggable for years to come.

Removing Stains from Squishmallows

Mild Stains

If you have children, stains are going to happen. When it comes to Squishmallows, I’ve found that handling mild stains is quite simple. For these stains, I recommend using a stain remover pen or a wet wipe to gently clean the area. Here’s my go-to method:

  1. Dampen the cloth or wet wipe with cold water.
  2. Apply a small amount of mild laundry detergent to the cloth.
  3. Gently dab the stain with the cloth, being cautious not to rub too hard or it might damage the plush’s texture.
  4. Allow the Squishmallow to air dry, ensuring it returns to its original soft and cuddly state.

Stubborn Stains

Now, if your Squishmallow has some really stubborn stains, don’t panic! There’s a solution. For tough stains, I like to create a mixture of cold water and a few drops of mild laundry detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they may damage the fabric. Here’s my process for these more persistent stains:

  1. Mix a small amount of mild laundry detergent with cold water in a bowl or cup.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a sponge to apply the cleaning solution to the stain.
  3. Gently scrub the area in a circular motion, being careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid affecting the texture.
  4. If a stain is particularly stubborn, I add a little white vinegar to the mixture and repeat steps 2-3.
  5. Rinse the cleaned area with a separate sponge or cloth dampened with cold water.
  6. Allow the Squishmallow to air dry.

How to Dry Squishmallows

Air Dry Plush Toys

Air Drying

The best way to dry Squishmallows after washing is to air dry them.

After giving my children’s plush toys a thorough cleaning, I use a clean towel to gently pat and squeeze out any excess water from the Squishmallow. Laying down some additional towels can help absorb any remaining water. Then, I leave the Squishmallow out in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, to air dry. This method ensures that the stuffing stays fluffy and maintains its original shape.

Remember, a hairdryer or any electronic with high heat should not be used on the Squishmallow as it can damage the polyester fibers.

Tumble Dryer

While air drying is my preferred method, I understand that sometimes circumstances may require using a tumble dryer for a quicker result. In this case, it is essential to use a gentle cycle with low heat to avoid damaging the Squishmallow.

I usually place the plush toy in a mesh bag or zippered pillowcase before putting it in the dryer. This helps protect the Squishmallow from getting snagged on the dryer’s parts. Keep in mind, it is important to check on the Squishmallow periodically while it’s in the dryer to ensure it is not overheating.

Caring for Your Squishmallow’s Exterior

Firstly, it’s essential to know that most Squishmallow toys are made of soft, polyester fabric. This means that the colors on their exterior can be delicate, and we need to be gentle when cleaning them. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaning solutions, as they may cause the colors to fade or harm the polyester fibers.

Now, let’s talk about spot cleaning.

I always prefer spot cleaning my kids’ Squishmallows over full washes whenever possible, as it can often be gentler on the fabric. When a spill or stain affects a small area, simply mix some mild soap with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Apply the solution to the dirty spot using a cloth or a soft-bristled brush, and gently scrub the area in a circular motion. Afterward, rinse the area with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

In cases where a more thorough washing is required, don’t worry, your Squishmallow can handle it. Put your Squishmallow in a mesh laundry bag or zippered pillowcase to protect it from any sharp objects or snagging on other items during the washing process. Use a gentle detergent on a delicate cycle to ensure a deep clean without damaging the polyester fabric.

Finally, when it comes to drying your Squishmallow, I highly recommend air-drying it. Pat it dry with a clean towel and let it sit in a well-ventilated area until it’s completely dry. This method is ideal for protecting the integrity and softness of the polyester fibers. While you may use a dryer, avoid high heat settings or any handheld heated appliances, as these can cause damage to the toy.

You can also check out these pillows that feel like squishmallows if you’d rather just replace your pillow than wash it.

Need more help washing your Squishmallow? Check out the video below!

Repairing and Mending Squishmallows

Squishmallows sometimes need a little TLC. In this section, I’ll provide step-by-step guidance on repairing and mending your Squishmallows, focusing on fixing loose seams and replacing stuffing.

Fixing Loose Seams

When my kids play rough with their Squishmallows, it isn’t uncommon for seams to become loose. When you notice a loose seam, here’s how to repair it:

  1. Find a matching thread – Locate a thread color that matches the Squishmallow fabric. Having extra thread close by will come in handy for making repairs.
  2. Sew the seam – Turn the Squishmallow inside out. Using a needle and the matching thread, carefully sew along the seam’s loose area. Take your time to ensure the stitches are consistent and tight.
  3. Finish and knot – After sewing along the entire loose seam, secure the thread with a knot. Trim any excess thread and turn the Squishmallow right-side out.

Replacing Stuffing

In case your Squishmallow loses some of its stuffing, or if you want to replenish it for added fluffiness, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Determine the right stuffing – Squishmallows have a unique soft texture, so it’s essential to choose a stuffing that matches its original feel. Look for pillow stuffing or purchase a bag of polyester fiberfill – which is what Squishmallows are made of.
  2. Prepare the Squishmallow – Locate the seam that was used to stuff the Squishmallow initially. It may be located at the bottom or along one of the toy’s edges. You may need to remove a few stitches to access the stuffing.
  3. Replace the stuffing – Gently remove the old stuffing and replace it with new stuffing. Make sure not to overfill the Squishmallow; an overstuffed toy may lose its characteristic softness.
  4. Sew the seam closed – After you’ve finished stuffing your Squishmallow, sew the seam you opened earlier. You’ll want to use the same color thread to keep the seam discreet.

Storing and Maintaining Squishmallows

In my experience, it’s best to keep Squishmallows stored in a clean, dry place, like a toy box or closet, when they’re not being cuddled by my little ones. This helps protect them from dirt, dust, and accidental spills. Plus, it keeps their fluff intact!


Can you machine wash squishmallows?

Yes, you can machine wash squishmallows. I recommend placing them in a bag before washing and always avoid hot water to keep them safe. Use cool water

How do you wash squishmallow without ruining it?

It’s best to hand wash squishmallows with cool water and a gentle detergent to keep the delicate fabric clean and safe.

Can squishmallows go in the dryer?

While squishmallows can go in the dryer, I don’t recommend it. This can damage the fibers and cause them to break down. Instead, it’s best to air dry them to keep them looking great.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to wash squishmallows, it’s actually so much easier than you might think!

Washing squishmallows can be done one of three easy ways: via a washing machine, by hand washing, or by spot cleaning them.

If you machine wash or hand wash, avoid using hot water and harsh chemicals as these can damage the stuffed animals. You can use a gentle, normal detergent or even dishwashing liquid to remove small stains.

When it comes to drying squishmallows, again, try to avoid significant heat. While you can tumble dry them, I recommend air drying to keep them intact.

Need a new Squishmallow? Check out these places to buy Squishmallows!