Ah, Squishmallows. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they’re incredibly popular with kids. Who am I kidding? Even as a mom, I find this squishy combination of pillow and stuffed animal delightful. What’s less delightful is figuring out how in the world to clean these things when they inevitably get dirty.
This article will tell you what Squishmallows are made of, the best ways to wash them, and how to dry them. You’ll also discover how to spot treat stains on a Squishmallow and how to clean the gigantic ones.
Can You Wash Squishmallows?
Yes, you can! And thank goodness, too. If your kids are anything like mine, their favorite Squishmallows go along to the park, grocery store, and sometimes even school. All that fun adds up to a lot of germs collecting on your child’s cuddle buddy.
What Are Squishmallows Made Of?
These super cuddly and collectible critters are made from super soft spandex and filled with polyester fiber. This material makes them great for cuddling and easy to clean.
In The Washer Or By Hand: Which Is Best?
Hand washing or spot-treating is often the best way to wash a Squishmallow. This way, it doesn’t get soaked all the way through, so drying won’t take very long.
On the other hand, if your kiddo spills a drink on their Squishmallow or drops it in the mud, you’ll need to toss it in the washing machine for a more thorough cleaning.
How To Wash Squishmallows (Step-by-Step)
Squishmallows are similar to stuffed animals and pillows in that you should only put them in the washing machine if there’s too much dirt to get out by spot-treating.
In fact, their tags say to spot clean or dry clean only. Unfortunately, kids can sometimes get their snuggly companions too dirty for spot cleaning to take care of the problem.
When it’s time for a thorough cleaning, here’s the best way to get tough stains and nasty germs off your child’s Squishmallow without risking it losing its shape and cuddly feeling.
- Color-safe stain fighter
- Pillowcase or laundry bag
- Gentle laundry detergent
- Washing machine
Step 1: Pre-treat With Stain Fighter
This step is honestly a little nerve-wracking because no matter how color safe your stain fighter claims to be, there’s a chance it could discolor the fabric.
The only way I would personally choose to use a stain fighter on a Squishmallow is if I decided that the stain was so bad that the appearance was ultimately ruined anyways if I didn’t try to get it out.
In the best-case scenario, the stain comes out, and the fabric still looks good; in the worst-case scenario, the stain comes out and takes some color with it.
If you do try using a stain fighter, I suggest using one with a pen applicator. That way, you’re putting the solution directly on the stained area rather than spraying it onto a larger surface area.
Step 2: Put The Squishmallow In A Pillowcase or Laundry Bag
If you have laundry bags for dry-clean-only garments, you can put the Squishmallow in one of those to protect it from snags. If not, you can use a pillowcase instead.
Since the manufacturer’s instructions recommend dry cleaning rather than putting it in the washer, you need to take this extra step to try to keep it safe.
Step 3: Wash With A Gentle Laundry Detergent
Since Squishmallows technically aren’t supposed to go in the washing machine, you should use as gentle a detergent as possible.
If you have a dry-cleaning detergent like Woolite or Dryell, use that. Alternatively, you can use any free and clear detergent that you would use on baby clothes.
Step 4: Set Your Machine to a Delicate Cycle with Cold Water
When you have your Squishmallow pre-treated and secured in a laundry bag or pillowcase, add your gentle detergent to your washer, select the most delicate cycle available, and run it with cold water.
You should wash other items like sheets and blankets alongside your Squishmallows (for Minky blankets, follow this guide), so they don’t move around the machine as much; it will help them to keep from losing their shape.
How To Dry Squishmallows
The best way to dry a Squishmallow is to let it air dry. You should never apply heat in an attempt to dry it faster. Heating this type of fabric could cause it to melt, especially if your Squishmallow has hair.
If your Squishmallow is soaked through, you may need to throw it in the dryer. In that case, put it in a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect it from snags, then tumble dry on low heat or air dry.
Putting a Squishmallow in the dryer could cause the stuffing to clump. If that happens to you, just fluff it like a regular pillow to help it regain its original shape.
Can You Put Squishmallows In The Dryer?
Yes, you can put Squishmallows in the dryer. Simply put them in a laundry bag or pillowcase to keep them from snagging, then select the most gentle drying cycle available on your machine.
After drying, fluff the Squishmallow like any other pillow to help it return to its original shape.
How To Get Stains Out Of Squishmallows
Most of the time, getting everyday stains out of a Squishmallow is easy. All you need to do is put a few drops of clear dish soap or gentle laundry detergent on a damp paper towel or wash cloth and blot the stained area until it comes out.
If the stain is dark or hard to remove, like blood or chocolate, you may need to consider using a color-safe stain fighter to treat it.
Since stain fighters may remove the color from the fabric, keep this option as a last resort and use a solution with a pen applicator to target the stain without getting it on the rest of the Squishmallow.
Can You Wash Squishmallows With Detergent?
Yes, you can wash Squishmallows with detergent. Since the manufacturer’s instructions say that you should only hand wash or dry clean them, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use a gentle detergent when necessary.
A dry clean detergent like Woolite or Dryell is the safest solution, but you could also use a free and clear detergent like you would use on baby clothes in a pinch.
Tips For Washing Big Squishmallows
As long as your Squishmallow fits in your machine, you can wash it there. If it’s too big to fit inside a pillowcase or laundry bag, you’ll need to get creative to keep it safe. Try wrapping it in a sheet or tablecloth to keep it from getting snagged.
If your Squishmallow is too big for your washing machine, you have two options.
First, try to keep it from getting too dirty to spot treat. This could be difficult if it’s one of your child’s favorite toys, and sometimes no matter how hard you try to keep it clean, accidents or illness can thwart your plans.
Alternatively, if you need to launder a Squishmallow that’s too big for your washer, you could try taking it to the laundromat. The machines there are bigger than home washing machines and will most likely be able to get the job done.
Squishmallows Care Tips
Follow these simple care instructions to keep your cuddly pillow pals in tip-top condition.
- Keep sharp objects away from them to avoid punctures.
- If you see a loose thread, don’t pull it. Instead, cut the thread as close to the seam as possible to keep it from unraveling.
- Spot-clean them frequently with mild detergent to keep them fresh and stain-free.
- Never use heat to dry your Squishmallows. Air dry them whenever possible, or use low heat or air dry cycle on your dryer.
Squishmallows come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. They’re extra cuddly and super cute, so it’s easy to see why little kids, teens, and even adult collectors love them.
Chances are, if your child has a Squishmallow, they will want to take it everywhere with them. When your kiddo’s cuddly pal gets dirty, don’t despair; Squishmallows are simple to clean.
All you need to do is:
- Use a damp cloth and gentle detergent to spot-clean them. If Squishmallows get too dirty to wash by hand, you can put them in a pillowcase and toss them in the washer on a gentle cycle, using cold water and gentle detergent to get all the grime off.
- Allow the Squishmallow to air dry whenever possible. If they are too wet to air dry without the risk of growing mold, you can put them in a pillowcase and use the lowest heat setting your dryer has to offer or the air-dry setting.
- Keep them away from heat at all costs. This includes blowdrying them to help a spot-cleaned area dry faster. Any heat can make a Squishmallow melt.
- Keep sharp objects away from them to avoid accidentally puncturing their soft, stretchy shells.