Squishmallows are our favorite cuddlebugs. And you know what rhymes with cuddlebugs? Stains.
Our favorite toys like to pick up stains on a steady, from lipstick, to make up, to tea spills and even grease marks. When our plushies become marred completely with stains and soiling, how do we get them looking all polished up again? Machine wash?
Feel free to machine wash your squishmallows. That’s literally the easiest way to get rid of dirt and soiling on them. When machine washing squishmallows, you want to opt for the most delicate cycle your machine can offer using cold water and a laundry detergent. Prior to washing, you want to make sure you’re treating stains first so washing becomes easy afterwards.
Below, you learn how to treat squishmallows for stains and also how to properly wash them in the washing machine. Afterwards you’ll learn how to dry them properly so they always turn out fluffy and fresh as ever.
Try spot cleaning first
When it comes to squishmallow maintenance, it’s always advised to avoid submerging them completely in water. The reason is because the stuffing inside of them can get all tangled up and it will make the squishmallow not fluffy again.
So the feeling that you get when you hold or hug your squishmallow or when you touch the magical plushie will disappear out of the blue.
That’s why it’s always important to spot-clean squishmallow if they only have a few spots stains here and there. Spot cleaning is always your best bet because it would make the fluffiness last much longer. So how do you spot-clean smashmallow?
It’s stated on the squishmallow website that their products are made up of polyester on the outside (which is the covering) and still polyester fibers on the inside which is the stuffing.
So if you want to successfully treat stains on your smashmallow, you’ll have a higher rate of success when you opt for a polyester based spot remover or technique.
Sometimes, simple stains like water-based stains (such as spills) can be treated with simple laundry detergents and white cloth or soft toothbrush. All you have to do is to wet the clean cloth in a solution of water and detergent and wring thoroughly to remove excess water. Then wipe against the stain gently and continuously until it comes off completely.
Afterwards, soak the white cloth in clean water and use the wringed out cloth as your “rinse water” by brushing against the cleaned area.
If you’re allergic to detergent fragrance, you want to get rid of as much soapy water on the affected spots as possible to prevent triggers caused by contacts.
If you’re dealing with a much serious problem like aged stains, coffee stains or oil and grease stains, Then you’ll have to fall back to a stain remover to tackle the problem for you.
There are many stain removers out there that are multipurpose and can deal with a wide range of stains, and there are certainly others meant for only a specific type of stain. You should go through the types of polyester stain remover to discover which one best suits your squishmallow needs.
Before using any stain remover however, you want to make sure you’re doing a spot test in an inconspicuous area of your squishmallow like the back of the ears or something. This will ensure you don’t end up shrinking your fibers, or even changing the colors.
When you should put squishmallow in the washer
Not all spots or stains are equal, there are some stains or spots that are far more pronounced than the others, and when you try to treat them using a spot treatment or detergent, they get even more pronounced, or can be treated, but then leave a fairly polished look on your smashmallow.
And most times, the thing about relying only on spot treatment is that your items will begin to look grubby overtime as they pick up dirt easily.
So when you’re dealing with this type of scenario, your next best bet is the washer. And it’s not like the effects it has on squishmallows cannot be prevented or reversed. Or is very pronounced. It isn’t.
When your squishmallow gets all squished up by a sick person in the house also, you want to give it a thorough disinfection to prevent spread of any bacteria or virus via the toy.
Another reason why you might want to put a squishmallow in the washing machine is because, like every other fabric, it will eventually get stained, and pretty bad for that matter, especially when it’s your toddler hugging and turning over and over on it.
It will definitely pick up a lot of soiling, and the only option would be to definitely submerge it in soapy water using one technique or the other. You can either then choose to hand wash or machine wash. And speaking of the latter, how do you do it?
There are actually two things that happen to a smashmallow when you constantly put it in the washing machine as it is.
The outside will deteriorate in aesthetic quality and texture, and the inside will absorb water and become lumpy. As a result, your squishmallow won’t bounce back up when you hit lightly on it ,and you’ll also lose that fluffiness, soft touch, texture, and plush.
The first problem is typically something you would observe later on and not immediately after you put a squishmallow in the washing machine.
The latter however is something you would observe when your squishmallow immediately it leaves the dryer. But there are ways you can make your smashmallow fluffy again, like putting it in the dryer together with dryer balls or tennis balls, or trying to maneuver it with your own hands until it becomes fluffy again.
Washing your squish mallow is pretty easy. To minimize the effects it has on the texture, put it in a mesh or washing bag or in a pillowcase and clean on a delicate cycle using cold water, laundry detergent and sanitizer like Zoflora.
Avoid using bleach or disinfectants (like domestos) meant for heavy duty use on squishmallow. Dry in the dryer using a low heat setting alongside two dryer balls or tennis balls.
Read: Can You Put Bleach In A Washing Machine?
When your squishmallow is out of the drying machine, use your hands to maneuver it to get it back to shape and fluffiness again and you’re good to go.
With time you would observe that the squishmallow will begin to lose fluffiness especially following heavy duty use. Don’t be scared, there are actually ways you can use to reverse that back.
You can put the squishmallow in the dryer and put a dryer ball or tennis ball and run the dryer on no heat setting. You can also remove the polyester filling in the plushie and de-lump them yourself, or replace it with a new one, for the more crafty people.
Opening up a squishmallow to remove its contents is quite easy. Locate the junction where everything meets up at the underside of the smashmallow, then open it up (a little tear) with a sharp object like a razor blade.
Carefully remove all the stuffings of the squishmallow and then use your hands to declump them. When you’re done, put them back inside the squishmallow and seal it up using a needle and a thread.
If you wish to replace the stuffing, be sure you have the exact same type of stuffing on ground already. Then fill the empty skin of the plushie with the new filling and seal it up.
How to dry a squishmallow
After washing your squishmallow in the washer, you’re also free to put it in the dryer.
The reason is because squishmallow do not contain any plastics or glued on parts but rather parts that are stitched together. And if you look closely at the underside, you’ll find that junction where everything meets up and the plushie is closed up.
Using them in the dryer has some rules here and there though. And you must follow them to ensure your plushie doesn’t come out ruined at the end of the day.
To dry a smashmallow, put it in the dryer at the lowest setting and repeat the dry cycle until the plushie feels dry to the touch. Really inspect it to ensure it dries completely!
You can add dryer balls or tennis balls to hasten the drying process and also make them fluffy when they come out.
Can you microwave squishmallow for heat?
Microwaving your squishmallows would not make them retain heat, rather the heat can actually damage the fabric on the outside and also the polyester filling on the inside. If you must use squishmallows as heat treatments, then you have to do some work by taking out their filling and replacing it with a material that retains heat much longer, for example, rice or treated flaxseed.
When you’ve done this, then you won’t be able to submerge your squishmallow in the washing machine again because that would damage the stuffing inside.
How to maintain a squishmallow
Maintaining the quality of your squishmallow is actually quite easy. There are a few things you need to make sure you’re doing to ensure that your squishmallow maintains its fluffiness for longer periods, and also maintains the integrity of the outside fabric for much longer durations.
As we mentioned earlier, when you’re washing your squishmallow in the washing machine, always put it inside a pillowcase or a mesh bag to protect the outside fabric from rough agitation, and then you should also put it in the dryer (at low heat settings) together with two dryer balls or tennis balls to promote faster drying and facilitate fluffiness.
Also, a good tip for day to day handling of your squishmallows is that whenever you notice that your squishmallow does not spring back up quickly when you hit or remove the resting pressure on them, then you can always recover the lost fluffiness by throwing them in the dryer together with tennis balls at no heat setting.
To keep the longevity of your baby doll also, you should always treat stains as the form and do not allow room for them to settle inside the fabric which would require elbow grease to get rid of.
Squishmallows are perfectly fine to put inside the washing machine to clean them. The washing machine would probably do the best job at cleaning your squishmallows (and even large stuffed animals) than any other techniques including hand washing or spot cleaning.
When you machine wash your squishmallows however, expect the outside material to deteriorate in feel and quality much faster, and also the filling to lose its suishyness and fullness in no time.
But just so you know, and don’t worry too much, there are definitely things you can do to minimize this deterioration that happens. They are comprehensively discussed right there in the article!