I recommend using a clean comb to get your plush look like new. Especially if they do not have any stains from dirt/food or something this is the best and easiest way. With longer faux fur you can also style it with combing. But please be gentle. Some loose fibres may come off, this is normal. You can comb all kinds of faux furs and minky, no matter if they have painted details or not. You’ll probably want to do this if they arrive looking a bit ruffled up You can get very far by simply petting them with clean hands though, especially for the minky plushies this is usually enough to make them look neat.
Okay, this is a little more tricky. If your plush has NO Copic shading (alcohol-based ink), you can use a damp cloth to wipe off any grime. Watered down detergents on a damp cloth to wipe off dirt can ONLY be used in areas where there are NO painted details! Detergents + Copic = trouble! Just water and Copic is generally fine, EXCEPT for the pure black ink. I don’t know why this is. The dark brown left no trace when I wiped a damp cloth over it, but black stained the cloth immediately. When in doubt, don’t do it, or test on a small area first. Do not soak the plush completely and NEVER put it in a washing machine or dryer! This will ruin it. Comb the fur back into shape when it is (almost) dry. None of this affects the softness or texture of the fabrics.
Sleeping and playing with plushies
Generally, I think sleeping with them is fine. You should be a little more careful with plushies with glass eyes, simply because those are more vulnerable. If you know you move around a lot or squeeze your plushies in your sleep, it is not advisable to sleep with them (much) to keep them in top shape. Due to the handmade nature of these (every one is hand sewn) they are more vulnerable than most store-bought plushies. Don’t bend them extensively or pull on ears/tails/fur. They should be able to handle that, but it is better to be safe than sorry. I test them for this, but still. Lots of sleeping or playing with plushies may make the stuffing shift place a bit, resulting in shoulders that are no longer stuffed, for example. I can’t help that, it’s just something you should be aware of, and decide for yourself whether you mind or not For plushies that are stiffer and stand up by themselves, I recommend that you do not sleep with them in your arms, but rather to place them on a shelf or at the corner of your bed where they will be safe
Sunlight, kids, wired tails, and other last remarks
I would advise you to keep the plushies out of direct sunlight to preserve their colours. This goes for both plushies with Copic markings as well as those without. Due to the handmade nature and the frequency with which I use glass eyes, my plushies are not suitable for small children or pets. They are not made for rough play and will probably not last long in such situations. Wired tails and horns have pipecleaners inside. These are metal wires covered with synthetic fuzz/fur. You can bend them, but please do so moderately. Excessive bending might break them. They should not get wet either.
Generally please be gentle is the best advise!
As for the experiment I did, I took some photos for you to see.
Here we see the test pieces. Long haired cream, two white minky pieces and a white faux fur, regular length. The Copic had been applied more than 24 hours before the testing began, so it had thoroughly dried. The rightmost black on the lowest faux fur is craft store fabric marker.
After an hour of soaking and several hours of drying and combing, this is what came out of the baths. The upper and middle right fabrics had been placed in hot water with detergents. The middle left and lower fabrics had been placed in hot water only (hot as in, doing-the-dishes hot, around 40 ºC). As you can see, the detergents have removed almost all of the Copic shading. They cannot be used together! The hot water had no effect on the dark brown and very little on the reddish browns. The black fabric marker seems unaffected also. But black Copic marker did bleed. So be careful with water, but it can be used
And for some combing examples, Lion is willing to show how that goes:
(Such a messy mane and tail!) (combing gently with a clean comb I use only for plushies) (all done, nice and neat!)