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Minky Plush Washing Guide

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By ButtercupBabyPPG   |   Watch
Published: April 13, 2015
© 2015 - 2019 ButtercupBabyPPG
Russian Version: hazevalley.ru/instructions.htm…
(If you translated this guide send me the link and I'll add it here!) :)

I haven't seen any tutorials specifically for washing minky plushies, though there's probably an overwhelming amount of them that are in need of washing after years of snuggling. This one for instance, is one of my older plushies, and has been snuggled nearly to death for the past 2 years. She's is pretty bad shape and also needs some repairs. I may also make a repair guide if anyone might be interesting. Just for simple things like re-attaching, tails, manes, and holes, but catered toward hand made minky plushies.

If anything is unclear, do mention it! I would be happy to update this guide with more information. (Also feel free to point on spelling errors...no spell check in photoshop ahaha...)

Also if any plush makers have any relevant info to add, do say so! I don't know how all other plush makers create their plushies, and I would like for this to be helpful for all types.

Here's the original plush that's being cleaned:
 

Some more things I plan to add to this guide in the future:
-Faux fur cleaning
-Spot cleaning
-Synthetic hair
-Minky fluffing with hair dryer (this actually works much better than just leaving to dry, since the warm air keeps the minky from becoming stiff, and you can brush it while it's drying)

 
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Comments126
anonymous's avatar
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MoonFlowerSax's avatar
MoonFlowerSaxHobbyist General Artist
Hello, I found this guide when I searched in my search engine of choice.

I'm glad I found this guide because there is one plushie I handle a lot, from cuddling through the nights to taking it with me to conventions. The fabric just becomes more and more greyish over time.

I don't use fluid washing machine detergent, but after having read the comments it seems like other cleaning agents work too. Either the bar of soap I use for washing my body in the shower, the hand-wash dish washing detergent, or maybe even the shampoo I use for my hair. I wonder what the best option would be.

Thank you.
MoonFlowerSax's avatar
MoonFlowerSaxHobbyist General Artist
Looks like it failed, the overall darkening and some specific spots being noticeable a bit more greyish didn't go away with dish wash detergent. Meep.

Maybe it is the wrong product. Maybe I didn't take enough, it was quite foamy, though. Maybe the grime is just too old. Maybe I didn't rub enough. I don't know.

I wonder if I can dilute the laundry detergent powder.
MoonFlowerSax's avatar
MoonFlowerSaxHobbyist General Artist
Okay, that took way longer.

It was no problem to dilute the powder. I also used exclusively the toothbrush with soft brushed now. It worked somewhat, but the spots are all still there, but I think they faded a little. At the water surface in the water container there was a noticable ring of grime. I also couldn't get all the detergent out again; while drying and brushing my hands got sticky again, just like the detergent diluted in water before.

Sigh

Maybe having hard water is also a problem.

Thanks again for the tutorial, though.
Remiaro's avatar
RemiaroStudent General Artist
I came here because last night I had a dream that I was cleaning some of my plush toys. That's something that I need to do soon!

Also thank you for pointing out that fabric softener ruins minky. I had a project with minky fabric a few months ago and I ended up needing to wash two of the pieces and I didn't understand why the texture felt wrong after it was washed. If I need to clean minky during a project again, I'll use this tutorial instead.

In the description you mention "Minky fluffing with hair dryer". To do this, would I use a hair dryer on low heat while brushing the minky?
Nightmare49's avatar
Nightmare49Hobbyist Writer
i got lucky before with one of my Plushs. She ended up wrapped up in my thick blanket without me knowing so she leaved and really got cleaner. Going to try to learn this way to clean all of my plushs. soon
VixsFixs's avatar
VixsFixsHobbyist Digital Artist
Would this work for a 4DE Rainbow Dash plush?
powder-sugar's avatar
powder-sugarHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this! ^^

Good to know in the future if I ever accidentally get paint or food on a plush @_@
Zeldasevensage's avatar
ZeldasevensageStudent Traditional Artist
Hey there!  Thank you for this wonderful guide.
Recently I commissioned a plush, and shes made from minky as well as faux fur, with embroidered details.  I was wondering if you recommend washing plushies regularly, or only when there is a visible stain/discoloration?  I'm careful to wash my hands before I touch her, not have her around food/drinks etc, but snuggling is bound to get oils/sweat on the fabric anyway, right?  So far my plushie looks good as new, I was just not sure if this guide is only for a solution to an already dirty plushie, or if it can be used as a sort of preventative as well.
Thank you!
saphy-lockhoof86's avatar
saphy-lockhoof86Hobbyist Filmographer
I've followed this guide to clean my Octavia cuddle buddy. The only issue i have is that my skin oils have turned parts of her slightly yellowish and using Woolite gentle cycle sans fabric softener only takes it out slightly. I even tried using a small amount of Oxy-Clean to "boost" it and it doesnt change much. Same thing happened to my Rarity Build a Bear. I want to get rid of it but short of using a spot treat pen or something a bit harsher, I dont know what to do. Any ideas? Maybe try a different laundry soap? I shower daily to help keep the oil under control but it only helps a bit.
ButtercupBabyPPG's avatar
ButtercupBabyPPGStudent Filmographer
You could also give shampoo a try too, I was reading around that also seems to be used to get skin oil stains from clothing.
ButtercupBabyPPG's avatar
ButtercupBabyPPGStudent Filmographer
Yea I noticed this method won't 100% get out stains from skin oil, what will get it out is actually running it through a machine. In order to do so properly you would need to un-stuff it, and turn it inside out and wash on a gentle cycle, cold water with a mild detergent that does not have fabric softener in it.

You could also try a dilute dish washing soap perhaps? I just would use it sparingly though and make sure you rinse it out good.
saphy-lockhoof86's avatar
saphy-lockhoof86Hobbyist Filmographer
Ill try the shampoo trick, since its seems to be pretty good at stripping excess oil out of hair. As far as the unstuffing, I'm not comfortable with my sewing skills to close it back up nor do i posses a machine. Dish soap may work too, Ill have to try both tomorrow and see which one works better. Ill edit this post with a report of what happens. Will be handy to know since Im getting a life size Octavia as well.
ButtercupBabyPPG's avatar
ButtercupBabyPPGStudent Filmographer
Thanks! Yea definitely let me know how it works out so I can tell others. :)
saphy-lockhoof86's avatar
saphy-lockhoof86Hobbyist Filmographer
Ok so here is what I found. Dish soap does work but it takes a bit of effort scrubbing and it doesnt completely remove the yellow, but its close. The soap I used was Dawn original (blue color). Now for the shampoo: I didnt have any on hand that didnt contain a conditioner and instead of risking it turning the minky all foul, I used a body wash. The brand I used was Niva Men and it has CHARCOAL in it. I know what you're thinking: Charcoal would turn it black. Nope, not in the slightest. Now granted it still did take a little bit of scrubbing, but it removed the yellow and left a nice scent. :) 

To do this, I used an old metal coffee can (#10 can) and mixed the dish soap in a small amount of water to keep the strength as high as possible. I cleaned half of Octavia with the Dawn. I hand dried it enough to where it was slightly damp and checked the surface. Cleaner, but still slightly yellow. The body wash was tested using a wet rag and applying the wash on the rag and rubbing with my hand. I cleaned, rinsed and dried the other half and the yellow was gone. Most noticeable was on the white collar her bowtie attaches to. I went ahead and finished both sides with the body wash and dried gently with a hair dryer. 

Now this does take a bit of effort, as in firmly rubbing with either cleaner but the both seem to get the job done. I was even able to get the yellow out of the mane detail embroidery (white in color) using the body wash. You mileage may vary depending on choice of soap or wash used. The eye embroidery was not messed with and cleaned like you say in the guide to avoid it coming undone. 
Vertigo-01's avatar
Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! Good grief, it was nigh of impossible for me to find anything about cleaning plushies made of minky - which so many custom plushies are made of these days. I was about to break down and try the old method of teddy bear cleaning with a bit of mild detergent and water mixed together, used with a gentle brush. Glad to see I wasn't far off the mark, and far more glad to have this guide. :D 
SandPox's avatar
hand washing powdered detergent should be fine right?
SandPox's avatar
Can I use shampoo or bodywash instead? because I only have detergent that already have fabric softener?

I've saw your suggest on use dish soap but I think dish soap might have some aggressive cleaning agent so it might fade the color?
ButtercupBabyPPG's avatar
ButtercupBabyPPGStudent Filmographer
Ah, that's a good point actually, about the dish soap. I'm not sure how well a body soap or shampoo would work though. blog.bitsofeverything.com/2013… shows what happens if you use fabric softener though, makes it kinda crusty. You know, now that I think of it, laundry soap I recall being super easy to make. wellnessmama.com/27059/high-ef… -looking at this maybe a body wash would work, but wouldn't able to remove stains.
bluemeganium's avatar
Hello,

Has someone any tips when you live in areas where the water hardness is so high, that a fabric softer is not avoidable? Here in my region, almost every detergent has a fabric softer.
ButtercupBabyPPG's avatar
ButtercupBabyPPGStudent Filmographer
Oh huh, I never considered that before. If that's all you have, just try to use only a little bit then. You could also use a nice smelling dish soap (for handing washing dishes not for a washing machine).
bluemeganium's avatar
Dish soap is something I have plenty. No nice smell, but I can put some afterwards. It will still take a loooong time for a life size. :)
Yogfan's avatar
YogfanHobbyist Digital Artist
This is a fantastic guide that I'll use to clean my one Zelda minky plush tomorrow. Thank you for providing this!
ChibiChabot's avatar
This is a great guide. Thanks for the information. Hopefully I won't ever have to wash my plushies but this may come in handy. My significant other has a 6 year old.
CuddlyKanin's avatar
CuddlyKaninStudent Traditional Artist
Hey, I would like to see the repair guide that you mentioned in the description! Is it made yet? Just wondering!
anonymous's avatar
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