Can You Tumble Dry Stuffed Animals? (is it safe or will it damage them)
It is sometimes possible to tumble dry stuffed animals on a low heat setting. However, it is not advisable to tumble dry your stuffed animals because they could become seriously damaged in a tumble dryer.
Tumble Drying stuffed animals can cause them to become damaged due to plastic parts (like eyes) or glue used in the construction that could melt in the dryer.
There is also the risk that the stuffed toy has a foam filling which could disintegrate in the tumble dryer.
The fur could become matted due in part to the tumbling action and in part to the heat.
If the stuffed toy was constructed using glue, it could melt in the dryer which could lead to parts falling off.
Any plastic parts could fall off or melt in the tumble dryer.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Stuffed Animals
All stuffed animals should have a wash care label which gives instructions on the best ways to wash and dry them.
Many of the symbols relating to tumble drying will probably never be found on any stuffed animals, but we have listed them all below for your reference.
Square With White Circle
This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried. You might find this on your stuffed animal but we still recommend not drying it in the tumble dryer.
Square With A White Circle With One Black Dot In Circle
This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be dried in a tumble dryer using the low heat setting. It is possible that you might find this symbol on your stuffed animal.
Square With A White Circle With Two Black Dots In Circle
This symbol indicates the item can be dried in a tumble dryer on the medium heat setting. This is unlikely to be found on a stuffed animal.
Square With A White Circle With Three Black Dots In Circle
This is the symbol that indicates that the item can be dried on a high heat setting. It is highly unlikely that you’ll ever find this symbol on your stuffed toy.
Square With A Black Circle
This is the symbol that indicates that the item can be tumble dried using no heat. In some cases it is possible to find this symbol on some stuffed toys.
Square With A White Circle And A Black X On Top
This is the symbol that is most likely to be found on your stuffed animal. It is the symbol that is used to indicate do not tumble dry.
How To Dry A Stuffed Animal Without A Tumble Dryer
It is recommended that you do not tumble dry your stuffed animals as they could become damaged in the tumble dryer.
Below we have listed alternative ways to dry your stuffed toys. These include;
Air Drying Your Stuffed Animals On A Washing Line
Your stuffed toys can be air dried on a washing line, retractable clothesline or rotary line.
Always ensure that your stuffed animals are hung in the shade to avoid any damage by the sun.
UV rays could cause the fur to fade, any glue used in the construction of your stuffed animal could melt or the plastic parts could fall off.
Air Drying Your Stuffed Animal Indoors On An Airer
Simply lay your stuffed animal on the airer’s rack and allow it to dry naturally.
The airer can be placed in front of a warm (not hot) radiator to help shorten the drying time.
Reduce The Drying Time Using An Electric Fan
By placing an electric fan such as a bladeless fan in the same room as the drying stuffed animals, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to dry them.
Especially if you open a window in the same room to allow plenty of air flow.
Using A Dehumidifier To Speed Up Drying Times
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air which creates a dryer atmosphere.
This allows the stuffed toys to release moisture at a faster rate. Which reduces overall drying times. Making dehumidifiers a great option for drying your stuffed animals.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry Stuffed Animals?
If your stuffed toy doesn’t have a care label it is always best to assume it should not be tumble dried. Whether it has a care label or not, if you decide to tumble dry your stuffed animal you could;
Damage The Stuffed Animal
Not all stuffed toys are created equal which means some could become severely damaged in a tumble dryer even without any heat.
Just the rough and tumble action could cause many stuffed toys to fall apart in the tumble dryer.
Cause The Foam Stuffing To Disintegrate
Many older stuffed toys have a stuffing that will disintegrate in a tumble dryer. These foam filled animals could become unstuffed if they are allowed to enter the tumble dryer.
The Stuffed Animals Could Fall To Pieces
If your stuffed animal has been constructed using glue, the heat from a tumble dryer could cause the arms and legs to fall off.
Not just the arms and legs: the heads, tails and even the eyes and noses could fall off.
Plastic Parts Could Fall Off Or Melt
If your stuffed toy has eyes or noses made from plastic which are stuck on, they could fall off in the tumble dryer.
The glue that holds them on could melt if exposed to high temperatures.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need to check the care label, but in many cases it is OK to wash a stuffed animal on a delicate setting. It is not generally recommended to tumble dry stuffed animals. This is because the rough and tumble action coupled with the heat of a tumble dryer can severely damage a stuffed toy.
It is not safe to tumble dry a stuffed animal as it could become damaged. You should always check the care label but we would recommend air drying your stuffed animal.
Without a tumble dryer, you can dry stuffed animals on a washing line outdoors or indoors on an airer.
Once the stuffed animal has been washed and hung on the washing line, the fur can be refluffed by using a hair dryer. You should use the cool setting on the hair dryer and never allow the nozzle to concentrate on any one spot for too long.
If the stuffed animal is played with often, it might need washing weekly. But generally stuffed animals should be washed at least once a month.