How To Wash Squishmallows [Clean Moldy Ones Too!]

The squishmallows in my house are very well loved which means they are also quite dirty. Those squishy, plush toys go everywhere from beds to outdoor picnics and a few have even made it to the beach on a family trip! Needless to say, I have become a pro at cleaning squishmallows. 

There are quite a few tips and tricks that will help you keep your kids squishmallows clean and I will tell you all about them! The squishmallows in your house will be clean in no time. 

The best way to wash squishmallows is to put it in a pillowcase then into the washing machine set to the gentle cycle. This thoroughly cleans the squishmallow and is super easy to do. I like to spot clean squishmallows with paper towels and white vinegar. Baby wipes are also fantastic for quickly cleaning squishmallows.  

Can You Wash Squishmallows?

You can wash a Squishmallow if you use a mild detergent or if you put it in a pillowcase. In my experience, washing it without a pillowcase will make it less squishy and may even deform it.

How to Clean Squishmallows

I have tested quite a few different methods for cleaning squishmallows. Each one has it’s perks so be sure to read through them all. There is definitely a solution for getting your specific squishmallow clean! 

Method # 1 Washing Squishmallow Inside Pillowcase

Tossing your dirty squishmallow pillows into the washing machine may be the easiest way to clean them. However, there are a few little tricks to follow to ensure the squishmallows get clean and do not loose their shape. 

You will need:

  • Washing Machine
  • Pillow Case
  • Laundry Detergent

I like to use Tide Free & Gentle which has fewer harsh chemicals compared to other detergents. It still has super cleaning power and works wonderfully. 

Once you have your cleaning supplies, follow these quick steps:

Time needed: 30 minutes.

How To Clean A Squishmallow Inside Pillow Case

  1. Place your Squishmallow inside the pillowcase

    Placing the Squishmallow inside a pillowcase keeps the soft Squishmallow from coming into direct contact with harsh detergent and gives it a little cushion inside the washing machine.  place squishmallow inside pillowcase

  2. Place the pillowcase inside your washer

    After placing the pillowcase inside your wash add the normal amount of detergent and turn the machine on the gentle cycle. You want to be sure to use cold water so your Squishmallow won’t melt by accident (this can happen in super hot water!)place squishmallow inside washer

  3. Remove the Squishmallow from the pillow case

    Once the cycle is done, remove the squishmallow from the pillow case and put it somewhere to air dry. I like to put mine outside in the sun. They dry super fast, especially in the summer!

Important Tips

Do not dry Squishmallows in the dryer. The heat can cause the fabric to melt. It can also ruin the shape of the squishmallow. I have found air drying is best! 

It is also a good idea to wash the Squishmallow with other linens or towels. A larger, soft load will protect the shape of the Squishmallow as it turns around in the washing machine. 

Washing Squishmallow in a washing machine is my favorite cleaning method. The Squishmallow pillows come out clean, smelling good and looking brand new!

Method # Spot Clean With Vinegar

If your squishmallow has just a small stain or dirty spot, there is no need to wash the entire thing. A quick surface clean will work wonderfully! I have removed marker spots, pizza sauce and coffee (that one was my fault!) from squishmallows with this easy method. 

You will need:

  • Paper Towel
  • White vinegar

Here is how I use a simple piece of paper towel and white vinegar to clean my kids squishmallows: 

  1. Pour a little vinegar on a clean paper towel. I like to use extra strong paper towels so you can rub a little harder without the towel ripping. Viva brand is clothlike and holds up well. 
  2. Rub the towel on the dirty spot on the squishmallow. 
  3. Continue to rub until the spot is gone. 
  4. Let the squishmallow dry before playing with it again!

Vinegar is not only a powerful cleaner, but it will kill any germs on the squishmallow thanks to its high acidity. It also has a neutral smell and is gentle enough to prevent discoloration on your precious stuffed pillow. It is an all around great cleaner! 

Method # 3 Treat With Stain Remover Pen

Is there a deep stain on your squishmallow? Are you worried it could become permanent? The best thing to do is quickly treat the stain with a stain remover pen. 

You will need:

  • Stain remover pen
  • Wet washcloth
Washing Squishmallow

I like to use Tide stain remover pens which have strong, powerful stain lifting chemicals. I have never had an issue with tide pens discoloring my kids squishmallows, however, if you are worried, try using it in a discreet spot on the pillow. Wait for about 20 minutes and see if the color has changed. If it has not, go ahead and use the pen freely! 

  1. Rub the stain remover pen over the stain, soaking the area completely. 
  2. Follow up by spot cleaning the area with a wet washcloth. This will remove some of the chemicals from the Tide pen and really lift off the dirt from the squishmallow. 
  3. This method will prevent stains from setting and becoming permanent. 

Stain remover pens are fantastic for getting marker or juice off squishmallows. Anything that may stain your clothes, will stain your squishamellow! But those stains can be prevented when treated quickly with a stain remover pen. 

Method # 4 Using Baby Wipes For Spot Cleaning

As a mom to young kids, I always have baby wipes on hand. They are not only great for diaper changes, but also fantastic for spot cleaning. Even the mild wipes for sensitive skin, like Papmers, clean well! That is the brand I use for my kids so it is also what I use on my squishmallows. 

All you need to use this squishmallow cleaning method is:

  • Baby wipes

Here is how to use those wipes to clean your fun, furry pillows.

  1. Grab a baby wipe and gently rub it on the part of your squishmallow that needs to be cleaned. 
  2. Continue to wipe the squishmallow until it is clean. 
  3. The baby wipe will not make the pillow too wet so it should air dry quite quickly. 
Clean squishmallow with baby wipes

Super easy, super quick way to spot clean a squishmallow. I have used this method many times on vacation when all I have on hand is baby wipes. Good thing they are so magical!

Method # 5 Hand Wash with Dish Soap

If you are worried about putting your squishmallow in the washing machine, you can try hand washing it instead. I have done this many times and my squishmallows come out looking brand new. 

You will need:

Here is a quick look at how to clean squishmallows with dish soap:

  1. Use a washcloth with a tiny bit of dish soap and warm water. I like to use Dawn dish soap which is known for its strong cleaning power but mild chemicals. About 2-3 drops of soap on a wet washcloth is plenty.
  2. Rub the soapy washcloth over your squishmallow, scrubbing gently especially in the most soiled parts. 
  3. Once the squishmallow looks clean, rinse the soap off the washcloth and rub your squishmallow with the clean cloth to rinse it off. 
  4. Let the pillow toy air dry and it will look as good as new! 

Dish soap and a washcloth are my go-to cleaning method for so many things so I love that it also works for squishmallows. It is simple but effective

What are Squishmallows?

Squishmallows are popular stuffed toys that first came on the market in 2017. They are all round and look like little pillows. However, they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and designed to look like different animals. 

There are now over 1000 different unique squishmallow characters which means kids can collect as many as possible. That, of course, means that if you have one squishmallow, you are likely to get more! More squishmallows are fun but that also means there are more to clean! 

What are Squishmallows Made From?

This is a very important question that can help determine how to clean a squishmallow. Knowing the material can guide you toward the correct cleaning solutions and cleaning practices. Fabric knowledge is essential to getting things clean!

Squishmallows have a soft spandex exterior and are filled with a polyester fiber. Both of these materials are quite easy to clean which gives us lots of options when it comes to washing sqishmallows.

How to Fix Moldy Squishmallows

The best way to fix a moldy squishmallow is to prevent it from getting moldy in the first place! I know this is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to avoid mold:

  • Try to avoid submerging squishmallows in water. They are not bath toys!
  • If they get wet, dry them quickly with a towel and then put them in a sunny, dry spot to dry.  
  • Spot clean using one of the methods above as your normal cleaning routine. Only use the washing machine method when your squishmallow gets very dirty. 

Squishmallows are pillows so they will absorb moisture quickly, even if you are super careful. If your squishmallow does happen to get moldy, here is what you can try:

  1. Mix 2 Tbsp of table salt with ¼ cup lemon juice. 
  2. Use a paintbrush to paint the mix on the moldy section of your squishmallow. Set it in the sun for about 30 minutes to dry the mix, allowing the acid to kill the mold and the salt to absorb the moisture, pulling the mold out of the squishmallow. 
  3. Rub the salt away with a warm, wet wash cloth, rinsing the cloth and spot cleaning until the section is cleaned. 
  4. The mold will be removed and any spores will be killed! 

This cleaning trick works with white vinegar in place of lemon juice as well. I like to use lemon juice because it smells a little nicer and is just as acidic and strong as vinegar. The main idea is to kill the mold spores. 

If you are unable to clean the mold from your squishmallow with this spot cleaning trick, try using the washing machine method. Just be sure to dry the pillow completely after cleaning. 

If your squishmallow still looks moldy, the best plan is to throw it away. You do not want your kids to play with moldy toys! It can be dangerous to their health and no toy is worth that. 

Tips for Cleaning Squishmallow Pillows

No matter which method you choose to clean your squishmallow, you want to keep these few tips in mind. 

  • Never put squishmallows with electrical components in the washing machine. If your squishmallow has any kind of sound device or light up feature, stick to spot cleaning or hand washing only.
  • Start with spot cleaning your squishmallows first. This is the best way to ensure the specific dirty spots get clean. 
  • Always make sure your squishmallow is completely dry before playing with it again. The larger squishmallows will take several hours to dry but the smaller pillow toys should dry quite quickly. Place them in a well ventilated area to dry and be sure to give them a good squeeze to see if they are dry through and through! 
  • The first time you wash your squishmallows in the washing machine, be sure to wash them with similar colored toys. The dye from the squishmallows may leak out a little bit so you want to protect the other items in the wash. 
  • The jumbo XL squishmallows may be too large to fit in a standard washing machine. You can either bring them to a local laundromat to clean or stick to spot cleaning and hand washing the larger pillows. 
  • I definitely recommend spot cleaning scented squishmallows. Washing them in the washing machine will cause them to lose their sweet scent. A quick spot clean with a baby wipe, Tide pen or a little vinegar will get those scented squishmallows clean and retain their yummy smell. 
clean squishmallow

If you have any squishmallow cleaning tips, please send them my way! My kids are crazy about their squishmallows which means they are constantly getting dirty in new, unexpected ways! 

Where to Buy Squishmallows

You can find squichmallows in most big name stores. They are available on Amazon, at Walmart, and Target. I have even seen them in my local CVS!

Some squishmallows are much harder to find and are considered collectors items. Jack the Black Cat squishmallow is the rarest squishmallow and is very hard to find. You will need to search hard for this one! 

If you are lucky enough to find it, it will also cost you around $2000. That is one squishmallow you will definitely want to keep clean! 

Final Considerations

With all of these cleaning tips, you are going to have the cleanest, nicest looking squishmallows on the block. You can feel good about your kids sleeping with fresh, germ-free toys and your kids will appreciate how new their squishmallows look. Now that I am a pro at cleaning squishmallows, I don’t mind at all if this trend sticks around!