How can I clean my large stuffed elephant?

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This one is a bit off the subject, but need help. ...I have a large stuffed elephant that I received on my 1st birthday-75 years ago! It was larger than me by far and I loved it almost to death. It was originally light blue and white but now it is all one shade of dirty! He is filled with some thing that may be straw and had a neck injury that required stitches and has lost its sight! And I still love it but would like some help/suggestions on cleaning 'Elefont'. Suggestions please~~~~
q this one is a bit off the subject but need help
q this one is a bit off the subject but need help
  9 answers
  • Debbi Debbi on Jun 06, 2017
    I would experiment with your laundry detergent on a small area, apply with a sponge rub in circlethen rinse with warm water soaked sponge and allow to dry, if it cleans that area it will work for the entire elephant, as forthe neck injury simply give him a stylish scarf to wear I suggest buttons be used to restore his sight I would love to see him once restored best of luck with yo faithful friend!

  • Ana Bacallao Ana Bacallao on Jun 06, 2017
    Wow, that's awesome that you've been able to hang unto it for so long. Congrats. I'm sure you have spot cleaned it through the years. I am not sure if you could paint him with chalk paint because it would definitely change the nap of the fabric. Maybe you could try on an inconspicuous area. You can also give him his eyes back with small buttons.

  • Marilyn Mead Marilyn Mead on Jun 06, 2017
    I cleaned a stuffed toy poodle, that was fairly large, by taking all of the old stuffing out and throwing it away. I washed the unstuffed poodle by hand with detergent, rinsed it really good and hung it to dry. Then I bought enough cut foam and restuffed it and it was so fresh, clean, and pretty. Now, I need to tel you this was at least 55 years ago and we didn't have a dryer. Now, after unstuffing your elephant, you could was in warm water on delicate or a short wash cycle. Then dry on low or air in your dryer. Might add a fabric softener or dryer sheet. Good luck, it will surprise you just how refresh it will be.

  • Ann Ann on Jun 06, 2017
    So sweet! My daughter had a large Clifford the Red Dog she won at a carnival in the 70s. So I did this. If your teddy was mine I would open up that neck repair and remove his stuffing. Then I'd dunk his skin several times in a weak soap solution until the water runs mostly clear, then rinse the same way. Blot blot blot alot on a folded towel then lay out on another towel to dry. Turn it over so it can dry evenly. When almost dry lay it out and gently pull into shape. A soft toothbrush can be used to brush his fur and fluff it up. I used a hair dryer carefully to help. Restuff with good polyester fiberfill and you can even put a dowel inside the stuffing to reinforce his floppy neck. Put lots of stuffing around that dowel. Sew on new buttons or toy eyes, too. Sew his neck seam closed then do your final fluffing of his fur and body, like you would a pillow. He will not look quite as good as new but he will definitely look much better. Good luck!

    Having said all that, he definitely has a ragamuffin charm as is. He is truly a vintage treasure!

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Jun 06, 2017
    I'm guessing he's filled with sawdust or perhaps some type of moss. In addition to the above suggestions, you might also try an upholstery cleaner. If cleaning doesn't renew the color, it will be very difficult to talk you through a restore. Check your local JoAnns or Hobby Lobby for animal eyes of the correct size. That will perk up Elefont with just a few swipes of a needle and thread!

  • Donna Minge Whitted Donna Minge Whitted on Jun 06, 2017
    use a very mild soap such as woolite. Sponge in circular motion. Sun dry.

  • William William on Jun 06, 2017
    Being 75 years old your elehpant was stuffed with EXCELSIOR which are fine wood shavings, used for stuffing, packing, etc. back in the day.

    Some stuffed animals can’t be washed in the washing machine. Baking soda can be the answer and help you really clean the stuffies without any issues to electronics.

    The classic tip says that you should simply place the stuffed animal in a bag, sprinkle some baking soda, shake it and leave it for a while. That may work for gentle sufrace cleaning of stuffies that are not too dirty.

    Some stuffies though have stayed in dusty places for long amounts of time. The way to clean them requires a bit of elbow grease and a few extra tricks.

    The results will vary according to the type of material the stuffed animal is made out of. Also if it is too furry or not.t is too furry or not.

    Depending on those factors and the degree of dirt, you may have to redo the procedure a couple of times until you get the desired results.

    Here’s how to clean a stuffed animal with baking soda

    First you can sprinkle some baking soda on the stuffed animal, gently rub it in and leave the toy for about an hour. Then take a towel or a soft cloth and wipe the fur with applying a little force. No good?

    Then it is time for Plan B. Take a little more baking soda and sprinkle it on part of the toy. Then take a damp cloth and start wiping the fur again with some force, but not too much as you don’t want to damage the material.

    This time the results should be visible both on the toy and the cloth. The part of the toy should be a little cleaner while the cloth should now be a little dirty.

    If needed sprinkle some more baking soda and damp the cloth again (not too much though, you don’t want it to be soaking wet).

    Now take a dry cloth and wipe the toy again. You don’t want it to get wet.

    Then take a clean damp cloth and wipe the toy again. You do this as a rinse from the baking soda.

    Then wipe with the dry cloth again. Your stuffie should now be much cleaner. Of course the results will vary depening on the state.

  • That is so cool that you still have this cherished item! There are many excellent suggestions here. I have used spray foam carpet cleaner. Work in sections. No matter which method you choose, I am sure it will be good for years to come!

  • Betty Smith Betty Smith on Jun 07, 2017
    Take to a dry cleaner. Good luck