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Minky Plush Washing Guide by ButtercupBabyPPG Minky Plush Washing Guide by ButtercupBabyPPG
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:
 Pinkie Pie Plushie by ButtercupBabyPPG

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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:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Student Filmographer
Aww, what's wrong with her? Does she need repairs? I plan to make a simple repair tutorial eventually as well.
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:iconcaptricosakara:
CaptRicoSakara Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no, just dirty from cuddling with. Had her for 2 1/2 years. I just don't want to risk doing something wrong.
Reply
:iconcajobif:
cajobif Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
Oh! It will helps for sure. I never checked myself how to wash it until they put this as a feature on EQD.

Yep.

Thanks for the infos.
Reply
:iconsonic5421:
Sonic5421 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I've put my Celestia and Cadence plushies through the washing machine and dryer twice already, but I've been very careful to ensure that I even followed some of these instructions before it was even posted.

Cold water, detergent without fabric softener, and with the dryer heat, I had it set for either "Delicate" or minimal timed dry. When they were done, they did not look that different from when I got them in the mail, and are still in very good shape with the fur, embroidery, and where they were hand-stitched as well.

My plushies are very tough and durable, and I love them very much. And if anything real bad happens to them, I always have eBay to look for identical replacements since I've seen plenty of the ones that I have over on eBay for prices that fit my price range, even if I have to wait a week or so for them if they are coming in from outside the USA.

Still, thanks for this guide! Much appreciated!!! Heart Heart Heart 
Reply
:iconfrozenshepard:
FrozenShepard Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
Imagine how long this would take on the life size plush ponies, especially that Luna one.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Student Filmographer
I have a giant plush that needs a bath....when I take on the challenge, I'll let you know, lol.
Reply
:iconc3h4ohcooh3:
c3h4ohcooh3 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
When I first got my plush, I asked the maker about cleaning procedures, and she wasn't sure. Now I know!
Reply
:iconverulence:
verulence Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
BRUSHIE BRUSHIE
Thanks for providing this friend :heart:
Reply
:iconpakom15w:
pakom15w Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
I like the comment when you need love or you'll throw it to the washmachine, because many of my friends do that. I instead take good care of it and it have it's personal box cover with towels so it don't get dirty. But I will eventually use this as a reference, than you. 
Regards from Chile.
Reply
:iconblackpaw42:
blackpaw42 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
An awesome guide!  I've been meaning to give my plushies some cleaning action, but have been terrified to do so.  Now I think I can do it well.
Reply
:iconrockingscorpion:
RockingScorpion Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm very VERY careful when it comes to my minky plushies. They all have been to some meetups but still look like I just got them yesterday. :D
So I probably won't be in need of this guide (let's hope so :D) but you'll never know and it sure is a good one, so faved. ;)
Reply
:iconeventorizon-ajsb:
Eventorizon-AJSB Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
I've been washing my Minky Rainbow Dash in the washing machine for 2 years and she is perfectly fine.
I put her in a pillow case and use an elastic band to keep it closed, put it on a 30dgr short cycle with regular detergent in the hopper and run a short cycle with no spin at the end.
She comes out all wet but still very much fluffy and then she spends a few hours in the sun or resting on top of our boiler where the gentle heat leaves her like new.
Of course, that works for 1 small; 10", plushie. Bigger more elaborate characters will need some TLC.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Student Filmographer
Ah, yes I was about to say. Washing Machine can work for smaller plushies, also if it's a front loader. I wouldn't recommend it for anything larger, since it will be harder to get the water out from inside it.
Reply
:iconaxel-foaly:
Axel-Foaly Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
Very useful info for cleaning any plushies, I think :)
Reply
:icongrimnir11:
grimnir11 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconhironolind:
Hironolind Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015
I have the same problem with my Rarity and white fur isn't the best for frequent handling, so will be making good use of this guide :)
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:iconwhoeveriam0iam14222:
whoeveriam0iam14222 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015
just buy a Rarity plushy.. she'll make sure not to get dirty
Reply
:iconcooper-23:
Cooper-23 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015
Until she goes crazy and jumps in mud.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Student Filmographer
No no, what you mean is she actually likes baths the most.
Reply
:iconbunnystark:
BunnyStark Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
my dryer has a air fluff/dry setting on it that has no heat an my plushies come out nice an dry an unharmed using that setting.
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:icondoublebackstitcharts:
DoubleBackstitchArts Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is beautiful, brilliant, and I've already sent it to three other people who've asked how to clean their ponies from needing just regular care to spilled cranberry juice.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Student Filmographer
Also I should probably add a small section about stains and spot cleaning too. Detergent doesn't get everything out, but it gets most dirt and grimes.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Student Filmographer
Yayyy~ So happy to help! I'm going to make some additions in the next couple days. I noticed after I left Pinkie to dry, the minky still wasn't at optimum fluffy levels, so I'm going to experiment a bit with a hair dryer to fluff them up.
Reply
:iconthenotalentloser:
TheNoTalentLoser Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
I'm always afraid of ruining my custom plush with too many snuggles, so it's good to know there is a way to clean them up if something happens. :3 

Are you by any chance familiar with ways to clean up or de-frizz synthetic hair? Like on the Build a Bear ponies or anything? 
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Student Filmographer
Hmm I don't have any build-a-bear's myself but I do know about cleaning and styling hair of brushable toy ponies, and synthetic wig hair. It's a little silly, but I just use normal shampoo and conditioner on the hair. Hot water will smooth out the hair, as synthetic hair shape sets with heat. However this will also potentially remove any curls, and the way it dries tends to be the way it stays. Cheaper hair (like the brushable toys) will set with less heat (like hot water from the faucet). For high quality wig hair, you need near boiling water to set the shape and remove frizz, but I doubt most ponies are made with that.
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:iconthenotalentloser:
TheNoTalentLoser Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Ah thanks for the tips! I got a build a bear twilight recently for the purpose of snuggling essentially, and I've been brushing her hair out everyday, but the ends became frazzled anyway. I thought about trying hot water but I didn't know if it would melt the hair or not. I do know that can smooth out doll hair and such. I used some laundry soap on the hair already from a spray bottle but it didn't really do anything. lol. I'm not sure what kind of hair the build a bears use, and each pony seems to have different hair quality (I have quite a few of them, and twilight seems to have the best hair out of the bunch I own). 
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:iconflutterbatismagic:
FlutterbatIsMagic Featured By Owner Edited Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had the same issue, but I've since become experienced at repairing frizzy pony hair. For a while I sold vintage ponies on eBay and often had to de-frizz their hair. 

I've always used a straightening iron. Works every time. Hot water isn't enough to deal with frizz, but the iron is. 

Be sure to apply ample conditioner onto the hair before using the straitening iron. (Ample, as in like load it on generously. xD)
Then, without removing the conditioner, run the straightening iron over it, gently.

After that, lightly rinse the hair out and re-curl it again if you want. You can use human hair curlers, straws, paper towels, etc. to curl it. For a simple curl (such as Twilight's hair), just curl the mane and tail around the pony's legs and let it set until it dries completely.
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:iconthenotalentloser:
TheNoTalentLoser Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2016
This is really helpful to keep in mind!! I was wondering if a straightening iron would damage the hair. I know sometimes it's ok to use on dolls, depending on the material the hair is made from (sometimes it doesn't work at all) but I wasn't sure if the pony hair was the same or not. I don't have much experience in that. The most I've done is using some conditioner and warm water to make a childhood pony look more presentable for one of my shelves. She isn't perfect, but I figure I had her since I was small so she should probably look a little worn lol. 

That is super helpful though. I will definitely keep this all in mind, I am going to save this comment in my folder so I don't forget. Haha. 
Reply
:iconflutterbatismagic:
FlutterbatIsMagic Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, no problem! I've never had it fail on me.

The only occasion when it "failed" was when the hair was soooo frizzy that even ironing couldn't help. But the "fail" is only in the sense that it wasn't fixed completely; it still became better than before, so no loss there.
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:iconironwolfclaw:
ironwolfclaw Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Thanks for the tips!!
Reply
:iconmarelynmayhem:
MarelynMayhem Featured By Owner Edited Apr 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I don´t remember where I go this tip but when I want to wash my plushies I put it in a pillow case and I let the washer do the rest. They´re well preserved. Fleece does tend to gather lint so I got a very cheap bar of pumice and remove it gently.
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:icondigigirl789:
digigirl789 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015   Artist
Are these plushies store bought, or are they handmade?  Do you let them air dry or do you put them in the dryer? I got a couple of plushies from Build A Bear that could use a good washing, but I am afraid they not get dry.
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:iconmarelynmayhem:
MarelynMayhem Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
They´re made with minky plush and handmade and they´re dried on a regular dryer but they are put on a pillow case all the time so the fabric won´t get caught on the machine.
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:iconschneelocke:
schneelocke Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
That's very useful, thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconcrowchet:
Crowchet Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ahh, this is really helpful. My poor Wolpertinger is really not white more. A repair guide would be great to see as well since I've never done any work with minky.
Reply
:iconketikacraft:
KetikaCraft Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Good guide! :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconzeskii:
zeskii Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Are all plushies made of minky fabric? Because I really need to wash my Sunset plushie and I don't want to find out that I washed her wrong.
Reply
:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Student Filmographer
Not all, other less expensive custom plushies tend to be made with fleece. Minky is a slightly furry material. Ones you buy from the store or bootleg ones, you can probably wash similarly though. If your plush is fleece I would HIGHLY recommended against scrubbing it, since it will pill the fleece and damage the material. Also something I should probably add to the guide is to not put plushies with faux fur of any sort in the dryer, and it will tangle the fur beyond fixing.
Reply
:iconphonycycle:
phonycycle Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
Do you have any suggestions for how best you *should* clean fleece plushies?
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:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Student Filmographer
I've not tried it myself, but I'd use a soft rag, and definitely no toothbrush on the fabric.
Reply
:iconfangs211:
fangs211 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015
Moms be like: Ain't nobody got time fo dat. *throws in washing machine* 
Me: Mooooommmm noooooooooooo qnq 
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:iconequinepalette:
equinepalette Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Great tutorial! I'm sure this will come in GREAT handy to many plush owners!
Reply
:iconrogueerugo:
RogueErugo Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I've been dying for a thorough guide on custom plush cleaning for years! And I'm very glad and relieved to know that all of my previous attempts followed the majority of the above steps while I cleaned my snuggly bundles of love. :heart:

I even have a toothbrush and washcloth I've always set aside specifically for them, heheheh~ ^w^
Reply
:iconadamlhumphreys:
adamlhumphreys Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
Years of snuggling is always awesome! :D I personally don't touch 'em unless I'm generally clean, (usually after a shower and before/during/after bed :meow:). My only real problem is the fur matting over time despite my best efforts to keep it nice. >_< It's worst where two parts of the plush rub on each other. As for cleaning, I generally always use a cotton swab with 90% rubbing alcohol, so spot clean only, even if the spots are big. Some had asked me about cleaning once because dust had gotton on their AJ's hooves. Not sure what kind though since you have dry dust and you have damp dust. :iconapplejackgrossplz: I recommended that and he said it worked great, so I was glad to hear that. :iconapplejacklaplz:
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:icondigigirl789:
digigirl789 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015   Artist
I use a small spray bottle vinegar  for spot cleaning because it keeps the plush smelling fresh and the vinegar smell goes away once it is dries.  This is also good for plushies that children sleep or on since it non toxic. If a person has allergies, they should vacuum the plush once a week and put the plush in the freezer  for 24 hours to remove dust mites. This works just as well a dryer to remove dust mites.
Reply
:iconadamlhumphreys:
adamlhumphreys Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional General Artist
Alcohol doesn't take too long to evaporate, but vinegar probably works very similarly.
That's interesting to hear about dust mites though! :nod: Wouldn't work too well for really large plushies, though neither would a dryer in some respects, even if you don't keep food in it. :O I hate allergies, even if I'm used to what bit of them I have. Also haven't found a local place that has that andrographis you recommended. I may have to order it.
Reply
:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Good guide! I'd say if you're confident in your stitching that washing machine and dryer is fine if you throw it in with other clothes or towels to cushion it. I've washed a few of mine that way and wasn't disappointed :D (though multiple washes might end up needing repairs)
However, I also recommend a hair dryer on low works really well for drying especially if you only washed one or two spots on the plush. The air from it also helps keep the minky fluffy :)
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:iconbuttercupbabyppg:
ButtercupBabyPPG Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Student Filmographer
Oh, yes! I have used a hair dryer before, but only on small areas with frequent brushing, since the heat from the hair dryer can also set the minky in the wrong direction. I could probably add a little bit about that to the guide. C: it did help keep the minky fluffy.

What kind of machine do you have? If you have a front loader I could see that working, but most I've had are top loaders with the column in the center, so most plushies would not fit, and probably get mangled. 
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:icondollphinwing:
dollphinwing Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Ah that makes sense as I've only used front load machines before and also most of my plush are smaller, about 10-11" tall so that probably helps a bit?
Reply
:iconrogueerugo:
RogueErugo Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, that's good to hear about hair dryers! I wanted to try using one, but a mixture of uncertainty and never having one when I wanted one kept that from happening lol. Going forward, I will definitely consider using one for drying steps!
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