How to Get Musty Smells Out of Stuffed Animals


When stuffed animals are stored in warm and moist environments, they can develop a musty odor. The odor often is a result of mildew, but it can also be from dust. A musty odor needs to be treated to remove anything harmful that may irritate the skin or lead to allergies. Treating and cleaning the stuffed animal properly will allow you to salvage it instead of throwing the toy away in the trash.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Old toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Remove any visible mildew from the stuffed animal. The musty smell may be a result of the mildew. Wear gloves and a mask to protect your health. Take the stuffed animal outside. Rub an old toothbrush over the mildew areas.

  • Read the tag on the stuffed animal. The tag will tell you how to wash the toy. Follow the instructions on the tag and launder the stuffed animal.

  • Hang the stuffed animal in the sun to dry after you clean it. The heat from the sun will help to kill any remaining mildew and it will help air out the toy.

  • Combine an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle if you still notice the musty smell. Spray the solution over the stuffed animal, and the vinegar will neutralize the odor.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on the stuffed animal to remove any lingering musty smells. Allow the baking soda to sit on the stuffed animal overnight, and then vacuum it off with an upholstery attachment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drying the stuffed animals in the sun may fade the color. If you are worried about preserving the quality of the stuffed animal, read the tag to ensure that you can dry it in the dryer. Set the dryer to air dry and add scented dryer sheets to help remove the smell.

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  • Photo Credit illuminated stuffed teddy bear image by Donald Joski from
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