How to Wash a Build-A-Bear - Easy Cleaning Tips

Published July 16, 2020
Boy in laundry with washing machine and teddy bear

You may choose to wash a Build-A-Bear in your washing machine. Another option is to perform spot cleaning instead of washing the entire bear. You can restore you Build-A-Bear with a few easy cleaning tips.

How to Wash a Build a Bear

You can wash a Build-A-Bear in your washing machine. But, you need to take a few precautions.

Don't Wash Sound/Battery Operated Build-A-Bears

For example, if your bear features sound or operates on batteries, you cannot submerge it in water. Do not put this type of Build-A-Bear in the washing machine.

Have Build-A-Bear Workshop Remove Mechanisms

Instead, you need to take your bear to a Build-A-Bear Workshop, so the sound and battery case can be removed. Once you've washed and dried your bear, you can return to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and have the sound and/or battery case reinstalled.

How to Wash a Non-Mechanical Build-A-Bear

If your Build-A-Bear doesn't have any mechanical components, you're safe to wash it in the washing machine. However, you will need to protect your bear from a washing machine catastrophe.

Bag Your Build-A-Bear

You can use either a lingerie laundry bag or a pillowcase to protect your bear during the wash cycle. If using the latter, place the bear inside the pillowcase. Tie the open end of the pillowcase into a knot to prevent the bear from slipping out during the wash cycle.

Washer Settings

Set your washing machine on a gentle/delicate cycle. You want to wash your Build-A-Bear in cold water to avoid any possible dye bleeding or fading. Use a mild liquid detergent and gentle liquid fabric softener, added to the rinse cycle.

How to Dry Your Washed Build-A-Bear

You don't want to put your Build-A-Bear in the dryer. Instead, hang it up to dry by clipping its ears with clothespins. If you don't have an indoor clothesline, use a coat hanger to secure the clothespins. Just slip the hanger on the bathroom shower curtain rod or from an empty closet rod.

Other Drying Options

If none of the options are available, set the wet bear on top of an empty folding clothes rack. Wherever you hang up your bear, set a thick towel directly underneath in case excess or hidden water seeps out. To speed up the drying process, you can set a fan to blow on the bear, turn on a ceiling fan and/or use a handheld hair dryer on the cool setting.

Cute brown Teddy Bears hanging out to dry

Fluff Up Your Build-A-Bear

Once your bear is completely dry, you can toss it into the dryer. Be sure to set the dryer to air fluff or delicate (low heat) for about 10 minutes.

How to Fix Matted Fur from Washing

If your Build-A-Bear comes out of your washing and drying process with matted fur, you can easily remedy this with a wire brush. Select a hand brush with thin wires, like one you might use as a dog grooming brush. The thin wire bristles will quickly fluff up the fur. You will use left-to-right strokes followed by up and down strokes to return your teddy bear to its original fluffy softness.

Spot Cleaning a Build-A-Bear

You may decide that your Build-A-Bear only has a few spots that need cleaning. In this case, you can create a spray solution to remove the stained or dirtied area.


You'll need these materials to make your spot cleaner.

  • Small spray bottle
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Liquid water softener
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Wire hand brush
A stuffed toy teddy bear is sitting on laundry basket in the bathroom next to detergent and rinse aid


  1. Mix the liquid laundry detergent and liquid water softener in a 50/50 ratio.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the area you need to clean with the solution.
  4. Allow the solution to soak into the fabric for a few minutes.
  5. Use a damp soft cloth to blot the area gently until it is dry.
  6. If the stain isn't completely removed, repeat the process until it is lifted from the faux fur.
  7. Once you've removed the stained or dirty spots, allow the bear to air dry.
  8. When the cleaned spot has dried, you can brush it using the wire brush.
  9. Simply move the brush left to right and then up and down to fluff the Build-A-Bear fur.

How to Wash Accessories and Clothing

You can clean Build-A-Bear accessories with wet wipes or baby wipes. This type of wipe is gentle and picks up dust, dirt and grime. Most of the clothing that doesn't have any felt, velvet, leather, or metal trim can be washed in cold water, with standard detergent with the washer setting of gentle/delicate cycle. Hang to dry unless care label states it's safe for the dryer.

Easy Tips to Wash a Build-A-Bear

You can wash your Build-A-Bear without worrying it will ruin it when you follow easy cleaning tips. With gentle and delicate treatment, your cherished stuffed bear will last for a long time.

How to Wash a Build-A-Bear - Easy Cleaning Tips