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8 Tips for cleaning plush to sell on eBay

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Plush, stuffed animals, or stuffies as some people call them, can be great sellers on eBay. Some of these items are collectible, limited edition, or no longer in production so when a stuffed animal is lost or destroyed, eBay is the place to find a suitable replacement. One drawback to selling plush is the sometimes unpleasant smell of a thrift store. Sellers certainly don’t want to send their buyers a foul-smelling toy. Here are a few ways to clean plush before listing on eBay.

1. If the item doesn’t smell too bad, set outside in a secure place in the sunshine. Sometimes a few hours in the fresh air and sunlight will help get rid of the smell.

2. If the item is used and does not have any price tags, place in a pillow case, secure with a rubber band or ponytail holder, and wash in the washing machine in cold water. Lay the item on a towel (away from pets and children) to air dry. Fluff with a comb or brush. (Remove any collars, clothing, or electronic parts before putting in washing machine.)

3. Sellers disagree on if plush should be put in the dryer. Some say never to put a stuffed animal in a clothes dryer. Others say to use the lowest setting of the dryer, place the item in a pillow case, and only dry for 5 minutes. If the plush is supposed to be soft and fluffy, place a tennis ball inside a tube sock and put inside the pillow case to fluff up the plush.

4. Pre-treat stains with a stain remover like Shout. Let sit for a few minutes according to product instructions, and gently rub the stain with a damp cloth or sponge.

5. If the item is only slightly used, vacuum with the drapery attachment or use a lint roller.

6. Pet enzyme sprays can be effective on tough odors and stains. These sprays are generally used to remove pet urine stains from furniture, carpet, and fabric. Test on a plush that isn’t for sale before using on one you plan to list on eBay. Look online or at pet stores for products like Nature's Miracle, Simple Solution, or Rocco & Roxie stain remover.

7. Some sellers suggest never using a dryer sheet or scented fabric sprays. Some people have severe allergies to artificial fragrances and this can be a problem if your buyer has this allergy. What smells fresh to you may actually make someone else sick.

8. If the plush can bring a very high profit on eBay, such as a Steiff bear or a valuable Hidden Mickey, consider paying to have it professional dry cleaned.

If you plan to sell a lot of plush on eBay, create a kit for cleaning the plush where all the supplies are in one place. The kit can include:

Laundry stain remover

Pillow case

Rubber band

A baby comb or soft bristle brush

Needle and thread

Plush is a profitable category on eBay since most plush can be purchased at thrift stores and yard sales for $1 or less. Taking some extra time to clean plush will help the item sell for a higher price, and delight the buyer.

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