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How to Wash a Sock Monkey

By Lisa Love ; Updated April 18, 2017

Sometime during the early 1900s, inventive moms crafted sock monkeys for their children from worn pairs of Red Heel socks. The sock monkey is a timeless toy enjoyed by kids of all ages. Washing the sock monkey is a simple task that can be done on a regular basis.

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Washing Machine Method

Place the sock monkey into a pillow case and securely tie the case in a knot. Take care not to tie the knot too tightly, or you'll have difficulty removing the sock monkey when the washing cycle is complete.

Wash the sock monkey in cold water on the gentle cycle with detergent made for delicates. Feel free to wash the sock monkey with other items such as towels and socks, but do not use bleach.

When the wash, rinse and spin cycle is finished, remove the sock monkey from the pillow case. Air-dry the sock monkey on a towel or rack, or hang it to dry. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours to make sure the polyfill stuffing is completely dry. You could speed up the drying time by using a hair dryer on a low, warm setting.

Surface Cleaning Method

Dampen a washcloth with cold or warm water. Don't use hot water, as it might shrink the cotton when dry.

Spot clean the sock monkey where needed. Consider spot cleaning the entire toy for optimum sanitation.

As in the washing machine method, air-dry the sock monkey and make sure the polyfill stuffing is completely dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Sock monkey
  • Pillow case
  • Washing machine
  • Wash cloth
  • Water


Since the socks are 100 percent cotton and stuffed with washable polyfill, machine washing is the easiest method of keeping the sock monkey clean.


Don’t use bleach or toss your sock monkey in the dryer. Bleach could discolor the beloved toy, and it might shrink in the dryer. Also, make sure any accessories (eyes, buttons, etc.) are intact and secure before returning the toy to your child.

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About the Author

Lisa Love has been a published writer since 1995. Love is a retired banker, former educator, business owner and craftsman with a business degree from Barry University.

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