For the past year or so I've been sleeping with a Blåhaj plush. He's big, cute, cuddly and I've loved him ever since I got him. However, throughout the months his face has begun to yellow from rubbing against my face, and just generally becoming a bit dirty. I was scared of washing him because I was worried he would get messed up or deformed by the washing machine, even if IKEA said that he is able to be washed completely fine.
If you're in the same situation as me, don't worry! While his stuffing may become a bit different from before, you can move it around while he's drying and he will hopefully remain just as cute and cuddly as before. Once dried he should return to mostly like how he was before but most importantly, he will be clean!
IKEA states that it is perfectly fine to wash Blåhaj, and recommends washing him at 40 degrees Celsius on "Gentle" (or your washing machine's equivalent mode), so that's what I picked. I also chose to put in some fabric softener, which seems to have worked well.
Blåhaj is quite big, and it hurt a bit to fold and stuff him into the washing machine. But once the washing machine started spinning he happily jumped around… and then fell to the bottom, getting heavy from being soaked by water. He also gets a bit deformed during the washing, but don't worry. If it's too much seeing him like that, try not checking up on the washing machine until it's finished. And yes, he's fine when he's being centrifuged too. Just a gentle centrifuge to squish out some of the water.
Once the washing is finished, he'll still be quite wet, so put him somewhere to dry. I put him on the clothing hanger thing, which offers some ventilation underneath too. I occasionally wrapped a towel around him and squished him hard which I think might have dried him up a bit faster.
When you take him out, you'll probably notice that his stuffing has moved around. For me most of the stuffing was concentrated into his upper body. To move the stuffing around just shake and squish him. While you're checking up on him during the day, be sure to rotate and squish him to make sure he stays fluffy.
The amount of time you should let Blåhaj dry probably varies. I put him in the washing machine during the early morning, such that he would have a lot of time to dry until the night. He ended up being mostly dry by that point and I thought it was okay to put him back into my bed. However my bedsheets got quite damp, so I would probably recommend waiting at least a whole day for him to dry and picking another plushie for that night if you feel lonely without him.