If you’re a responsible dog owner, you probably know that cleaning your dog’s toys regularly goes a long way to keeping your pup and family safe, but did you also know that not all dog toys should be cleaned the same way?
In the absence of manufacturer cleaning instructions, check out our handy dog toy cleaning guide below.
- How to clean plush dog toys with or without a squeaker
The quickest and easiest way to clean and sanitize most plush dog toys is in the washing machine using a scent-free all-natural laundry detergent on a cold or warm setting (never hot). For delicate items, be sure to use a gentle cycle or hand-wash for best results.
Once clean, line dry or toss in the dryer on a low heat setting before returning it to the toy basket – do not use dryer sheets.
- How to clean dog rope toys
Dog rope toys can be cleaned a few different ways, either in the washing machine (as above), in the dishwasher on a hot cycle with no detergent or sanitized using the microwave.
If using the dishwasher or microwave method, make sure your rope toy has absolutely no plastic parts, attachments or metal pieces.
When using the microwave to sanitize, be sure to give the toy a rinse under running water first to remove any dirt/debris, then submerge to fully saturate. Once wet, microwave on full power for 2 minutes to kill any nasty germs.
- How to clean rubber, nylon, and plastic dog toys
Non-porous toys like those made from rubber, nylon and plastic should be hand-washed using warm water and an all-natural scent-free antibacterial soap.
While some hard dog toys are safe to throw in the dishwasher, if the tag or packaging doesn’t explicitly say ‘dishwasher-safe’ it’s best to err on the side of caution and hand wash your toy instead.
For especially grimy toys, a pre-soak in a solution of 1-part white vinegar to 1-part warm water for 15 minutes will help to loosen the gunk and sanitize too.
Toothbrushes are great at removing hard to reach caked-on crud, while scrub sponges, and eraser pads are excellent at removing the gross slimy coating that often builds-up on these types of dog toys over time.
Once clean, lay your toys out on a towel to dry before returning them to your dog.