Dogs mainly use their feet and mouths to play with their toys, so it’s crucial to learn how to clean dog toys safely.
Dogs aren’t immune to the bacteria that gathers on their toys, and it’s our job to keep them clean for them. This provides a safe environment for man’s best friend to live and grow in.
How to Clean Dog Toys Effectively
The short answer for how to clean dog toys is that it depends on the material. Rubber, plastic, and nylon toys require a different cleaning process than rope and plushes. The method for cleaning dog bones is even more different.
Some toys come with cleaning instructions from the manufacturer on the tag, and those are the best instructions to follow. If you don’t have those recommendations, it’s always good to use a gentle detergent or natural cleanser. This ensures that you aren’t using harmful chemicals or putting the toy in a condition that can harm your dog in the process.
Be sure to do your research and clean your dog’s toys using your best judgment.
Know When to Throw Away
Before you decide to clean dog toys, you first need to determine which ones are worth keeping. Our furry friends can get attached to their toys, which means that those toys receive a lot of attention. After a while, it’ll be in a position where it might just fall apart if you try to clean it.
You’re better off throwing away toys that have been so heavily loved that pieces are missing or hanging off or that stuffing is coming out. You can patch up plushes that have small tears in them, but large tears where the fabric is already battered will likely tear again soon. You should throw out any toys that present a choking hazard to your dog.
By sorting through your dog’s toys regularly, you can remove threats to their health and keep toys that can withstand more love from your furry friend.
Cleaning Different Types of Dog Toys
If you want to learn how to clean dog toys safely, pay attention to the material of each toy. This will help you know which steps to take in the absence of manufacturer recommendations.
Dog toys consisting of rubber, plastic, and nylon require special attention because they’re susceptible to breaking down in high temperatures. Rope and plush toys, on the other hand, are much easier to care for. There’s little you can do to clean dog bones, but you can still do something to protect your pooch.
Rubber, Plastic, Nylon
Even if you aren’t sure which material your dog toys contain, hard and chewy toys typically consist of rubber, plastic, or nylon.
The best way to clean these toys is to fill your sink with warm water and antibacterial dish soap. Using a toothbrush, you can scrub off slobber and dirt from all the toy’s crevices. Rinse them off thoroughly, making sure toys that can fill up water are empty, and let them dry completely.
If the toys are filthy, presoak them for 15 minutes in two parts water and one part white vinegar. After the allotted time passes, move them to the sink full of soapy water and clean them normally.
You can clean some hard toys in the top rack of the dishwasher, but you should only do this if you know for sure that its dishwasher safe. If it’s not, you can change the toy’s shape, weaken the material, and cause it to release harmful chemicals. If you do run dog toys through the dishwasher, don’t use dishwashing soap because the hot water is enough to disinfect it.
Rope and Plush
Rope and plush toys are especially susceptible to bacteria, mold, and mildew. This is because the fabric easily absorbs drool and stays wet longer than hard toys, thus providing the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of germs.
Some sources recommend soaking rope toys in clean water and microwaving them for a minute, but this only kills some of the bacteria inside it. It doesn’t clean everything else off the material.
Thankfully, you can put most of these toys in the washer and run them through a cycle with a gentle detergent. Use warm or cold water, as hot water can damage toys with stuffing, squeakers, or crinkle filling. If you don’t think your dog toys will hold up in a regular cycle, the delicates cycle may be better.
Once the washing cycle finishes, wring out any extra water and run them through the dryer. However, toys with plastic, squeakers, or crinkle filling should dry on low heat or on a clothesline.
Once they’re dry, you can let your furry friend play with them again.
Bones are different from other types of dog toys because dogs can eat them. They’ll drool all over them and drag them through the dirt, so they’re prone to bacteria. However, you can never really sanitize bones.
Bones are porous, so they can’t withstand going through the washer or dishwasher. You also can’t use soap or detergent on them because it’ll seep into the bone. This isn’t safe for your dog because they can ingest the chemicals as they chew through the bone.
The only way to clean a bone is to use warm water to wipe it clean. This can remove dried-on drool and dirt, but that’s about it.
However, don’t think that your dog can’t have bones because you can’t clean it. Depending on your dog, they may go through their bone fast enough that it hardly matters.
If you want these toys to last, there’s more than just knowing how to clean dog toys. There are additional tips to help you increase the longevity of the items.
The main one to remember is not to leave dog toys out in the elements. When moisture from rain and snow gets into the toy, they have the prime environment for mold and mildew to grow.
However, it’s not just about extra moisture. Leaving toys out in the sun can make some toys brittle and weak. It can also cause plastic parts to release harmful chemicals that aren’t safe for your dog.
If you notice that dog toys are dirty, go ahead and wash them if they’re in good condition. If not, you’re better off investing in a new toy for your furry friend.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy by Knowing How to Clean Dog Toys
You can protect your dog from harm if you know how to clean dog toys safely. The process removes bacteria from the toy and increases its longevity. This means that your dog has more time to run around and play with all the best dog toys they’ve grown attached to.
The cleaning process differs depending on the material. Hard toys are tricky and are best washed in the sink, whereas most soft toys can go in the washer. Unfortunately, you can only wipe down bones with warm water.
Do you have additional tips for cleaning dog toys safely? Let us know in the comments section.