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How To Clean Dog Toys: Tips And Tricks

How To Clean Dog Toys: Tips And Tricks

Having dogs often means having a lot of dog toys too. While they can be an amazing way to keep your dog busy and giving him some challenges to solve, these things get dirty so quickly. And not only dirty, but smelly too. But what is the right and safe way to take care of them? How to clean dog toys the right way?

Before sending your dog’s dirty and smelly dog toys to dog toy heaven, read our tips on how to clean each category of dog toys in the easiest and safest way.

First of all — How dangerous are dirty dog toys really?

If the smell isn’t reason enough for you to clean your dog’s toys, this might convince you.

The constant chewing and playing that your canine does on his toys will make the perfect base for bacteria and other germs to grow. However, by regularly cleaning your dog’s toys, you can keep these disgusting germs at bay.

When to clean and when to throw the dog toys away?

While sometimes all that the dog toy needs is some cleaning, other times you will have to simply throw it away.

If the dog toy is not only dirty and smelly, but also in bad shape and broken — it could be harmful for your canine. In those cases it would be best to throw it away.

Other indicators that it’s time to throw a dog toy away are:

  1. Some pieces of the dog toy are missing
  2. Parts are hanging off
  3. There are exposed sharp pieces

If any of these describe one of your dog’s toys, it belongs in the garbage.

How to clean dog toys

If the toys, however, aren’t broken and just need to be cleaned properly — let’s learn how to do it.

Most dog toys have cleaning instructions on the label. However, if you did remove the tag, try finding the informations on the brands website.

Once you have your guidelines, it’s time to get into action.

Which cleaning products to get?

While some dog toys can be cleaned in the washing-machine or dishwasher, others may require some specific cleaning products. Avoid harsh chemicals at all costs and rather go for a DIY option.

You can mix white vinegar with water and leave the dog toy to soak for about 30 minutes. But you can also try and find some other clean options on the market if you don’t feel to crafty.

What is the best cleaning method?

Depending on what the dog toy is made off, the cleaning method will be different.

Hard dog toys

For hard dog toys that are made from plastic and rubber a good option would be to simply place them into the dishwasher. That way you will get rid of all of the germs that accumulate while your dog is chewing on these toys and dragging them through your house and backyard.

However, make sure to still read the label of the toy so that you know that it is safe to be cleaned in the dishwasher. In some cases the temperatures of a dishwasher may damage the toy and release even more dangerous chemicals.

Rope Dog Toys

These can be a bit tricky to clean. However we have a brilliant trick up our sleeves.

The easiest way yo clean rope toys is to soak them up in clean water and place them in the microwave on high heat. The high temperatures will kill the bacteria and the toy will again be safe for your dog to play with.

Just be careful when removing the toy from the microwave so that you don’t hurt yourself while doing it.

Soft Dog Toys

In most cases soft dog toys can be washed in the washing machine without any issues at all. Just make sure to use a dog-safe detergent and you and your dog will be good to go.

Additionally, try to clean the soft dog toys on a sunny day, so they can air dry naturally outside.


My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.