Best Way To Clean Dog Toys Effectively

Chihuahua with rubbery ducks

We all enjoy pampering our dogs with fresh playthings. These toys are dearly loved by our beloved pets and they provide a fantastic means to combat boredom and separation anxiety, in addition to supporting their physical and mental health.

The cleanliness of your pet’s toys is extremely important since they often end up in your pup’s mouth. A smelly or dirty toy doesn’t have to be tossed into the garbage bin. The best ones can be cleaned by washing. In addition to prolonging the life of your pet’s top toys, cleaning them gives you a chance to examine them for safety hazards.

In this article, we’ll share some helpful tips on how you can wash your dog’s toys safely, as well as answers to related questions. Learn how to wash and take care of toys, including treat-dispensing toys, squeaky toys, rope toys, and more.

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Your Dog Toys?

If you don’t wash your pet’s toys, they may accumulate dirt or become smelly within a very short period. That’s because playing with toys involves chewing, mouthing, or both.

Consequently, your pet’s favorite toy may become a breeding ground for bacteria or other horrible germs[1], which poses a health hazard not only to your beloved pet but also to you and your family. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain the cleanliness of your pet’s play items.

How Do You Wash Dog Toys?

Hard Toys

Hard toys are quite easy to clean. To get started, you should use a container with some water and some white vinegar. Then you can soak the rubber or plastic ones in the white distilled vinegar and water mixture, wash thoroughly, and allow them to dry without heat.

Soft Toys

Individuals with allergies are familiar with dust mites. These are tiny bugs that love living in your mattress, bedding, and your pup’s soft toys. They cause allergic reactions and can make people and animals sick. Try to clean any soft or plush toy in hot water and baking soda in the washer and dryer. Use low heat to dry them and make them as good as new.

Rubber Toys

Like plush toys with squeakers, these should be cleaned regularly. Though it can be tempting to run a plastic or rubber dog toy in a dishwashing cycle, heat could melt and destroy the toy. Therefore, make sure to check the maintenance instructions for the dog toy first. Unless it’s indicated that the toy is dishwasher-safe, try to hand wash it and let it dry to remove any dirt or germs instead. High heat would destroy the toy.

Rope Toys

Soft rope toys could become a breeding ground for bacteria, so you should sanitize them one by one. Simply wet and microwave them for at least a minute. The second cleaning option is to pass the toy through the dishwasher cycle without detergent or vinegar. Running the dirty toys through the dishwasher will help to kill as much mold, yeast, and bacteria as with the microwave’s cleaning method.

Food-Dispensing Toys

Natural products like pig ears and rawhides should not be washed. Instead, they should be used under the close supervision of the owner. This will help prevent your puppy from swallowing very large pieces or gobbling them down too fast.

DIY: How to Wash Dog Toys the Natural Way?

You don’t need to use any special items to clean your dog’s best toys. To wash dog toys the natural way, ordinary dish soap and warm water can do the job well.

You may fill the sink with enough warm water, add some dish soap, and immerse your pet’s toy. If they are very dirty, allow them to soak for some time to loosen up all the grime instead of washing them directly.

Use a brush or sponge to wash one toy at a time. Then rinse thoroughly under clean, running water. Shake or rinse to remove any excess water and let them dry.

Two golden retrievers biting on soft bone plush and rope

Tips For Maintaining The Cleanliness Of Dog Toys

Maintaining the safety and cleanliness of your pet’s toys must be done regularly to help keep your best friend happy and healthy. Always check the label for cleaning instructions but many toys can be run in a washing machine cycle.

Another step you can take to prevent your dog’s toys from smelling like dog drool is to keep your pet’s dental hygiene in check. Your veterinarian can tell you how to brush your pup’s teeth at home. This will help ensure your pup’s breath isn’t the reason for their smelly toys. Those that can be chewed are also a great option.

While you don’t need to wash your dog’s playthings on a daily or even weekly basis, it is advisable to frequently wash the toys that they play with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you machine wash dog toys with squeakers?

Yes, you can machine wash a dog’s toy with squeakers! In most cases, you may toss them in your dryer after being washed, so the squeaker can work perfectly well.

Can you put plush toys in the washing machine?

Yes, you can toss plush toys in the washing machine with some baking soda or white vinegar and run the hot cycle.

What laundry detergent is safe for dogs?

Any natural, fragrance-free laundry detergent is safe for dogs.

When should you throw away dog toys?

You should throw away toys that are worn out, broken, or damaged. Once your pet’s playthings are damaged or the stuffing starts falling out, chances are they will break or crack, and that means that your dog could end up eating small parts of them.

How do you disinfect toys?

If they are made of fabric or cloth, read the cleaning instructions on the label first. However, you need to disinfect almost all toys by running them on a delicate cycle. Simply use the gentle cycle and clean with a little mild detergent. Place them in the dryer if there are no plastic or rubber parts that could melt.

Is it safe to bleach dog toys?

While some claim that it is okay to get them bleached, it is not safe to bleach dog toys. If they are not done properly, it can take a heavy toll on your pet’s health. So be sure to skip the bleach, as their health is your top priority.


You don’t have to discard your dog’s favorite toy when it gets dirty. Just ensure that they are still usable, and then try washing them before giving them back to your pet. Skip the bleach or any harsh chemicals. In case the toys start smelling bad or don’t get clean even after thoroughly washing them, it’s time to throw them into the garbage bin!

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