How to Wash Dog Toys

icon May 16, 2024

Dogs bring immense joy to our lives, with their boundless energy, loyalty, and adorable antics. As responsible pet owners, it's crucial to ensure that our furry friends have clean and safe toys to play with. Over time, dog toys can accumulate dirt, bacteria, and even mold, posing health risks to both your pet and your family. Regular cleaning not only keeps your dog's toys looking and smelling fresh but also helps prevent the spread of germs.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about washing dog toys, from the different types of toys to cleaning methods and tips for maintaining a hygienic play environment for your beloved canine companion.

Understanding Dog Toys: Types and Materials

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's essential to understand the various types of dog toys and the materials they're made of. Dog toys come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials, each serving a different purpose and catering to various play styles. Here are some common types of dog toys:

1. Plush Toys:
These soft toys are often shaped like animals, bones, or other objects and are typically filled with stuffing. Plush toys are great for dogs that enjoy cuddling and carrying toys around.

2. Rubber Toys:
Durable and chew-resistant, rubber toys are excellent for dogs that love to gnaw and chew. They come in various shapes and textures, including balls, bones, and rings.

3. Interactive Toys:
These toys are designed to stimulate your dog's mind and encourage active play. They often involve puzzles, treat dispensers, or toys that make noise when shaken or rolled.

4. Rope Toys:
Made from braided cotton or other durable materials, rope toys are perfect for games of tug-of-war and chewing. They help promote dental health by cleaning your dog's teeth and massaging their gums.

5. Nylon Toys:
Tough and long-lasting, nylon toys are ideal for aggressive chewers. They come in different shapes and sizes, including bones, rings, and chew sticks.

Now that we've covered the various types of dog toys let's take a closer look at the materials commonly used in their construction:

♦  Plastic: Many dog toys, particularly those designed for chewing and fetching, are made from hard plastic. While durable, plastic toys can harbor bacteria and should be cleaned regularly.

♦  Rubber: Rubber toys are resilient and easy to clean. Look for toys made from non-toxic rubber to ensure the safety of your pet.

♦  Fabric: Plush toys and rope toys are typically made from fabric materials. These toys can easily collect dirt, saliva, and bacteria, making regular washing essential.

♦  Nylon: Nylon toys are tough and resistant to tearing, making them suitable for heavy chewers. They can be cleaned with soap and water to remove dirt and grime.

Is It Safe to Wash Dog Toys with Detergent?

Yes, it's generally safe to wash dog toys with mild detergent, especially those made of fabric. Ensure the detergent is pet-safe and rinse toys thoroughly to remove any residue. Avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances that could irritate your dog's skin or cause health problems.

How to Wash Dog Toys?

Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning your dog's toys regularly not only helps maintain their appearance but also prevents the buildup of bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Here's a step-by-step guide to washing dog toys effectively:

Step 1: Sort and Inspect

Start by gathering all of your dog's toys and sorting them into different categories based on their material and condition. Inspect each toy for signs of wear and tear, such as loose stitching, holes, or broken parts. Discard any toys that are damaged beyond repair, as they may pose a choking hazard to your pet.

Step 2: Read the Labels

Before cleaning your dog's toys, check the manufacturer's instructions and any care labels attached to the toys. Some toys may have specific cleaning recommendations based on their material and construction. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure that you don't damage the toys during the cleaning process.

Step 3: Pre-Treat Stains

For fabric toys that are stained or soiled, pre-treat the stains with a pet-safe stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water. Apply the stain remover directly to the affected areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes before laundering the toys.

Step 4: Machine Wash

Fabric toys such as plush toys, rope toys, and fabric balls can usually be safely washed in the washing machine. Place the toys in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent them from getting tangled or damaged during the wash cycle. Use a gentle detergent that is free from harsh chemicals and fragrances, as these can irritate your dog's skin.

Step 5: Hand Wash

For toys that are not suitable for machine washing, such as rubber or plastic toys, hand wash them using warm water and mild soap. Scrub the toys with a soft-bristled brush or sponge to remove dirt, saliva, and other debris. Rinse the toys thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Step 6: Disinfect

To disinfect your dog's toys and kill any remaining bacteria or germs, you can soak them in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar for 15-20 minutes. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that is safe for pets and effective at killing bacteria and odors. After soaking, rinse the toys with clean water and allow them to air dry completely.

Step 7: Air Dry

Once the toys have been washed and rinsed, shake off any excess water and place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Avoid using the dryer to dry your dog's toys, as high heat can damage certain materials and cause them to deteriorate faster. Instead, allow the toys to dry naturally in the sun or near a fan.

Step 8: Inspect and Store

After the toys have dried completely, inspect them one final time to ensure that they are clean and free from any lingering dirt or debris. Store the toys in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Rotate your dog's toys regularly to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

How Often Should You Wash Dogs' Toys?

Wash your dog's toys at least once a week to prevent the buildup of dirt, bacteria, and odors. However, toys that your dog frequently chews or plays with outdoors may require more frequent cleaning. Regular inspection can help determine when toys need cleaning.

Can You Wash Squeaky Dog Toys? 

Yes, you can wash squeaky dog toys. Hand wash them with mild soap and water, paying attention to the seams and squeaker mechanism. Avoid submerging the toy entirely, as water could damage the squeaker. Allow the toy to air dry completely before giving it back to your dog.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Dog Toys

In addition to regular cleaning, here are some tips to help you maintain clean and hygienic dog toys:

1. Rotate Toys:
Rotate your dog's toys regularly to prevent them from getting bored and to extend the life of the toys.

2. Supervise Playtime:
Supervise your dog's playtime to prevent them from destroying toys or ingesting small parts.

3. Avoid Sharing Toys:
If you have multiple dogs, avoid sharing toys between them to prevent the spread of germs and potential conflicts over toys.

4. Check Toys Regularly:
Inspect your dog's toys regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace them as needed to prevent choking hazards.

5. Wash Toys Frequently:
Make it a habit to wash your dog's toys at least once a week to keep them clean and hygienic.

6. Use Pet-Safe Cleaning Products:
When cleaning your dog's toys, use pet-safe cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.

7. Store Toys Properly:
Store your dog's toys in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture to prevent mold and mildew growth.

By following these tips and incorporating regular cleaning into your pet care routine, you can ensure that your dog's toys remain clean, safe, and enjoyable for years to come.


Keeping your dog's toys clean is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Regular cleaning not only helps maintain the appearance of the toys but also prevents the spread of germs and bacteria that can harm your pet's health. By following the step-by-step guide and tips outlined in this article, you can effectively clean and maintain your dog's toys, ensuring that they remain safe and enjoyable for your furry friend. So, take some time out of your busy schedule to give your dog's toys the attention they deserve – your pet will thank you for it with wagging tails and endless playtime joy.

Click Puainta To Learn More About Dogs

Leave A Comment
All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Join The Puainta

Become one of pet parents and get professional tips, immediate product info, updated promotions and discounts, and more surprises from us!