How to Wash Dog Toys the Right Way?

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Dogs need toys to keep them busy, engaged and fulfilled. Once these toys get dirty, you can be unsure of how to keep them clean and functional. You are no doubt concerned about using methods that may harm your dogs, especially with chew toys.

By using gentle practices, however, you can ensure that your pet’s favorite toys last for a long time. Toys are generally divided into soft, hard, and rubber toys, each with its suitable washing method, and using the wrong practices can ruin your dog’s toy.

How Often to Wash Dog Toys?

It is recommended to wash dog toys frequently to ensure they are germ-free. A few times a month will suffice, depending on how active your pet is. Washing the toys regularly will also boost the durability of the toy and enable the dog to enjoy them for longer.

You should also care for the toys between cleanings. Leaving toys outside can make them breeding hubs for mold and mildew, while those left under the sun will quickly become brittle.

Rope and plush tops should be cleaned more frequently than other kinds of toys. Rope toys are designed with soft and absorbent fibers that trap drool moisture, making the toy a breeding ground for germs.

It is also recommended to watch out for contamination. Dogs can drop their toys in germ-ridden areas like the toilet, in which case you should clean the item immediately. It can be tiring to wash the toys every time you see dirt, so schedule cleanings weekly or monthly.

Clean stuffable toys every time you stuff treats and food. You should also ensure the toys are clean if there are small children around since they can put them in their mouths.

Can You Wash Dog Toys in Dishwasher?

The dishwasher comes in handy when you want to disinfect your dog’s toys.

Some toys cannot be thrown in the dishwasher, however, including those with places where water can seep in and fabric toys. Other toys to avoid include battery-operated models and those with removable components or pull-strings.

Use the silverware to stack the smaller toys that will naturally fall through the standard cracks. The bigger toys can be arranged on the bottom rack.

It is best to set the dishwasher on a gentle cycle and ensure that the heated dry is off to avoid melting the toys. A naturally-based dishwasher detergent can be used, or you can opt to use the more affordable vinegar.

Can You Wash Dog Toys in the Washing Machine?

The washing machine is suitable for washing soft dog toys. Stuffed animals will typically have tags with cleaning instructions, and you can consult these to know if it is okay to use your washing machine.

Wash the toys on a gentle cycle, and you can choose between using no detergent or mild detergents. Run the clean toys through your dryer on low heat for around 30 minutes or let them air-dry.

Washing your pet’s toys in the washing machine can be made convenient by doing all your pet’s cleaning at once. Load the machine with toys and non-leather leashes and collars, and any other dishwasher safe belongings of your dog.

Can You Wash Dog Toys with Laundry Detergent?

Most pet owners get confused when deciding on the type of detergent to use on their dog’s toys. The major concern with common laundry detergents is allergic reactions on the part of your pet. Certain chemicals in the products can be toxic to your dog, especially if they chew on them.

Detergent allergies can manifest as ear infections, rash, face rubbing, blisters, and inflamed feet.

Most pet owners prefer to use natural options to clean their pet’s toys. Ensure they are fragrance-free and dye-free when sourcing for natural detergents in pet stores.

Natural substances like vinegar, lemon, and baking powder are also commonly used to clean dog’s toys. A half water and half vinegar solution will typically be sufficient to clean a toy properly. Be careful with lemon as it can leave unpleasant odors that can irritate your pet.

Can You Clean Dog Toys with Bleach?

It is only natural to reach for bleach when you want to disinfect any item thoroughly. Most pet owners are, however, hesitant to use bleach on their dog’s toys.

Cleaning toys with bleach has been approved by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as long as it is diluted. The toys should be carefully rinsed after washing them with bleach. You can substitute the bleach with a mild dishwashing liquid.

How to Clean Dog Tennis Balls?

A dirty tennis ball will easily harbor bacteria and other harmful elements. A good wash can salvage the toys while making them last longer.

Tennis balls can be hand-washed or cleaned in a washing machine.

To wash them by hand, fill a bucket with warm water while ensuring it is not too hot to burn your hands.

You can add a homemade cleaner made of equal portions of vinegar and water since it is safer for your pets than normal detergents. The balls should sit in this solution for about an hour, especially if they are crusty.

You can use a sponge to deal with the very dirty spots. They can either be air-dried or put in the dryer. If you use the dryer, set in low heat as high temperatures can ruin the rubber.

If you wash the balls in the washing machine, use cold water, since hot water is not kind on rubber. Using the spin cycle will also cause warping and damage to your machine.

Use a pet-safe detergent to protect your pet from detergent allergies. Dry the tennis balls in the lowest settings for around ten minutes.


When it comes to cleaning your pet’s toys, you should be careful to use the right method for the different toys. Toys like rubber and nylon can, for example, be ruined if they are kept in the dishwasher.

Plush toys are best cleaned in the washing machine, while rope toys can be disinfected in the microwave. Most toys will have manufacturer instructions for cleaning on their tags, and it is always best to consult these guidelines.

Regular cleaning will keep your dog safe from different germs, in addition to boosting the durability of the toys.

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