How to Wash Dog Toys?

How to Wash Dog Toys

How to Wash Dog Toys? – Dogs love their play toys, and nothing can beat them slobbering over their favorite toy. Knowing how to wash dog toys would be the most significant perk for you as a dog owner.

Keeping Fido’s Playthings Clean: A Guide to Washing Dog Toys

Dogs love their toys, but those beloved playthings can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Regularly washing your dog’s toys is essential to protect their health and your own. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean different types of dog toys safely and effectively.

Why Wash Dog Toys?

  • Bacteria and Viruses: Dog toys can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses like parvovirus and kennel cough.
  • Parasites: Toys left outside may pick up parasites like fleas or ticks.
  • Hygiene: As dogs play with their mouths, keeping toys clean safeguards your health too!

How to Wash Dog Toys

  • Hard Rubber and Plastic Toys:

    1. Brush Off Debris: Use a toothbrush to remove dirt and food particles.
    2. Soak and Scrub: Submerge the toys in warm soapy water (dish soap or a 50/50 water-vinegar solution). Remove stuck-on gunk with a sponge or your hands.
    3. Rinse Thoroughly: Use cold, running water.
    4. Sanitize: Optional but recommended. Briefly submerge the toys in hot water.
    5. Air Dry: Place on a towel to dry completely.
  • Soft, Plush, and Rope Toys

    1. Remove Debris: Use a comb or toothbrush.
    2. Machine Wash: Check the toy’s label for washing instructions. Use a gentle cycle with mild or no detergent.
    3. Microwave (Optional): After washing, place the damp toy in the microwave for no more than 1 minute to kill additional germs. Caution: Make sure the toy is not too hot before giving it back to your dog.
    4. Air Dry.

Sanitizing Dog Bones

  • Boil: Submerge the bone in a pot of boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cool Completely: Allow the bone to reach room temperature before giving it back to your dog.
  • Remove Leftover Meat: Prevent bacterial growth.

Extra Tips for Clean Dog Toys

  • Natural Disinfectant: Instead of harsh chemicals, soak toys in a 5% vinegar solution to kill germs.
  • Clean Outdoor Toys More Often: These toys tend to accumulate more dirt and bacteria.
  • Rotate Toy Sets: This provides regular cleanup time and keeps your dog interested in their playthings.
  • Show Excitement After Cleaning: Encourage your dog to play with their “refreshed” toy.
  • Clean the Toy Bin: Don’t forget to keep your dog’s toy storage area clean as well.

How Often to Wash

Clean your dog’s toys at least every two weeks to maintain good hygiene.

When to Toss the Toy

Inspect toys regularly, and discard any that are:

  • Damaged or broken (choking hazard)
  • Have stubborn stains or smells

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning dog toys is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner.
  • Different types of toys require different cleaning methods.
  • Regular cleaning minimizes the risk of your dog (and you!) contracting harmful germs.

By following these simple guidelines and tips, you’ll help keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and entertained!

Why is There a Need to Clean Dog Toys?

If you don’t feel like washing your dog’s toys or are not inspired enough, you should know how unhealthy it can be. Dog toys carry every parasite and germ and are often among the top 10 germiest items in your home.

Dogs generally use their mouth to play with toys. When they do so, they ingest the germs present on the toy and can cause contagious diseases like canine parvovirus and kennel cough.

If your dog is smoocher than other dogs, then you are also at risk of getting those viruses into your body.

How to Wash Dog Toys?

Dog toys can be of varied shapes and materials. And hence, there are various ways of washing and cleaning them.

Hard and Rubber Toys

Keep in mind to always read the instructions given for cleaning the toy. These types of toys should not be washed in a dishwasher or washing machine as they can deform the shape of the toy and will start releasing some harmful chemicals.

Steps to wash chewing toys made of rubber, plastic, and nylon are as follows.

Step 1. Brush off the Dirt and Debris

Use a toothbrush to sway the dirt, grass, and food particles. This is the first step to clean the toy before you move on to disinfect the toy of germs.

Step 2. Soak the in Warm, Soapy Water

Fill the sink or any utensil you are using in the cleaning process with warm water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Instead, you can use a solution of half water and half vinegar in place of dish soap.

Hold the toy in your hand and start scrubbing it with a sponge or by your hand. Ensure to clean the toy as efficiently as possible so that any dust particle is not stuck in the toy.

Step 3. Wash in Cold Running Water

Now wash the toy under cold water, squeeze water from it, and let them dry on a towel to soak the left water.

Step 4. Sanitize Your Dog Toys with Hot Water

After washing and cleaning your dog’s toy, it is time to sanitize your dog toy by keeping them in hot water. After that, put them on a towel to air dry.

Step 5. Clean Regularly

It would help to clean the dog toy regularly to keep them germ-free.

Soft, Stuffed, and Rope Dog Toys

These toys require a different way of cleaning because of their soft and absorbing material. The fabric of a toy can easily absorb dust, drool, and moisture. Steps for cleaning stuffed, soft, and rope dog toys are as follows.

Step 1. Remove Dirt and Debris

Use a wire comb with narrow bristles or a toothbrush to clean the dog toy’s dirt, debris, food particles, and grass.

Step 2. Time to Wash the Toy in the Washing Machine

It is the best way to clean a soft dog toy. Make sure to check the tag on the toy to see if they are washable. Use mild detergent or no detergent and wash them in a gentle cycle.

Step 3. Microwave the Soft and Stuffed Toy

Before keeping the toy in the microwave to kill bacteria, ensure that it should be crud free. Now, run the microwave for a maximum of 1 min and remove it from the microwave carefully as it might be hot.

Step 4. Clean Regularly

Washing and cleaning must be done regularly to avoid diseases and infections.

Step 4. Do Not Use Bleach

You might kill your dog while using bleach. You should not take risks and try to use another cleansing product.

Plush Dog Toys

The least complicated is cleaning your dog’s plush toys. You need to note that it requires a sunny day if possible.

Step 1. Put the Dog Toy in the Washing Machine

You can wash the plush toys in a washing machine by adding a small amount of detergent or the solution made by adding half water and half vinegar.

Step 2. Squeeze Out the Excess Water

Remember to squeeze the dog toy so that it doesn’t have any water and moisture content to decrease the drying process.

Step 3. Let the Dog Toy Dry

Keep the toy in sun heat, or you can leave it to air dry only.

Sanitizing Dog Bones

It is a good idea to give your dog treats by giving them chewing bones. But you need to note that fresh bones need sterilization to kill bacteria and germs lying on them before giving them to your canine friend.

You must follow these steps to sanitize your dog’s chewing bone:

  •  Keep the bone in a pot of hot boiling water. Keep in note that the water level must be 2 inches higher than the bone to be completely immersed in water.
  • Let the water boil for more than 30 minutes.
  • Now, wait for the bone to come at room temperature
  • Remove excess meat from the bone before giving it to your dog.

Tips for Cleaning Dog Toys

Most dog owners know how to wash their dog toys, but some practical tips will not cost you more.

When you look at your dog’s playing toys and look nasty and gross, it is time to buck up and start the cleaning campaign.

 Here are some of them which will spike up your washing process.

Using Natural Sanitizing Agent

Soaps and many cleansing products may provide you with a better result, but they also incorporate chemicals. Considering this, using an alternative is a good idea.

Keeping the dog toy in 5% of vinegar and warm water solution for 10-15 minutes and then scrubbing it to remove dirt will help you in the same way as other cleansing products do without adding more chemicals to the dog’s toy.

Cleaning Outdoor Toys More Often

We already know that outdoor toys are more stinky and full of moisture, dirt, and debris.

Always try to clean outdoor toys more than indoor toys as they need more cleaning. Keeping it outside the house won’t help you anyway; you have to take charge of it.

If the dog’s toy is extra dirty and nasty, then soak it for a bit longer and then do the scrub and wash.


Try to make sets of your dog’s toys to make it easier for you to clean them accordingly. Give your dog the first set to play with when you wash the other set.

Making sets can also increase the life of the dog toy as your dog might feel bored playing the same set for quite a long. Next time give another set and wash the first one.

Showing Excitement When You are Returning the Toy

Washing the toy might be troublesome for your dog as it will feel that the toy’s “mojo” has been lost and will not show any interest in playing with it.

Now here, you have to make a game out of it rather than throwing it for the dog. Your dog will feel the same and accept the toy if you are excited.

Cleaning the Toy Bin

Cleaning your dog’s toy bin can help you decrease the number of bacteria on the dog’s toys. The concentration of bacteria in the dog’s toy bin is relatively higher than in other areas. The dog’s bin needed to be 100% sanitized all the time.

what can you wash dog toys with

To clean your dog’s toys, you can wash them with soap and warm water. Use a mild dish soap or pet-safe cleaning product and scrub the toys thoroughly with a soft brush or sponge.

Rinse the toys well with warm water and allow them to air dry. Avoid using harsh chemicals or disinfectants on your dog’s toys, as these can be toxic if ingested.

It is also a good idea to regularly inspect your dog’s toys for signs of wear and tear and to replace any toys that are damaged or broken.

This will help to keep your dog safe and prevent any potential choking hazards.

How Often Should You Wash Dog Toys?

Washing and cleaning your dog’s toys must be done periodically. You need not fit this into your daily schedule, but washing your dog’s toy every two weeks must be done. In this way, you will be able to protect yourself and your dog from dirt and bacteria.

When to Toss the Dog Toy?

You have to identify if the dog toy is worth keeping or not. Some stains are impossible to get rid of. Broken toys must be tossed.

Make sure that leftover toys should not be in your home as the dog might gulp them, which will result in choking. Do bring new toys and rewards to treat your dog.

Always remember not to neglect your furry friend’s health and hygiene. Take some time to manage and sort your dog’s toys every few weeks.

Keeping your dog’s toy clean can help you invest in their fitness, and for this, you must know how to wash dog toys.

Now that we are at the end of the article, not that you should get into your habit and make a routine of cleaning your dog’s toys so they last longer and don’t give off a foul odor.

Hope this ultimate guide to how to wash dog toys helped you and provided the much-needed tips.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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