How to Safely Clean Different Dog Toys

From a calming dog bed to squeaky toys and favourite stuffed bears, Dog toys and accessories are generally accepted dog care essentials, especially for pups. Chew toys, and the like are known to help hyper dogs let off steam when needed and prevent chewing on other things like furniture and other valuables.

But toys do get grimy and dirty, which will only affect your pooch’s health and hygiene habits if left so for a long time. But cleaning your dog’s toys may sometimes boil down to different strokes for different dog toys.

Therefore, here are tried and tested ways to clean the commonest types of dog toys:

  1. Stuffed dog toys: Machine-wash stuffed toys using mild laundry detergent and hot water on a gentle wash cycle. Hot water is ideal for killing germs and bacteria hiding within the hairs and furs of the toys. Where there are stains on the surface of the stuffed animals, a quick soaking in warm water or brushing off the stains to get the stains off before washing is advisable. Wring out as much water as you can from the toys before drying.
  2. Hard dog toys: Hard dog toys are non-ropy, non-squashy and non-stuffed. They are usually made with hard materials like plastic, metal or softwood. For such toys, scrubbing the surface will do, as machine-washing may probably deform them or get them out of shape. Use a medium to hard bristled brush to scrub off dried stains and moulds before washing in warm soapy water.

Pro-tip: Because sanitisers contain chemicals that may be harmful to your pets, use natural-based ingredients to sanitise and disinfect your toys. And if you must use bleach, ensure to dilute with water – preferably an 80:20 ratio – where 80% is water and 20% is bleach.

Also, ensure your dog toys are adequately dried before letting your dogs play with them. Although some people prefer drying out in the microwave or machine dryer, it is more sanitary and safe to sun them or air dry.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog Toys?

Cleaning and washing your dog’s accessories too often may necessitate increased wear and tear. For instance, excessively washing a calming dog bed may damage the bed filling. In the same vein, lacklustre care for your dog’s toys will only make it a hive for grim, dirt and dust. To balance this, wash and clean your dog toys twice a month, preferably at the beginning of the month and towards the end. If your dogs tend to overly play with their toys, however, especially outdoors, and they get soiled with gob and more, then wash more often, as frequently as needed, like once a week.


While dog toys are made differently, one thing is sure for all – they need to be safe for your mutts. Washing them with cleaning agents safe for pets is a must, as certain laundry chemicals will only be unhealthy for your pets. While adhering to the steps above, ensure to use pet-friendly cleaning and washing supplies, and your post-dog toy wash days will be hassle-free.