a dog sitting with toys that need to be cleaned

Disinfect Pet Toys With These Simple Tips

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Last Updated on May 23, 2020 by ellen

Now that you’re in the middle of spring cleaning, don’t forget to disinfect pet toys! Between your pets drooling on their toys and the pet hair, you never know what’s lurking on the surface of your pet’s favorite toy. 

Disinfect Pet Toys With These Simple Tips

Disinfect Pet Toys

Whether you have a dog, cat or another small animal, they probably have a few favorite toys they play with. And, while you can certainly toss the toys and buy new ones, sometimes it makes more sense to simply disinfect dog toys and give them back.

Of course, how you disinfect pet toys will really depend on what they’re made of. You won’t follow the same process for cloth and plastic or rubber. But, you can clean almost all types of pet toys.

How do you disinfect pet toys?

If the toys are cloth or fabric, check the cleaning label on them first. But, almost all cloth toys can be put in the washing machine on a gentle cycle to disinfect them. Just choose the gentle cycle and wash with a mild detergent. Toss them in the dryer as long as there are no rubber, plastic-type decorations that might melt. You can put them in the dryer on low heat. Or, you can let them air dry.

Be sure to use natural, fragrance-free laundry detergent and no dryer sheets.

Disinfect Pet Toys With These Simple Tips

What detergent is safe for dogs toys and bedding?

You should be able to use any natural, fragrance-free laundry detergent. A few that are recommended are:

Disinfect Pet Toys With These Simple Tips

Is it safe to bleach dog toys?

The best way to safely clean toys that are non-porous is by soaking them in a vinegar and water solution. Simply soak plastic toys in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts warm water. Then, rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry. 

While some people recommend bleach, it is considered a hazardous chemical. And, if not used correctly can be very damaging to your pet.

How to disinfect pet toys if they’re very dirty

If your pet’s toy is very dirty, you can often run it through the top shelf of your dishwasher. Check the packaging to be sure that this won’t damage the toy first.

Are Method’s cleaning products safe for pets?

According to their website, their entire line is planet-friendly and safe for use around pets. Be sure that you choose unscented products and rinse them off thoroughly before you give them back to your pet.

a dog sitting with toys that need to be cleaned

What to do when dog toys smell

Odors are generally caused by bacteria or some type of dirt or mess. The best thing to do to remove the odor is to disinfect pet toys using one of the methods in this post. If you have a toy with hard to reach areas or bumps, etc., try an old toothbrush to scrub it well while you’re washing it.

How to clean dog tennis balls

I haven’t met a dog yet that didn’t love to chase after tennis balls. If you have several of them hanging around the house that need to be cleaned, no problem. You can use the same method to disinfect dog toys with vinegar as you can with tennis balls. Soak the tennis balls in a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. That means one cup of vinegar to one cup of water. Just soak them for 30 minutes and scrub them with a toothbrush if necessary. Then, set them outside in the sun to dry. Or, dry them on low heat in the dryer. Toss an old towel in there to help with the noise.

Disinfect Pet Toys With These Simple Tips

When should you throw away dog toys?

If your pet’s toy is torn, cracked or damaged at all, it’s time to throw it away. Once the toy becomes damaged, it’s possible that it will crack or break. And, this means that your pet could swallow part of it when they’re chewing on it.

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