Dog is looking at his toys in washing machine


Dirt, grime, and slobber are standard build-ups on our pets favorite toys. This makes them smelly and unhygienic, so they require regular cleaning. This guide lets you easily wash your dog’s toys in your household washer and dryer or at the local launder mat.

After all, clean toys are an essential aspect of safeguarding our pet’s health.

Machine washing your pet’s toys is the most effective method to clean them quickly and easily.

Each toy comes with the manufacturer’s instructions written on their tags regarding the cleaning process, including whether they are safe to machine wash or not. Different types of dog toys require other cleaning methods; hence, it is advisable to read them before we get started and categories them accordingly.

However, in my experience, most dog toys, such as plush, chew, and squeaky soft toys, can be washed easily in our household washing machine.

Plush toys and soft toys can be easily chucked in the washer, but you want to make sure any toys with removable squeakers should be detached.

a dog is sitting in a basket full of toys

Toys that require presoaking

If your dog loves dragging their toys in the mud as much as mine does, you can end up with stubborn stains and mud crusted on them. If they end up getting mixed with the rest of the lot, everything’s dirty.

This is why some toys may require more thorough cleaning, such as those covered in grime, mud/dirt, or dried mud. Those toys can be cleaned by soaking the toy in a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda mix to get rid of any dried-out mud or stains for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, put the toy in the washer on a gentle rinse cycle. Air dry or pop them in the dryer.

These dirty toys should be first brushed off using a toothbrush or bristle brush to clean off any dirt or caked-on mud.

Using baking soda and vinegar trick

It is my personal favorite hack to clean dog toys safely, as both of the ingredients are natural and found commonly in households. Your toys will end up looking fresh and brand new.

Once brushed, put your dogs’ toys in a tub or sink deep enough to completely immerse them. I’ve tried doing it in the bathtub, and it works just as effectively.

 Sprinkle them with baking soda, about half a cup, followed by a few cups full of white vinegar, one part water, and two parts vinegar. Your quantity can be adjusted based on the number of toys being cleaned. Fill the container with water until.

 Let them soak for about fifteen minutes to get those stubborn stains out.

Loading dog toys into the washing machine: Guide

a washing machine with stuffed animals inside of it

  • Now, discard the vinegar-infused water and chuck your dog toys into the washer set between 30-40°C (warm).
  • Use a scent-free, dye-free, all-natural laundry detergent; sometimes, I add Lysol as a sanitizing agent.

Personally, I find little soap berries are ideal, but you can explore your local stores for pet-friendly options. Adding a few drops of lavender oil to the wash is a natural way to add a fresh scent that’s safe for dogs.

  • Set it on a gentle cycle to prevent toys from wearing out. It helps the toys last long and doesn’t damage them.

I use the warm setting, which is safe for toys. Utilizing hot water, specifically at temperatures of 140°F or higher, effectively eliminates bacteria and viruses. Moreover, this level of heat is necessary to eradicate dust mites.

  • Any toys with squeakers, plastics, crinkles, or glued pieces should be removed or washed with cold water. Otherwise, they may melt off. I’ve made this mistake, so learn from me.
  • Soft toys or plushies can be washed in hot water, which helps disinfect them.

Make sure to rinse twice to remove all detergent from the toys.

You can also use Pet Pro filters, which lift and capture pet hair for more effective cleaning.

It is crucial to check your dogs’ toys for wear and tear post-wash in order to ensure all soap residue is rinsed off, which is crucial to protect your dog’s health. We don’t want our furry friends ingesting any residual chemicals or toy stuffing.

Dry the toys thoroughly.

  • When your wash cycle is complete, remove your toys from the washer and squeeze them as they may become heavy with water.
  •  You can now either airdry them or pop them in the dryer.
  • Set the dryer on low heat when tumble drying, and do not use drying sheets.

I lay them out in the sun afterward, which further ensures they are scorched and bacteria-free for my dog

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