When it comes to home cleaning priorities, washing and organizing the dog gear probably isn’t at the top of your list. It’s understandable, after all, our pets are animals, so why put in the extra effort to make sure they’re just as clean as we are? Because for some, they are family and deserve to have their things as clean as we do. Tidying up after your pets can also help combat pests (i.e.: ticks and fleas) and makes cuddle sessions that much more desirable.
To get started, let’s take a look at the supplies you are going to need.
Supplies You Need for Cleaning Dog Gear
- Air Freshener
- Lint Brush or Roller
- Laundry Detergent
- Baking Soda
- Various Sized Plastic Ware
- Home Cleaning Items
- Plastic Bags or Pooper Scooper
- Non-Toxic Dish Soap
- Tea Tree or other Essential Oils
Start with Their Bedding
When it comes to tidying up your dog gear, start with the big stuff first.
Grab all blankets, beds and pillows and get started by lint rolling or lint brushing everything. This will help get the majority of hair and skin cells off the bedding before you throw it in the washing machine.
Once you have removed as much hair as possible, it’s time to run a load (or multiple loads) of laundry. Remember: The wash setting will depend on what your dog gear is made of.
If you want to add a fresh scent to the bedding, put a few drops of Tea Tree oil or another favorite scent in with the water and laundry detergent. Dryer sheets will work just fine, too.
Collars and Leashes
Once the bedding is finished, it’s time to move onto the next pieces of dog gear, your dog’s wardrobe.
Over time, leashes, harnesses, scarves, sweaters, and boots collect dust, debris, mud, dog feces, bugs, and countless germs and bacteria. These can leave your dog smelling gross, and threaten the integrity of your collars, harnesses and leashes.
Start with the collars, harnesses and leashes. First fill the kitchen or bathroom sink up with warm water and a few drops of laundry detergent. Then, soak these pieces of dog gear in the soapy water.
After about 15 minutes, take them out and hang them on the clothesline or throw them into the dryer. For additional odor control, sprinkle baking soda on both sides.
The next pieces of dog gear to clean are the scarves and sweaters. You might even have a costume or two for your canine friend. Check the manufacturers label and then decide the best method of cleaning and then follow those instructions.
Next on the list of dog gear are the dog toys. Time to get them looking squeaky clean. Our canine friends love chewing, slobbering and battling against these loyal pieces of dog gear, which can leave them looking absolutely disgusting.
Most plush toys are washing machine friendly, and can even go through the dryer every once in a while. If you are concerned about a favorite ball or doll tearing up though, opt for a hand wash and dry them in the sun instead. It never hurts to be careful, especially with your canine friend’s most precious belongings.
Dog treats come in all shapes and sizes, and therefor they have a tendency to get everywhere: Under the couch, behind the refrigerator, even under your pillow cases. Since they’re notorious for getting everywhere, why not wrangle them up and keep things organized?
Invest in a variety of sizes and shapes of plastic ware. This way you will have storage containers for all sizes of dog treats, from peanut butter bites to bully sticks.
Now it’s time to focus on the dog gear that gets dirtiest: dog tools. This includes hair brushes, nail clippers, bath sponges and the dreaded pooper scooper. While it isn’t the most glamorous home cleaning task — it’s gotta get done.
Utensils like scissors and nail clippers can be soaked in bleach, and then left to air dry on your kitchen counter or outside on the patio. Hand clean hair brushes by removing all hair clumps, briers, and outdoor residue, then rinse them off.
Now for the ultimate piece of disgusting dog gear: the pooper scooper. Put on some rubber gloves, grab a sponge, and hook up the garden hose. Spray the scooping tools down with the hose and then scrub any residual fecal material left behind. You don’t have to do this more than once every six months or so, but it will keep flies and smells at bay.
One Final Walk Through
Once you’ve finished cleaning the dog gear, do one final walk through your home to make sure you didn’t miss anything. If you notice any residual hairs or dog scent, feel free to vacuum the floors, and spray some air freshener in each room and hallway. You can also light a candle or incense to help freshen up the smell of your home.
With that home cleaning task marked off your list, you can move on to something else. Good luck!