When you have a dog, it can be difficult to contain the amount of hair, fluff and other mess they can cause around your home. Dirty collars, fur-filled beds and mucky toys are just some of the items that can be washed regularly. Jack de Montaignac, from mobile dry cleaning and laundry service Laundrapp, shares his top three tips for managing your pet’s laundry - keeping your four-legged friends looking and smelling their best.
Wash their bedding frequently
Your dog spends lots of time sleeping or relaxing on their bed, and they won’t stop just because they’re muddy or a bit whiffy. To help keep things clean and hygienic, your furry friend should have two sets of bedding, which you alternate between each week while one is being washed. This will help to minimise the amount of bacteria, allergens and odours that build up in the fibres.
Before bundling these into your washing machine, it’ll be a good idea to vacuum as much hair off the bedding as possible, as this can build up a backlog of fur inside the machine that can transfer to your other loads of washing. To contain any leftover hairs or mess, you should use a pet laundry bag to wash their bedding in. If the weather is fair, hang the bedding on the washing line or leave it outside to get dry. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to put most types of bedding in the dryer. But, do check the care instructions before doing so as this might differ for certain materials.
Handle their collar with care
To keep your dog’s collar in good condition for longer, I wouldn’t recommend putting it into the washing machine as the spin can be too rough. Instead, you should try a gentler approach by hand washing them. This won’t take too long and all you’ll need is some dog shampoo and hot water.
· Put a couple of squirts of dog shampoo into a bowl and fill it with hot water to create a soapy mixture.
· Leave the collar to soak in the water for about 10 - 20 minutes, depending on how heavily soiled it is.
· Work any mud out of the collar by rubbing it against itself to loosen up and release any built-in dirt.
· Put shampoo directly onto the collar if the stains aren’t coming out.
· Leave to air-dry, or pop onto the radiator if you need it drying quickly.
Be aware you should only ever clean real leather collars with a damp cloth and toothbrush, rather than submerging the collar in the soapy water as this could ruin the material. If their collar has an unpleasant odour, you could also use baking soda in the water to help eliminate smells — just make sure you’re washing their collar regularly and have a back-up one for them to wear while the other one dries.
Sanitise their toys
Your dog’s toys spend a lot of time in their mouths, and while we all love a game of tug-of-war, it’s no secret that picking up slobbery play items is unpleasant. Sanitising your dog’s toys often will help to stop build-ups of potentially nasty bacteria, so make sure you know how to deal with these.
Plush toys: Before tossing these into the washing machine, check for any loose pieces or holes that may cause the toys to be ruined during the cycle. If they do have these, be sure to use a laundry bag to prevent damage to your dog’s favourite toy. Pop their plush toys into the washing machine on the hottest setting with a little detergent, and then rinse them by hand once they come out of the wash to get rid of any soapy residue. Then, allow them to air-dry to reduce the chances of shrinkage.Plastic, rubber and rope toys: Some people like to put these in the dishwasher with a few tablespoons of white vinegar for a truly sanitising wash. However, if you prefer not to, there is always the option of washing these in a bowl with hot water, vinegar and a hard-bristled brush. Leave these to air-dry before giving them back to your furry friend.
It can be difficult to know how to deal with the different elements of your pet’s laundry. But, with my top three tips and a little time every week or so, you’ll be keeping a healthy and happy dog as well as minimising dog-related odours and bacteria around your home.