Tips for Cleaning Your Pet’s Toys & Bowls

Tips for Cleaning Your Pet’s Toys & Bowls

Tips for Cleaning Your Pet’s Bowls & Toys

You likely clean certain areas and items in your home frequently, but it’s easy to forget about your pet’s bowls and toys. A build-up of leftover food and bacteria in your pet’s saliva can create a breeding ground for harmful germs. Toys collect dirt, slobber and everything else found on the floor, leaving them dirty and at risk of being contaminated.
Due to everything pet bowls and toys may harbor, you’ll want to clean them regularly to maintain a safe environment for your pets and family. In this guide, we’ll explore tips on how to clean pet bowls and toys.

How to Clean Pet Bowls

In the same way that you prefer to eat from a clean plate and drink water from a clean glass, your pets will be happier and healthier with clean bowls. Plus, FDA guidelines recommend cleaning your pet’s food dish after every use and a daily wash for water bowls. How can you ensure your pet’s bowls are clean and safe to eat and drink from? Follow these steps.

Handwashing Pet Bowls

To handwash pet bowls:
  • Empty the bowl: Before you start cleaning, discard leftover food or water from the bowl and make sure it is empty.
  • Soak: Immerse the bowl in a solution of hot water and soap for about 10 to 15 minutes. This can be especially helpful for softening stubborn stuck-on food particles.
  • Scrub: After you’ve left the bowl to soak, wash it using a clean brush or sponge to remove any remaining particles. You can use the same dish soap you use for your own dishes to soak and scrub pet bowls.
  • Dry: Use a clean cloth to wipe down the bowl and leave it to dry.

Sanitizing Pet Bowls

In some cases, you might need to sanitize the bowls with bleach to get rid of stubborn particles and germs:
  • Make a bleach solution: Add two teaspoons of disinfectant bleach to a gallon of water to make the solution.
  • Pre-clean: Wash the bowl with hot water and dish soap, then rinse with clean water.
  • Soak: Place the bowl in the bleach solution and soak for two minutes.
  • Air-dry: Take the bowl out of the disinfectant and leave it to air-dry before use.

How to Sterilize Pet Toys

Pets mainly use their mouths to play with toys, making it vital to clean and disinfect them regularly to get rid of dirt and other contaminants. Keeping the toys clean helps prevent pets from ingesting harmful substances and reduces their chances of getting sick. Additionally, a good rule of thumb is to clean their toys at least once or twice a month to ensure they remain in good condition.
Fortunately, most pet toys can be washed in the washing machine, in the dishwasher or by hand. Here’s a look at how to clean some of the different materials pet toys are made of.

Plush Toys

Plush or stuffed toys can be handwashed with a solution of half-water and half-vinegar, then left to air-dry. They can also be cleaned in the washing machine. When using the washing machine, check the care label to confirm the method is safe. You will also want to use pet-friendly detergent or a ¼ cup of white vinegar as an alternative and wash them on a gentle or delicate cycle.
Tips for using the washing machine:
  • Use the hottest temperature possible to kill bacteria, viruses and dust mites.
  • Use cold temperature for plush toys with squeakers, plastic, glue or crinkle stuffing to prevent damage.
  • Use a mesh laundry bag to protect plush toys.
  • Inspect the toys for tears to stop them from losing stuffing.
  • Use a low setting on the dryer and no dryer sheets.

Rope Toys

Rope toys can be cleaned in a few different ways, including tossing them in the washing machine or sanitizing them in the microwave. For both methods, ensure the rope does not contain any plastic or metal elements. When using the washing machine, you can follow the same method as plush toys in terms of using pet-friendly detergent or the alternative solution and washing them on a gentle cycle.
To sterilize a rope toy in the microwave:
  • Soak the toy in water to remove surface-level dirt and ensure it is thoroughly wet.
  • Place the toy in the microwave for about two minutes to kill bacteria and other germs.
  • After the wash, make sure the toy is completely dry before storing it or giving it to your dog.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are typically made of rubber, nylon or plastic. These toys can be washed in the dishwasher, but only if the manufacturer’s instructions deem it safe. Otherwise, the toy can get damaged and lose shape from the hot water or release harmful chemicals.
However, you can also handwash chew toys in the sink. Soak the toys in warm water with antibacterial dish soap and scrub them with a toothbrush to remove stubborn dirt. When you’re done, rinse the toys with clean water and let them air-dry before giving them back to your pet.

Need a Hand? Call in the Professionals

While you can ensure your pet’s bowls and toys stay clean, you can turn to the professionals from Four Seasons Cleaning to take care of the rest of your home. We provide professional cleaning services to keep your home spotless. We also use eco-friendly and pet-friendly products to safeguard your beloved furry friends and family from harmful chemicals. Contact us to book our services today!