If you have pets, you know they come with a lot of stuff—fluffy beds, leashes, collars, harnesses, lots of toys, and even clothes. And although some of our furry friends may “pick up” their stuff—they can’t clean it (and pet items can be some of the dirtiest things in your home). But have no fear! Most of your pet’s favorite items are fairly easy to clean and can be thrown right in your washer and dryer.

Fabric Leashes, Collars & Harnesses

While fabric and neon leashes, collars, and harnesses are likely items you don’t wash often, they are worn or used nearly every day and are easy to clean. Fill a small bowl or sink with lukewarm water and add a bit of animal shampoo or hypoallergenic, pet-safe detergent. Allow the item(s) to soak for 30 minutes before taking a soft brush (a toothbrush is perfect!) to scrub away any stains. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and let the item(s) completely air dry before using.

Pet Bedding & Plush Toys

As long as they aren’t oversized, you can wash pet bedding and plush toys in your washer (check your equipment manual for loading recommendations). Before washing, remove the cover, treat stains, and vacuum/shake to remove as much hair as possible from the item. Or, if you are using our DR7 Sanitizing Electric Dryer with Pet Plus™ technology, you can dry the item(s) first to remove excess pet hair.

Add a hypoallergenic, pet-safe detergent to the washer and, to help neutralize odor further, add one cup of baking soda to the wash water. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets as the added perfume may irritate your pet’s skin. You can either line dry these items or add them to your dryer but, before doing that, read the care labels. Also, be sure to clean the lint trap between drying cycles. After your item is clean, run your washer with hot water and with one cup of chlorine bleach to sanitize.

Clothes & Accessories

You should treat washing clothes and accessories for your pet a lot like washing your clothes—starting with inspecting the care label. Labels on any clothing will let you know the safest way to wash without destroying your (or your pet’s) favorite items. If the item is safe for the washing machine, remove any snags or loose seams that might be made worse by washing, then close all zippers and buttons. You will want to use a mesh bag for smaller items and pretreat ahead of time for any stains.

Add a hypoallergenic, pet-safe detergent to the washer and run on the appropriate cycle. If you’re still experiencing odor after washing, soak the item(s) in a solution of two quarts of cool water combined with one cup of baking soda overnight, then rewash. To avoid shrinkage, let the item(s) completely air dry before being worn.

Pet items can be expensive and once your four-legged friend reaches adult-size, many of these items can be used for the rest of their lives—so taking care of them properly is a must. By using these laundering tips, you can keep your pet’s items safe and clean, and your home a little fresher. After cleaning any of your pet’s items, be sure to keep yourself safe by thoroughly washing your hands with hot, soapy water. And if you’re looking for ways to remove hair from your non-pet related items, we’ve got you covered there, too.