how to wash dog towels

How to Wash Dog Towels

Unwashed dog towels can create quite the stench in a home! And naturally because your faithful companion can’t actually operate the washer, it’s up to you to clean the towels for them!

But how do you wash dog towels, and is it as simple as washing human ones? Find out how to keep your pooch’s towels clean below.

Pick a method below and follow the steps to clean your pooch’s towels!

Tip: Although it may seem like a good idea to wait until your dog’s towels are absolutely filthy before you clean them, it’s actually better to wash the towels on a regular basis. So, don’t wait for the grime to build up—wash the towels on a weekly basis instead.


Method 1: Washing Machine

wash dog towel in the washing machine

Before you begin cleaning your dog’s towels, you’ll need to separate them based on what materials they’re made from: cotton or microfibre.

You need to separate the towels because microfibre and cotton cannot be washed together effectively.

Once you’ve separated the towels into two piles, you can follow the steps below to clean both piles of towels. Just work on one pile of washing at a time!

Steps to follow:

  1. Take the towels outside and give them a shake – this will remove any debris from them!
  2. Optional: Brush your dog’s towels with a clothes brush to remove any hair from the towels.
  3. Read the care label on each towel.
  4. Select the appropriate temperature and wash setting on your washing machine.
  5. Add the towels to the drum. Don’t add other laundry to the drum, as it’s best not to mix dog towels with human laundry.
  6. Add a suitable measure of detergent to the machine. Make sure you use a pet friendly cleaner, and one that can break down odours, like Pro-Kleen Pet Bedding Laundry Washing Detergent! Don’t add any fabric softener.
  7. Start the cycle.
  8. Optional: Add 120 ml of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove extra pungent aromas from the towels.
  9. When the cycle ends, run an extra rinse cycle to flush out any remaining product.
  10. Dry the towels on the line or according to the care label.
  11. If you’re going to use a tumble dryer, don’t use dryer sheets.
  12. When you’re done cleaning, you’ll need to wash your washing machine. This’ll remove any lasting debris, odours, and hair that may be inside the drum/under the seals. Vamoosh Pet Hair Dissolver is great at preventing blockages in your appliance!

Tip: For very soiled towels you’ll need to soak them in some warm water and detergent for an hour or two. This should break down any stains that have occurred. Alternatively, you could pop extra dirty towels in some hot water and white vinegar to pre-clean them.

It is, of course, better if you treat any marks as soon as possible. Allowing stains to sit and stew makes them harder to remove.


Method 2: Hand-Wash

handwashing towel

It’s important that you separate your dog’s towels up based on what material they’re made out of. This is because you cannot clean cotton alongside microfibre very well.

So, if your towels are made of different materials, separate them into a microfibre pile and a cotton pile.

Then wash each pile, one at a time, following the steps outlined below.

Steps to follow: 

  1. Take the towels outside and give them a shake.
  2. Optional: Brush your dog’s towels with a clothes brush to remove any hair from the towels.
  3. Fill a large bucket or bathtub up with warm water.
  4. Grab some dog-friendly detergent and add a measure of it to the water (see the bottle’s packaging for details).
  5. Pop some gloves on.
  6. Submerge all the towels in the water.
  7. Leave the towels to rest in the water for a few minutes.
  8. Start to agitate the dog’s towels in the water to loosen up the dirt.
  9. Remove a single towel at a time from the water and squeeze the water out of it.
  10. Re-submerge the towel and continue agitating it to remove dirt.
  11. Repeat Steps 9 and 10 until you remove all the grime from the single towel.
  12. Treat the rest of the towels in the same way.
  13. When the towels have been cleaned, squeeze the water out of them.
  14. Dry the towels as instructed on the care label. Hang them up outside or tumble dry them (don’t use dryer sheets).
  15. Try to catch the hairs in your bucket of water or bathtub as you empty the dirty water out, as the hair could easily clog up a plughole, for example!


Method 3: Use a Launderette


If you don’t fancy using your washing machine to clean your pet’s stuff, you could take their towels to a launderette to clean them.

In some cases, they have machines dedicated to cleaning pet goods, so it might be better to use this appliance instead.

To find a launderette near you just do a quick online search.


Method 4: Dry Clean

dry cleaning towels

There’s usually no need to take dog towels to a dry cleaning shop to get them cleaned. And it’s also not a very popular cleaning method.

But if you’re interested in trying this method out, do a quick online search to find cleaners in your area that can help you.

When you get to the shop make sure you ask about what cleaning chemicals will be used, especially if your doggy has sensitive skin.


Should You Wash Dog Towels Separately?

dog with towel after bath

Yes, you should wash your dog’s towels, and any other items that belong to your pup, separately from your own laundry.

This is largely to prevent the cross contamination of germs, and to ensure that your dog’s towels/other items are washed correctly.

In addition to this, you should also separate your dog’s towels and wash them according to what material they’re made from.

So, you should wash all microfibre towels together and all cotton towels together. This is to make sure that the towels are cleaned thoroughly and in a manner that’s suitable for them.

If you discard the care labels and wash your towels in a slapdash way, the towels may end up damaged, they could lose their absorbency, and they might not have a very long lifespan.


Can You Wash Dog Towels with Human Towels?

human and dog towel in the wash

No, you should avoid washing your towels with your dog’s towels. The main reasons why you shouldn’t do this are:

  • You’ll spread lots of germs around – mud, dirty water, and flees, for example.
  • Humans also use different towels to dogs and these towels need to be cared for in different ways. Humans tend to use cotton towels and dogs typically use microfiber towels, and you shouldn’t wash these materials together.
  • If you don’t remove the hair from your doggy’s towels, this hair will find its way onto your towels. This can make your human towels feel quite prickly!
  • If you don’t clean your pooch’s towels properly, you can transfer the smell of dog onto your human towels.


Will Dog Hair Ruin a Washing Machine?

hair clogged the washing machine

Dog hair can potentially clog up a washing machine. Parts like the drain hose and filter are commonly affected by hair. In turn, this could hinder how the machine works.

However, you can mitigate these issues by removing as much pet hair from your pet’s towels, bedding, and blankets before you wash them.

You should also look into ways of dissolving pet hair in the washing machine. You should also clean the washing machine on a regular basis, particularly after you’ve washed your puppy’s items.