It is a common fact that all dog collars get dirty after extensive usage. And while cleaning them every once in a while can keep them smelling fresh and good, another issue is that with improper ways of washing, the collar would easily wear and tear.
So, keeping in mind the various problems that may arise, I have prepared this article describing my tips to wash a smelly dog collar with ease.
What are my best tips to wash smelly dog collars?
With years of experimenting, I have found three cleaning agents to be the ultimate best when it comes to getting the stink out of my dog collars. This includes a thorough wash with a mild dog shampoo, a combination of vinegar and baking soda or a mild soap. However, it is to be noted that not all of these cleaners are for all types of collars and therefore practising caution is a must.
Below I have covered the various kinds of dog collars and the proper way of cleaning. So make sure to read until the end.
Synthetic Dog Collars
Ingredients you will need: Dog Shampoo/Apple Cider Vinegar, Old Toothbrush, and Hot water
- Pour one tablespoon of the dog shampoo into a bowl of hot water and stir until foam arises.
- Soak the old toothbrush and the synthetic collar in the solution for 10-20 minutes. This will help loosen the accumulated dirt and debris. Make sure that the bowl is big enough to hold the collar completely for a thorough cleaning.
- Take out the collar and give it a light scrub using the old toothbrush. Cover all tits by bits of the collar, not leaving any of the nooks or crannies unattended.
- Finally, rinse the collar under hot water before placing them on a flat surface to dry or hanging downwards from its buckle.
- Another effective way of cleaning synthetic collars is by preparing a mixture of vinegar and water. I personally prefer apple cider vinegar as it has a strong smell and is also relatively less abrasive. Always take the ratio 1:3 with 1 part apple cider vinegar and other 3 parts water.
- Once done soak the collar in the cleaning solution for a few minutes, before scrubbing them clean with the old toothbrush.
- Afterwards, rinse using hot water and dry on a flat surface.
Leather Dog Collar
Ingredients you will need: Gentle dish soap/Apple cider vinegar, olive oil/leather conditioner, warm water, and three soft clothes.
- Both equally effective, I generally switch between a cleansing solution made of gentle dish soap or apple cider vinegar. This not only keeps the collar clean but also smells nice for a long time.
- To prepare the solution, pour a few drops of your preferred cleaner into a bowl of warm water. Make sure to add the required amount of cleaner as pouring down too much will make it much harder to be cleaned afterwards.
- Take one of the clean clothes and let it soak in the solution for 1-2 minutes.
- Next using the now damp cloth, slowly wipe the leather collar, while ensuring you are not putting too much of the solution onto it. I usually put a little pressure when wiping to make sure the dirt and grease comes out.
- Follow this process by a thorough but a quick rinse under plain water. You don’t want the leather to come too much in contact with water as it could lead to a musty smell.
- Now it’s time to dry off the leather collar completely. Using one of the dry soft clothes wipe down the collar from top to bottom, preferably with the buckle towards the upside.
- In the final step, take the final piece of the soft cloth and dab a little bit of olive oil or a good quality leather conditioner to keep them from cracking or opening up.
NOTE- Never make the mistake of putting leather collars under direct sunlight like me. It cost me two super expensive perfectly fine leather collars to finally understand what I was doing wrong. So, contrary to putting them under direct sunlight, it is better to let the leather collars air dry.
Another thing to remember when trying to clean leather smelly dog collars is to read their tags or manufacturing boxes. Expensive finished leather collars often come with washing guidelines that details the type of cleaner or washing procedure to be followed, and therefore a strict follow-up is a must.
Now before we start with the cleaning procedure of metal collars, there is something pawrents need to know. Unlike other dog collar types, frequent washing of metal collars can cause faster rusting and therefore occasional cleaning is what’s best.
Ingredients you will need: Mild dog shampoo/mild soap, baking soda, an old toothbrush, and warm water.
- Pour a tiny amount of dog shampoo into a bowl of warm water and stir it till foam rises. This will enable a thorough cleaning without having to deal with too much soap when rinsing.
- Then with the old toothbrush, give the metal collar a gentle scrubbing. Never use too much force as it will cause friction and may lead to discoloration of the collar.
- Next rinse the collar with warm water before letting them dry under direct sunlight.
- In case the metal collar is rusted then a mixture of baking soda with the right amounts of water can go a long way in preserving the collar from faster degradation. When used appropriately, the solution covers the rusted part with a protective layer, thereby delaying the rusting process.
- To do this in the correct manner, once the paste is made, apply a generous amount of the paste on to the collar. Let the paste settle there for a good 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off under warm water. The solution will prevent rusting, eradicate all grease and dirt and also leave the metal collar smelling fresh.
Another form of an expensive dog collar, cleaning smelly Elizabethan collars is no easy deal. Given their unique manufacturing, following through their mentioned washing guidelines is absolutely necessary.
Ingredients that you will need: Mild soap/dog shampoo, warm water, two soft clothes
- Mix the cleaner with the right amounts of water.
- Soak one of the clothes into the cleansing solution and let them soak for a while.
- Next wipe the Elizabethan collar gently with the damp cloth. Cover all grounds, not leaving any nooks or crannies aside.
- Afterwards, rinse the collar directly with warm water or as directed in the washing guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Follow it up with a gentle wiping with the other dry clean cloth to prevent any residues from sticking onto the collar.
- For proper drying you can either keep them under direct sunlight or let them air dry under shade.
Now that we have covered my tips to wash smelly dog collars with ease, I have prepared another bonus for those unforeseen circumstances.
If they get sprayed by a skunk
Having dealt with smelly dog collars at home for years now, the nastiest and the most arduous task is hands down trying to eradicate a skunk’s smell from my puppies collar. The area I live in has a lot of skunks and hence every once in a while we stumble across these little creatures who benevolently leave us their unforgettable smell. And believe me when I say that I have had the experience of using all kinds of solutions, 5-minute DIY tricks, and what not for the same, but nothing worked out.
Finally, one of my good friends advised me to use hydrogen peroxide along with baking soda and dish soap. So, I took a bowl and added a generous amount of these ingredients, followed by the collar and let it settle for 10-15 minutes. My dogs wear a martingale collar, therefore I had nothing to be worried about when soaking it, unlike leather collars.
Afterwards, I used a castile soap to thoroughly wash and scrub off the smell. And voila, once dried there was absolutely no left over nasty skunk smell lurking within or around the collar.
NOTE- If your dog has a leather collar, then after rinsing it using the above-said solution, always follow it up with a good quality leather conditioner.
So, in this blog I covered all my experiences related to washing smelly dog collars with ease. If you too have such useful ideas, do share in the comment section.
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