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Your pets are a part of your family, so it’s no wonder that they have accumulated a LOT of possessions over the years. Fido has more luxury beds than you know what to do with and baskets of toys scattered throughout your entire house. While you wash your sheets regularly and disinfect your children’s toys often, you’ve most likely neglected your fury pal’s things – simply because you didn’t know how to properly clean them. Durable accessories are a must for many dog owners. Stout indestructible dog toys can be a vital addition to any home. They will help keep the pets entertained, and the house clean. When pet toys start to look dingy, a lot of people throw them away because they think there really is no good way to clean and disinfect them.  That is simply not true! Below, we give you helpful tips on how to clean your pet’s toys safely and naturally.

Beds and Blankets

While it might seem like a no-brainer to simply throw pet beds and blankets in the washing machine, there are some things to keep in mind. Animals can have sensitivities just like humans. While you want their things to smell great, many commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners contain chemicals and fragrances that can irritate your furry friend. It’s best to wash their beds and blankets with an all-natural detergent to avoid these irritants.

Check out this simple DIY laundry detergent recipe, gentle enough for babies.

If your pet sheds a lot, you will also want to run a lint roller over his beds and blankets before washing them. This will prevent hair balls from clogging your washer as well as from sticking to the bedding even after removing it from the dryer.

Rubber or Plastic Toys

Fill a large container with one part water, one part distilled white vinegar. Soak rubber and plastic pet toys in this mixture. Scrub difficult spots with a cloth if necessary. Rinse in warm water. Dry.

Plush Toys

Plush toys can be cleaned in the washing machine. Be sure to use the gentle cycle and sensitive detergent like the one suggested above. If the toys appear to be extra delicate, you can place them in a lingerie wash bag. Place in the dryer on cold air or low heat, or lay flat to dry.

Catnip-Filled Toys

While your kitty’s favorite toys might be those little square pouches filled with catnip, they can get covered in saliva and look pretty gross over time. It is possible to wipe them down with a damp cloth, but over time, the wetter the herbal filling gets, the more bacteria it can harbor. It is best to toss these toys every couple of months and replace them with new ones.

Cat Tree House and Climbers

These may seem intimidating to clean at first glance, but with a few routine steps, you can have your cat tree house looking brand new. First, use a small vacuum attachment to sweep up all of the excess fur throughout the product. Then scrub the carpeted areas with a warm, damp cloth or scrub brush and a touch of mild, unscented laundry detergent. Continue this process numerous times with just water to remove any excess soap. Let air dry.

For more information on keeping your pets safe and healthy, check out “Toxic Foods You May Be Giving Your Pets.”

Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder