How to Clean & Wash a Dog Collar? Step-by-Step Instructions

Last Updated on July, 2024

Your dog’s collar will ultimately absorb body oils, dirt, and dust to generate an odor, no matter how clean he remains or how fresh his coat is.

Dogs who often spend time outdoors chasing balls or running around are open to stinky collars. Eventually, the collar also needs to be washed for a good scent.

For dog owners, cleaning the dog collars is crucial. And if you have a puppy with you, it might be a puddle of grass and a lot more fun. 

How can one clean a dog collar? 

The thought of your pet having a clean and safe collar should relieve you. If the dogs enjoy napping in the living area with dirty collars, chances are the couch is getting unclean. Cleaning your dog’s collar is also necessary if the dog smells.

Keep reading to learn how to clean a dog collar efficiently!

Quick Summary

There are various ways to clean different types of collars, such as soaking in a vinegar and water solution or using dog shampoo.

Cleaning a dog’s collar is crucial for dog owners as it can absorb oils, dirt, and dust, leading to unpleasant odors.

It’s important to have a backup collar for your dog and to regularly clean and replace collars to prevent them from becoming unclean and possibly harming your dog.

What Makes a Dog’s Collar Smell bad?

dog wearing a collar

What is that odor? It is not dog breath; it is the odor of his collar! We frequently neglect the need for washing collars to keep our dogs smelling fresh.

Oh! It stinks! How often do people smell odorous stains on dog collars? Our pets love to be dirty. So their collar is messy too. The most common alternative people use to solve this issue is buying a new collar.

Depending on how your dog smells, it can be hard to pinpoint what causes it. However, dust and dirt may make a collar stinky. Wherever your dog is rolling or dragging through, some particles may seep into its fibers when it mingles with dry skin, oil, and fur.

It makes an unpleasant smell. No dog collars can resist odors. The way you wash it depends upon the fabric.

Since dogs wear their collar all day long, it is no surprise when the smell gets funky. The unpleasant smell consists of oil from dog skin, yeast, and bacteria which easily gets collected in their fur.

Quickest Way to Get the Bad Smell Out of a Dog’s Collar

A thick, sticky, yellow oil that repels water causes the smell in the collar. When removing this odor from your pet collar, your patience matters greatly.

The key to removing the bad smell is to soak it immediately in a vinegar and water combination solution or an enzyme cleaner—these work better than soap or shampoo alone.

Another alternative is to soak the collar in a solution of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap; however, peroxide may discolor the collar. After soaking, wash the collar with a degreasing dish detergent or castile soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry.

The use of dog shampoo helps to deodorize a stinky dog collar since it contains everything needed to smell wonderful. 

Natural food ingredients in the kitchen are great too. You can take a little apple cider vinegar, add a little water and cover your collar with this mixture. It is suitable for smelling as well as for eliminating odors.

How to Wash a Synthetic Dog Collar?

a human cleaning a dog collar

It will not be a difficult task to clean synthetic collars regularly. How can synthetic dog collars be kept clean? Keep reading to find out!

Follow this procedure if your dogs have nylon or polyester collars. Let us get started!

  • Step 1: Before you begin, remove the collar from the dog.
  • Step 2: Make a solution of white vinegar and baking soda in equal parts. Let the collar soak in water for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Step 3: Alternatively, you may soak the collar in hydrogen peroxide for around an hour.
  • Step 4: Rinse the collar well with water after soaking it well. If you used hydrogen peroxide in Step 3, wash it with soap and water.
  • Step 5: Shake lightly to remove any excess water, then place on a towel or hang to air dry.

You can also put some dog shampoo in boiling water and rinse the collar in it if you don’t have the above ingredients. Do a light scrubbing using your old toothbrush and comb down the crevices where dirt or grime may hide underneath them. 

Rinse the collar with warm water and let it air dry, or put it underneath the buckle until it’s completely dried. Or maybe you can clean a synthetic dog collar using natural materials too.

Check out this video to know about how to properly clean a dog collar:

Cleaning a Leather Dog Collar

a human cleaning a dog collar image 2

Although you may clean leather collars according to the above instructions, you should not wet some leather collars or cover them up with a solution. The higher cost of a leather collar may also discourage you from putting it underwater. 

It’s excellent for you to find another option. After cleaning a leather collar, avoid using heat and UV light for drying it, as this may cause leather cracking to break up.

Leather is very soft and is easily damaged if not cleaned with care. Washing with the hand is a more efficient option. 

How Should One Clean Their Leather Dog Collar Properly?

Follow this procedure which is ideal for leather dog collars that have been swimming in smelly water with Fido:

  • Step 1: Remove the leather collar from the dog and coat it with peppermint soap lather.
  • Step 2: Gently scrub away visible grime and attempt to coat the entire collar to help remove the stench.
  • Step 3: Rinse with hot water. Smell the collar after you wash it to check whether it smells better. If not, continue the soaping and rinsing process until the stink is gone.
  • Step 4: Lay it out to dry on a towel or hang it up to dry out of direct sunlight. Hopefully, the collar smells much better now!
  • Step 5: Once it is scorched, use a leather conditioner on the collar.

If your dog’s leather collar only requires spot cleaning, you may use a baking soda/vinegar mixture and a toothbrush to spot clean gently where necessary. You’ll want to rinse gently (but not immerse for a lengthy period) and properly dry it out after you’re through.

Washing a harness varies according to the materials used in that harness. It is similar to cleaning the collar in that respect. 

You can use everyday cleaning products like dog shampoos to clean the harness because the scents are recognizable for the dog, and the ingredients are not irritable.

Do Metal Dog Collars Need Cleaning?

A human cleaning the dust on dog training collar

Have you ever thought about cleaning your dog’s metal collar?

Your dog’s metal collar also needs to be cleaned regularly. Dirt and grease can accumulate on the metal, causing the collar to rust or hurt your dog’s skin.

Leaving too much dirt on metal collars will cause the smell. The dirt dripping from your pet can cause it to have an unpleasant fragrance. Cleaning metal collars is quick and easy with shampoo and water. 

Here are some suggestions for you!

You can use water and dog shampoo to clean and brush out the mud. Wipe it well using a towel, and it will be clean.

If your metal collars have rust or discoloration, you may need to apply a thick paste of water and baking soda to the collar and let it solidify. Then, using a toothbrush, clean away the baking soda solution, rinse, and allow the collar to dry.

How to Clean an E-Collar?

A human cleaning the  dog training collar

Your dog’s E-collar must be kept clean. 

E-collars and shock collars are made up of metal barbs on the inside of the central system that are attached to the strap.

Although many of these are waterproof, you should read the handbook to determine if you can wash the E-collar with water. If the instructions call for it, let’s have a bowl of warm water and some dog shampoo ready.

There is no set amount for the soap; add enough so that it cleans well. Following that, you may need to clean the dirt and grime using a brush. You may do this by cleaning the crevices with a soft-bristled brush.

Once the collar is clean, dry it well so that no water or moisture remains, and set it aside to dry.

Can I Wash My Dog Collar in the Washing Machine?

The washing machine is an efficient solution when cleaning your collars. If you’re thinking about how to clean a nylon dog collar, a washing machine is an excellent choice. 

To preserve your dog’s collar in the wash, use a garment or a cotton fabric backing. After washing, be sure to lay your collar flat to dry.

Using a Backup Collar

Since cleaning the collar takes some time, place a backup collar on your dog to prevent it from missing its identification if something happens. 

Always remember to place a backup collar on your dog while washing and drying his regular collar.

To Sum Up

It is no joy cuddling up to a clean dog only to discover that his collar still smells like raw sewage. Taking a few additional minutes when bathing your dog to clean his collar goes a long way toward minimizing the buildup of dirt and grime that creates odor.

Replace worn-out collars; they can be harmful if your dog chews on them or if you walk your dog with them.




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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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