How to Wash Reusable Dog Diapers

Do you have a rambunctious pup who tolerates baths about as well as he would tolerate being agitated with fireworks? If so, you may need to turn your attention away from traditional bathing and toward more sustainable means of keeping your fluffy friend clean: reusable dog diapers.

How to Wash Reusable Dog Diapers

Not only are reusable diapers cost-effective in the long run, but they can also be just as efficient at keeping Fido’s fur and skin free from germs and messes – maybe even better!

If you’ve never used reusable dog diapers before, you may be wondering how to wash reusable dog diapers. Unlike their disposable counterparts, reusable dog diapers require a little more maintenance and attention to stay hygienic.

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything that goes into washing them properly so your pup always feels squeaky clean.

What Will You Need?

Before you get started with washing your reusable dog diapers, make sure you have these essentials handy:

  1. Disposable gloves (optional)
  2. Hot water
  3. Detergent (preferably fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and pet-safe)
  4. Vinegar or baking soda (optional for an extra clean)
  5. A washing machine

Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, it’s time to get washing!

10 Easy Steps on How to Wash Reusable Dog Diapers

Step 1: Remove Any Solid Waste

Before throwing the diaper in the wash, take a moment to remove any solid waste that may still be present on the fabric. This will prevent any clogging or messes in your washing machine. Most reusable diapers come with a disposable liner that can be easily discarded along with the waste.

Step 2: Rinse the Diaper

 Rinse the Diaper Under Hot Water

After removing the solid waste, rinse the diaper under hot water to eliminate urine and any remaining mess. This step is crucial as it helps prevent stains and odors from settling into the fabric. You can use a detachable shower head or a utility sink if you have one – just be sure to rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.

Step 3: Pre-Soak (Optional)

If the diaper is soiled or left dirty for a while, it may benefit from a pre-soak. Fill a bucket with hot water and add a scoop of your pet-safe detergent. Submerge the diaper in the solution and let it soak for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour. This will help loosen stubborn stains and make the washing process more effective.

Step 4: Machine Wash

You can wash the diaper in the washing machine once the diaper has been pre-soaked. Using your pet-safe detergent, wash the diaper regularly in hot water. Avoid fabric softeners or bleach, as they irritate your dog’s skin and damage the diaper’s material. If the diaper is still heavily soiled, try to run a second wash cycle to ensure it’s clean.

Step 5: Add Vinegar or Baking Soda (Optional)

 Adding a Bit of Vinegar or Baking Soda

For an extra deep clean, consider adding a bit of vinegar or baking soda during the rinse cycle. Not only can these natural ingredients help to eliminate stubborn odors, but they also serve as natural fabric softeners. If you use vinegar, add about 1 cup to the fabric softener compartment at the start of the rinse cycle. For baking soda, sprinkle half a cup into the drum at the start of the wash cycle.

Step 6: Air Dry

After the wash cycle, remove the diaper and let it air dry. While it may be tempting to speed up the process with a tumble dryer, the heat can often damage the diaper’s elastic and waterproof layers. Instead, hang the diaper up in a well-ventilated area, allowing it to dry naturally.

Step 7: Check for Cleanliness

Once the diaper is dry, give it a thorough once-over to check for any remaining stains or smells. If the diaper isn’t fully clean, repeat the washing process. If it’s fresh and clean, it’s ready to go back on your pup!

Step 8: Store Clean Diapers Properly

Proper storage of the clean diapers is vital to maintain their cleanliness and longevity. Store the clean, dry diapers in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can damage their material over time. Avoid stacking them while they’re still damp to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. A breathable bin or basket is ideal for storage. Remember, the cleaner your storage area, the cleaner the diaper will remain until it’s time for use again.

Step 9: Regularly Rotate Diapers

Having Multiple Reusable Diapers at Your Disposal

To keep your dog comfortable and the diapers in good condition, rotating them regularly is important. Having multiple reusable diapers at your disposal will provide your pet with a constant supply of clean diapers and prolong the lifespan of each diaper. After each change, rinse the used diaper and start cleaning as soon as possible to avoid stubborn stains and odors.

Step 10: Perform Regular Checks on Your Dog’s Skin

Even with regular changes and diligent washing, your dog’s skin might react to the constant use of diapers. Regularly check your dog’s skin for irritation, rash, or discomfort. If you notice any adverse reactions, you should consult your vet to discuss possible solutions.

This could include altering the frequency of changes, using a different detergent, or considering alternative options. Remember, your dog’s comfort and health are always the priority!

By following these simple steps, you can keep your reusable dog diapers clean and fresh for each use. Now that you know how to wash them properly, you can say goodbye to the hassle of constantly buying disposable diapers and enjoy the benefits of using eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Spot Cleaning: If the diaper isn’t heavily soiled, a quick spot clean can suffice. Use a pet-safe detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the soiled area gently, then rinse well.
  2. Avoid Overloading Your Washing Machine: Washing too many diapers at a time can prevent them from getting thoroughly clean. It’s usually best to wash no more than 6-8 diapers at a time.
  3. Use a Mesh Laundry Bag: To prevent diapers from getting tangled or damaged, consider washing them inside a mesh laundry bag.
  4. Dealing with Stubborn Stains: If a diaper has a stubborn stain that won’t come out, try treating it with a pet-safe stain remover before washing.
  5. Prolong Diaper Life: Minimize bleach and high heat when washing and drying, as these can break down the diaper’s materials over time.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can ensure that your reusable dog diapers stay clean and in good condition for as long as possible. Remember always to read and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain the quality of your diapers.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Always Rinse the Diaper
  1. Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals: Do not use any cleaning product that contains harsh chemicals, such as chlorine bleach or fabric softeners, as these can irritate your dog’s skin and degrade the diaper’s material over time. Always opt for a pet-safe and eco-friendly detergent for cleaning.
  2. Don’t Leave a Soiled Diaper Unrinsed: Leaving a soiled diaper unrinsed for long periods can lead to stains and odors becoming stronger. Always rinse the diaper as soon as it’s removed from your dog.
  3. Avoid Using High Heat to Dry Diapers: High heat from tumble dryers can damage the waterproof lining and elastic components of the diaper, impacting its effectiveness. Always opt for air drying when possible.
  4. Don’t Ignore Signs of Discomfort in Your Dog: If your dog shows signs of distress, discomfort, or skin irritation, do not ignore these symptoms. It may indicate a reaction to the detergent you’re using or that the diaper is not fitting properly.
  5. Never Store Diapers When They’re Still Damp: Storing diapers before they’re scorched could lead to the growth of mold and mildew, affecting their usability and possibly causing health issues for your pet. Ensure all diapers are completely dry before storage.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your reusable dog diapers remain effective and safe for your furry friend.


In conclusion, keeping your pup’s reusable dog diapers clean and safe for use will ensure they remain healthy when wearing them. Not only will this save money in the long run, but it also reduces your environmental impact.

Regularly washing reusable dog diapers may seem like a chore at first, but it’ll become second nature after committing to good hygiene practices. Proper cleaning helps keep the dogs healthy and you and your family since bacteria can spread easily from one surface to another. Try out some of the methods listed above and keep your dogs smelling fresh all day long!

After following these tips on how to wash reusable dog diapers, you should be able to keep them clean without any major problems. Last but not least, don’t forget always to provide comfort and love for your four-legged friends so they are sure of how much they are appreciated.

Now that you have read this post, why not give it a try and see if it works? We hope these DIY tips and tricks on cleaning a reusable dog diaper were helpful!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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