Can You Wash a Kong in the Dishwasher: Tips for Cleaning Your Dog’s Favorite Toy

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key. When it comes to taking care of our furry friends, we often seek ways to simplify our daily routines. One common question among dog owners is, “Can you wash a Kong in the dishwasher?” Kong toys are beloved by dogs and their owners alike, but keeping them clean can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of cleaning Kong toys, including whether you can toss them in the dishwasher, and provide valuable tips to maintain your dog’s favorite plaything.

Dogs bring joy and companionship to our lives, and one of the ways we reciprocate their love is by providing them with toys like Kong. These toys, known for their durability and entertainment value, are essential for keeping our furry friends engaged and mentally stimulated. However, over time, Kongs can become dirty and harbor bacteria, potentially affecting our pets’ health. Hence, the question arises: how can we effectively clean Kong toys without compromising their quality or safety?

Understanding Kong Toys

Before diving into the cleaning process, let’s take a closer look at what makes Kong toys special. Kong toys are made from natural rubber or other safe materials, designed to withstand the toughest chewers. Their unique shape, with hollow centers, allows them to be filled with treats or kibble, making them a great tool for keeping your dog engaged and mentally active. However, their nooks and crannies can also trap dirt, saliva, and food residue, requiring regular cleaning.

Importance of Cleaning Kong Toys

Maintaining the cleanliness of your dog’s toys, especially Kongs, is crucial for several reasons:

  • Hygiene: Dirty toys can accumulate harmful bacteria, leading to health issues for your pet.
  • Longevity: Regular cleaning can extend the lifespan of Kong toys, saving you money in the long run.
  • Odor Control: Cleaning helps eliminate unpleasant odors that can develop over time.
  • Pet Enjoyment: A clean Kong is more appealing to your dog, ensuring they continue to enjoy their playtime.

Now that we understand why it’s essential to clean Kong toys let’s address the central question:

Can You Wash a Kong in the Dishwasher?

The short answer is yes, you can wash a Kong in the dishwasher, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Benefits of Dishwasher Cleaning

  • Efficiency: Using a dishwasher is convenient and saves time.
  • Thoroughness: Dishwashers can reach high temperatures, effectively killing germs and bacteria.
  • No Harsh Chemicals: You don’t need to use harsh chemicals that may harm your pet.

Potential Risks

However, there are potential risks associated with using the dishwasher:

  • Damage: The high heat and strong water jets can damage the Kong toy, especially if it’s old or worn.
  • Residue: Dishwasher detergent residue may remain on the toy, which your dog could ingest.
  • Noise: The noise of the dishwasher might scare your dog.

Given these considerations, it’s crucial to follow specific guidelines if you choose to use the dishwasher for cleaning your Kong toys:

  1. Place the Kong on the top rack to minimize exposure to high heat and direct water pressure.
  2. Use a pet-safe dishwasher detergent or run an extra rinse cycle to remove any residue.
  3. Ensure your dog is comfortable with the noise of the dishwasher before attempting this cleaning method.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

If you’re hesitant about using the dishwasher or want to explore other options, here are alternative cleaning methods:

Hand Washing

  • Fill a basin with warm, soapy water.
  • Submerge the Kong toy and scrub it thoroughly with a brush.
  • Rinse the toy with clean water to remove soap residue.


  • Soak the Kong in a mixture of warm water and white vinegar for a few hours.
  • Scrub the toy with a brush to remove dirt and grime.
  • Rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

Baking Soda Scrub

  • Create a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Apply the paste to the Kong and scrub with a brush.
  • Rinse the toy thoroughly to remove any baking soda residue.

Maintaining Kong Toy Hygiene

To ensure your dog’s Kong toy remains clean and safe, consider these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly inspect the toy for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
  • Clean the toy after each use or at least once a week, depending on your dog’s play habits.
  • Store the Kong in a clean, dry place to prevent mold growth.


In conclusion, keeping your dog’s Kong toys clean is essential for their health, enjoyment, and longevity. While you can wash a Kong in the dishwasher, it’s important to do so cautiously and follow specific guidelines to avoid potential risks. Alternatively, hand washing, soaking, or using a baking soda scrub are effective cleaning methods that can maintain the hygiene of your pet’s favorite plaything.

By prioritizing the cleanliness of your dog’s toys, you ensure that every playtime is a safe and enjoyable experience for your furry companion.


1. How often should I clean my dog’s Kong toy?

It’s advisable to clean your dog’s Kong toy at least once a week, but frequency may vary depending on your pet’s usage and how quickly it becomes soiled.

2. Can I use bleach to clean a Kong toy?

It’s not recommended to use bleach, as it can leave harmful residue that your dog may ingest. Stick to pet-safe cleaning methods.

3. Are there dishwasher-safe Kong toys available?

Yes, some Kong toys are labeled as dishwasher-safe. Check the product label or manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

4. What if my dog has allergies? Can I still use a dishwasher to clean the Kong?

If your dog has allergies, it’s best to avoid dishwasher cleaning due to potential detergent residue. Opt for alternative cleaning methods that use pet-safe soap or vinegar.

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