How to Clean a Dog Crate, an Easy Helpful Guide, and Tips

happy dog in clean crate

However cute and cuddly your furry friend is, it can be a bit of a challenge keeping their crate clean, sanitized and smelling fresh! Dogs do love a clean tidy home, just like you! Maybe you bought a metal dog crate or the plastic variety and you’re wondering how to make sure your best friend has a warm, comfortable and safe environment to snuggle. As the experts in this area, we’re going to answer all your questions, so read on.

First, we will look at the short answer as to how to clean your dog crate, then we’ll go into more detail on the best way to do it and what will help you.

dog in dirty crate

How do I clean my dog crate? To ensure the best results, first remove all your dog’s bedding, toys, water & food bowels and blankets for washing. Take the cage outside if possible or use a bathtub with an old towel. To totally eliminate microbes, use natural cleaning and disinfecting products, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

Why do I need to keep my pet crate clean?

Although you may not think your pet has messy tendencies, such as paw prints all over your clean sofa after a walk, or your doggy shakes their wet coat on your recently scrubbed floor. They do, however, really deserve a clean and sanitized home for their health and yours.

It’s worth knowing that their natural instinct, along with any training you’ve done with them, makes them extremely hesitant to perform bodily functions inside the cage. However, even the most behaved canines make messes sometimes and, just like humans, every so often their beds and homes need a spruce up.

So, let’s begin by looking at how best to make your furry friend’s crate spotless to show them how much you care.

dog in metal crate

How to clean a metal dog crate

Large heavy-duty crates can be more time consuming to keep clean and fresh rather than their smaller counterparts.

Luckily, most of them have a pull-out tray which makes the cleaning process simpler. So, take a look at our tips below on how to keep a metal cage polished and clean. You will want to start by removing the soft pad on the bottom of the cage and take that right to your washing machine for a good cleaning.

Wash the soft furnishings such as pad, pet bed, and blankets

The Pad is probably the easiest part of the cleaning process as you simply pop it on a washing cycle. Do make sure that any soft pads you buy are washing machine safe. You can, of course, wash any soft furnishings of your pet’s home, such as a favorite doggy fleece, or any other type of pooch bed that’s inside their metal cage.

dog worried about toys in washer

You may like to wash these parts of your dog’s beds frequently to make sure your pet is clean and comfortable. When washing soft elements of your dog crate, make sure you use a specially formulated pet bed cleaner.

This will also keep everything smelling fresh - including your pooch. You don’t have to completely wash the entire cage every time you freshen up the bedding and pad.

Make sure any soft toys your pet has also get regularly washed to minimize smell and keep all your pet’s favorite toys sanitized and clean.

“The Pad is probably the easiest part of the cleaning process as you simply pop it on a washing cycle.”

Prepare the kennel

Ok, so your pet’s bedding and soft toys are tumbling around in your washing machine. Any pet toys which aren’t soft can be wiped down, using a specially formulated pet safe cleaner to make cleaning easier . Be sure to rinse plastic toys thoroughly! And make sure everything is removed from the tray at the bottom of the cage.

Remove Odor

To totally remove smelly pet odors that may have accumulated, apply a generous amount of pet odor remover and let it air dry. Use a generous amount to totally destroy any unwanted odors to keep your furry friends home smelling fresh and clean.

The next stage after odor remediation is to give the enclosures a good scrub!


If the weather is suitable, it might be easier to take the cage outdoors to wash it, especially if it’s a larger type cage. If the weather is not co-operating, then indoors is fine.

The bathtub is probably the best place to start the cleaning process - depending on the size of your cage! Especially if you have a shower head over your bath.

scrub brush

Line the tub with a thin towel and place the cage into a bathtub. Use the head shower to spray the unit and then fill a bucket with warm water and a cleaning solution - this cleaning solution is perfect! Use a scrub brush to apply the solution to the crate, making sure to scrub the entire cage and make sure you remove any rusty areas too.

To totally eliminate microbes use an eco-friendly and 100% pet-friendly disinfecting product over the whole cage, inside and out, including the plastic tray.


After scrubbing away any stubborn stains, make sure you rinse thoroughly. Even though you’re using pet friendly products, it’s still important to rinse minimizing any chance of upsetting pet tummies due to detergent residue.

How do I clean a rusty crate?

If your kennel is in less than optimal condition it may require some considerable work to restore its previous glory. First, use a wire brush to remove all the rust, then prime and paint it with the non-toxic spray paint. Refurbishing will ensure durability and protect the metal cage from further damage.

So now we’ve looked at the best ways to clean metal cages and restore an old rusty crate, let’s look to see how you can get your pets plastic crate sparkling clean, thoroughly sanitized and smelling fresh.

dog in plastic crate

How to clean Plastic Crates?

Plastic cages are among the easiest to clean, and by giving your pets plastic crate a wash and brush up, you will be making sure you remove the dirt, any stains, pet odorants, and other unpleasant surprises.

There are just a few simple steps, so let’s take a look below. Start with unscrewing the crate to enable easy access to all parts of the crate.

Break the cage apart

The easiest way to get your pet’s plastic cage clean is by taking it apart. There is a hinged enclosure on most plastic crates, which are linked with screws and plastic nuts. Once you remove the top, it’s all systems go!

Hose out any waste

Where protective rubber gloves to protect your hands and then take your pooches plastic home out outside. Using a hose, remove all the traces of solid or liquid waste and then, using a paper towel, drop everything into a trash bag.

Clean the inside

There are many super products and environmentally friendly, non-toxic dog cleaning products available. Here’s an extensive list that covers all the ideal products you’d need. So, make sure you pick one which is good for the planet as well as for you and your dog; and many pet shops retail non-toxic cleaning solutions.

It goes without saying, to make sure your pet isn’t inside the cage when you are cleaning your plastic crate, and, if you are indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated.

Do not mix any specialized cleaning products with bleach or each other, as it may cause a chemical reaction which can damage the kennel or injure you and your pet. So, unless you are a chemist, NEVER mix any household cleaners.

Clean the outside of the crate thoroughly

don't use bleach

After thoroughly sanitizing and cleaning the inside of your plastic crate, make sure you give the outside a really good cleaning too. Make sure, once again, you’re using specialized products which are safe for your pets and the environment.

“Do not mix any specialized cleaning products with bleach as it may cause a chemical reaction which can damage the kennel or injure you”.

And finally…

We hope you’ve received some great tips on how to keep your doggy crate clean, microbe free and smelling fresh, so they can relax in peace.

Make sure you take a look at our great range of products designed to give maximum effectiveness in cleaning your dog’s important environment, such as kennels and crates - and show them how much you care by giving them a clean and fresh smelling crate.

OdorPet®, LaundraPet®, and KennelSol® are available both retail and wholesale, shipping directly to you via Alpha Tech Pet.



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