How to Get Dog Smell Out of Blankets: A No-Fuss Guide for Fresher Linens

If you own a dog, you’ve likely experienced that infamous “dog smell” lingering on your blankets. It’s a smell that every dog lover knows all too well – and one that every dog lover would love to eliminate.

 How can blankets be deodorized to eliminate the scent of dogs?   

In this article, we’ll explore proven techniques to get rid of that stubborn dog odor from your blankets, making them smell fresh and clean once again.

Understanding the source of the dog smell is an important first step in addressing the issue. Various factors contribute to that distinct odor, such as your dog’s natural oils, dirt and debris, and even their bodily fluids.

Once we understand how to tackle these factors effectively, we can dive into the best washing techniques, post-washing strategies, and preventative measures to keep your blankets smelling fresh despite your furry friend’s presence.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn the source of the dog smell to effectively eliminate it from blankets
  • Explore effective washing and post-washing strategies for a fresh, odor-free result
  • Discover preventative measures and alternative cleaning solutions to maintain clean blankets

Understanding Dog Smell

ways to remove the dog smell from blankets

When it comes to dog ownership, one challenge that many people face is dealing with the lingering odor that can accompany our beloved pets. In this section, we will explore the causes behind dog odor and factors that affect its intensity.

Causes of Dog Odor

There are several reasons why dogs can emit an unpleasant smell, and understanding these causes can help you combat the issue more effectively:

  1. Natural Body Oils: Dogs naturally produce oils on their skin to help protect and maintain their coat. However, these oils can also be a source of odor when they mix with dirt and debris.
  2. Sweat: Dogs do not sweat as humans do, but they do have some sweat glands located in their paws and around their ears. When dogs become overheated or stressed, they may sweat, contributing to their overall odor.
  3. Rolling in Smelly Substances: Dogs love to roll in smelly things, whether it be dead animals, feces, or other strong-smelling substances. This behavior can cause their coat to pick up and retain unpleasant odors.
  4. Mouth Odor: Poor dental hygiene in dogs can lead to bad breath, which can also contribute to the overall odor of your dog.

Factors Affecting Dog Smell

There are also various factors that can influence the intensity and persistence of dog smell, including:

  • Health: A dog’s overall health can play a significant role in their smell. Allergies, skin infections, and other medical issues can cause changes in the natural balance of their skin and coat, leading to stronger odors.
  • Diet: The quality of your dog’s diet can also affect their smell. A poor diet may lead to digestive issues, dental problems, or skin and coat imbalances, all of which can contribute to odor problems.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming is essential to keeping your dog’s smell under control. Proper brushing and bathing can help remove dirt, debris, and odor-causing substances from your dog’s coat.
  • Blanket Use: If your dog routinely sleeps or rests on a blanket, the material can absorb and retain odors. Over time, these odors may become more stubborn and challenging to remove.

By understanding the causes and factors that influence dog smell, you can take appropriate measures to manage and mitigate the issues, ensuring a more pleasant and odor-free living environment for both you and your dog.

Preparation for Cleaning

how to get dog smell out of blankets

Before you start cleaning your dog’s blankets to eliminate unwanted smells, it’s essential to gather the necessary supplies and inspect the blankets for any damage or specific areas that need extra attention.

Gathering Necessary Supplies

Below is a list of supplies you may need to efficiently clean and deodorize your dog’s blankets:

  • Washing machine: Most blankets can be thoroughly cleaned using a washing machine.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odors and can be added to your wash to neutralize smells.
  • White Vinegar: Adding white vinegar to your wash helps neutralize odors and acts as a natural fabric softener.
  • Pet Odor Eliminator spray: These sprays can help to eliminate lingering smells in your blankets.
  • Specially Formulated Laundry Detergent: There are laundry detergents made specifically for pet odors and stains.
  • Oxy Booster or Borax: These can help to further remove any persistent odors and stains.

Inspecting the Blankets

Before tossing your blankets into the washing machine, take time to inspect them for any damage or areas that need extra care. Keep an eye out for:

  • Stains: Make a note of any stains (such as urine, dirt, or food) and pretreat them with stain removers or by applying baking soda and vinegar directly to the stain before washing.
  • Rips or Tears: Check for any rips or tears and repair them before washing the blanket to avoid further damage.
  • Material: Check the blanket’s care label for any specific washing instructions based on the material. Some delicate materials may require washing by hand or using a gentle cycle.

Having the supplies ready and examining the blankets ensures that you’re fully prepared to tackle those pesky pet odors and keeps your dog’s blankets fresh and clean.

Effective Washing Techniques

What is the method to remove the smell of dogs from blankets?

Washing your dog’s blankets can be simple if you follow the right tips. In this section, we’ll focus on effective washing techniques to get rid of that unwelcome dog smell.

Using the Right Detergent

The choice of detergent plays a crucial role in eliminating odors from your dog’s blankets. A specially formulated laundry detergent designed for pet odors is ideal. When washing your dog’s blanket, you may also include an oxy booster or borax to increase the effectiveness of the washing process. Remember not to mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar with the detergent, as it can lead to harmful chemical reactions.

Adjusting Wash Settings

Select the appropriate wash settings for optimal results. Use the highest water temperature setting safe for the fabric of your dog’s blanket, as hot water helps in killing germs and removing stubborn smells. Additionally, choose the heavy-duty or bulky wash setting for maximum agitation and thorough cleaning.

Adding a Fabric Softener

Integrating a fabric softener in the washing process can help in neutralizing lingering odors. However, it is essential to choose a softener that doesn’t harm your pet’s skin. You can opt for natural fabric softeners, such as white vinegar or baking soda, to eliminate the dog smell effectively.

Remember to check the fabric care instructions on your dog’s blanket before trying any new detergents, softeners, or wash settings. With these effective washing techniques, your dog’s blanket will be fresh and clean, leaving you with a happy and odor-free household.

Post-Washing Strategies

After you’ve successfully washed your dog’s blanket to remove odors, there are some additional post-washing strategies that can further help keep your blankets as fresh as possible. This section focuses on two main subsections: Thorough Drying and Storing the Blankets. Implementing these strategies will ensure you’re doing the best to keep your dog’s blanket smelling fresh for a longer time.

Thorough Drying

Proper drying of dog blankets is essential in keeping them odor-free. Wet or damp blankets can easily develop musty odors and provide an ideal breeding environment for bacteria and mold.

  • Hang the blanket in the sun: Sunlight has natural deodorizing and sanitizing properties. Hanging your dog’s blankets out to air dry in the sun not only helps remove any lingering odors but also kills bacteria and germs.
  • Perfumed drying sheets: When using a dryer, make sure to toss in a perfumed dryer sheet. This will help add a pleasant scent to your dog’s blankets and make them feel fresh and clean.
  • Pro Tip: Remember, drying your dog’s blanket until it’s completely dry will help prevent the growth of mildew and mold, which can contribute to unpleasant smells.

Storing the Blankets

How you store your dog’s blankets can also impact their overall odor. Follow these tips to ensure that your blankets aren’t absorbing any unnecessary smells while in storage:

  • Use vacuum-sealed bags: Storing your clean dog blankets in vacuum-sealed bags helps to maintain their freshness and prevents them from absorbing any odors from their surrounding environment. These bags are especially useful if your storage area is prone to unpleasant smells.
  • Air circulation: If vacuum-sealed bags aren’t your thing, make sure that the storage area has good air circulation. This will help dissipate any residual odors and prevent musty smells from developing in the blankets.
  • Store away from the dog: As much as our furry friends love their blankets, they can also be the primary carriers of odor. Store the blankets in a separate area, away from your dog’s sleeping or playing area, to minimize the chance of them absorbing any dog-related odors.
  • Rotation: It’s a good idea to rotate your dog’s blankets regularly. Keep a few clean blankets on-hand, and switch them out periodically. This will make it easier to maintain the freshness of each blanket, as they’re less likely to develop a strong odor if used for shorter periods.

By implementing proper drying and storing methods, you can help to preserve the cleanliness and freshness of your dog’s blankets, making sure they remain free from unpleasant odors over time.

Preventing Future Dog Smell

eliminate the odor of dogs from blankets

Regular Grooming

One of the most effective ways to prevent dog smell in blankets is to groom your dog regularly. Proper grooming not only keeps your pet looking and smelling fresh, but it also reduces the amount of hair and dander that ends up on bedding. Be sure to:

  • Brush your dog at least once a week, even more for heavy shedders.
  • Bathe your dog every 4-6 weeks, using a pet-friendly shampoo.
  • Clean their ears regularly, as this can be a source of unpleasant odors.
  • Trim their nails as needed, since dirt and odor can accumulate under and around them.

Incorporating regular grooming into your pet care routine ensures that both your dog and their blankets stay smelling fresh.

Maintaining a Consistent Cleaning Schedule

Another way to keep your dog’s blankets from smelling is by establishing a consistent cleaning schedule. A clear routine for washing and maintaining your dog’s bedding minimizes odor buildup. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Wash your dog’s blankets once a week, or more often if the smell is particularly strong.
  • Use pet-specific laundry detergent when possible, as these detergents are formulated to combat pet odors.
  • Air-dry blankets outside when possible, as the sun’s UV rays can help eliminate lingering odors.
  • Use a deodorizing spray in between washes to maintain freshness.

By sticking to a reliable cleaning routine and attending to your dog’s grooming needs, you’ll be able to prevent future dog smells from infiltrating your blankets and home.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions

When it comes to getting rid of that pesky dog smell from blankets, there are various alternative cleaning solutions available. In this section, we’ll cover both DIY methods and enlisting professional help, so you can choose the best course of action for your situation.

Using DIY Methods

If you’re feeling up for some “do-it-yourself” solutions, there are several effective methods to try. Who knows, you may even find your inner cleaning guru!

  1. Baking soda: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the smelly area and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up. Alternatively, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it to the affected areas, and wipe it away after it dries.
  2. Lemon juice: As a natural pet odor neutralizer, lemon juice can help eliminate dog smells from blankets. Apply fresh lemon juice to the blanket and set it aside for a bit before washing in a regular cycle.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide: Mix a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, then soak the smelly blanket for about 30 minutes. Afterward, wash it as usual. Note: Test this solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the blanket first, as it may cause discoloration.
  4.  Deodorizing sprays: Commercial or homemade deodorizing sprays can also help reduce dog odors. Apply the spray as directed, ensuring to follow all safety precautions.
  5. Vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, then spray the solution onto the affected areas of the blanket. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wash the blanket as usual. Vinegar is known for effectively neutralizing odors.

Enlisting Professional Help

In cases where the dog smell feels too overwhelming or stubborn, you may consider enlisting the help of professionals:

  1. Cleaning services: Many local cleaning services offer pet odor removal solutions, which may include deep cleaning and specific techniques tailored to removing pet odors from household items like blankets.
  2. Ozone machines: Some professional cleaning services use ozone machines to help remove pet odors. An ozone machine generates ozone gas, which reacts with and neutralizes various odor-causing molecules.

Remember, keep those blankets smelling fresh; both you and your furry friend will appreciate it!


In conclusion, getting rid of dog smell from blankets can be a straightforward process if you utilize the right methods and materials. By combining natural remedies like baking soda and white vinegar with specialized laundry detergents and deodorizing sprays, you can effectively eliminate those stubborn odors.

One popular and effective solution is washing your blankets in the washing machine with a cup of white vinegar along with your regular detergent. Not only does vinegar help neutralize odors, but it’s also an excellent antibacterial agent.

For a more natural approach, try using baking soda, which boasts fantastic odor-absorbing properties. You can either sprinkle baking soda on your blankets and leave it overnight or mix it with lemon juice for added odor-neutralizing effects. Don’t forget that sunshine and fresh air are your friends too; hanging your blankets out to dry in the sun can work wonders for reducing dog smells.

In case your blankets still retain some odor after trying the above techniques, consider using specialized laundry detergent specifically designed for pet odors or giving your blankets a soak in a hydrogen peroxide solution for extra deodorizing power.

Remember, maintaining a clean environment for your pets includes regular baths for your dogs and frequently washing their blankets or bedding. This will not only help keep unwanted smells at bay but also contribute to your dog’s overall health and happiness.

Armed with these simple yet effective tips and tricks, you can now confidently share your home and blankets with your furry friends, all while keeping those dog smells under control. Happy cuddling!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to eliminate dog odor from bedding?

To eliminate dog odor from bedding, wash the blankets with a mixture of laundry detergent, baking soda, and white vinegar. Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide or a specially formulated pet odor eliminator shampoo. Hanging the bedding outside to air out and allowing it to dry in the sun can also help remove the smell.

What is the best method to remove pet scent from the couch?

The best method to remove pet scent from the couch is to use a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and a fabric-safe pet odor eliminator spray. Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda onto the couch and let it sit for a few hours to absorb the smell. Then, vacuum the couch thoroughly and apply the vinegar and pet odor eliminator spray. Allow the couch to air dry before using it again.

How can we deodorize blankets without laundering?

To deodorize blankets without laundering, you may use a fabric-safe deodorizing spray, sprinkle some baking soda on them and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming, or hang them outside on a sunny day to air out and absorb fresh air. A garment steamer can also be used to freshen up and remove odors from blankets.

What factors contribute to maintaining freshness after washing?

To maintain freshness after washing, make sure to thoroughly rinse all soap and detergent from the fabric, use a fabric softener or dryer sheets, and allow the blankets to fully dry in the sun or a well-ventilated area. Additionally, store the blankets folded in a dry, cool place, and use a vacuum-sealed storage bag if possible to keep them smelling fresh.

Which products effectively neutralize dog odor in fabrics?

Some effective products to neutralize dog odor in fabrics include baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar, oxy boosters, borax, and commercial pet odor eliminators. A combination of these products may be used depending on the type and strength of the odor.

What are some effective techniques for cleaning dog scent from carpets?

For cleaning dog scent from carpets, start by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and dander. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the carpet and let it sit for a few hours to absorb the smell. Vacuum the carpet again and apply a commercial pet odor eliminator or a vinegar and water-based solution to the surface. Allow the carpet to air dry before walking on it. In case of severe odor, consider using a steam cleaner or hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.