an illustration of a man is irritated with his dog collar smell.

How to Clean a Dog Collar Smell – Comprehensive Guide 2023

With an unclean and dirty dog collar, the smell of it turns disgusting as time passes. Does your dog’s collar also smell bad? Do you want to get rid of that smell? You must think it would be a hassle to do so, but let me put forward a solution that will change this tragedy forever.

an illustration of a man holding is nose because of his dog collars smell.

Cleaning your dog’s collar is an act of love, care, and affection for your small or huge furry friend (depending on the size of it). If you are a dog lover like me, I like to term it as a complementary service for my dog on his spa day, where I place cucumber slices on his eye and give him a foot massage (pun intended). Ensuring your dog’s collar is clean will help keep your dog hygienic and be easy on your pocket if you do not want huge doggy doctor bills to pay.

How You Can Clean Your Dog’s Collar Smell

Do not think that I believe paying for your dog’s medical checkup should be overseen, but preventing a blow or cut in an amount is better, in my opinion. So, without any further due, here are a few steps on how you can clean your dog’s collar smell:

Step no. 1

Grab an old toothbrush. This part is essential for cleaning a collar. Make sure you grab an old toothbrush, not your mom’s, like in the movie “Air Bud.” This toothbrush can be of any kind or color, but it should not be falling apart.

an illustration of using a tooth brush to remove dog collar smell.
Step 01

Step no. 2

Use the toothbrush to remove any debris from the collar, any stiff mud or hair, which you can remove using it.

Step no. 3

Grab a bowl with hot water. Make sure that when you collect all these essentials for cleaning, they are exclusively for your dog to maintain good hygiene and for better cleaning results. After you add warm water to a bowl, we move on to:

step 03 to take a hot water in a bowl to clean your dog collar.
Hot Water Bowl

Step no. 4

Add baking soda, vinegar and some dog hair conditioner to the bowl of warm water. Mix this concoction well until you see bubbles forming on the bowl’s surface. You can use the toothbrush from step no 1 to mix it well.

an illustration of putting a baking soda, vinegar and dog hair conditioner to clean a dog collar.

An additional tip for the dog owner

Baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers. It helps remove bacteria from the skin, which removes the bad smell. Baking soda can be used on the body except in intimate areas to get free from the curse of bad body odor caused by excess sweat secreted from your sweat glands. Thank me later for this additional tip for yourself while I benefit your dog.

Step No. 5

When you have created your chemical X for your furry friend’s collar, dip its collar in it and let it sit for ten to twenty (10-20) minutes to soften any debris still on the collar.

Step No. 6

This step is where the magic happens. After the gunk in the collar has been softened, grab the toothbrush you had kept aside and stroke every part of the collar until you see the water dripping off it, turning somewhat brownish. This color represents all the dirt and bacteria leaving your dog’s collar. Ensure you get every part; the more effectively you clean it, the more it will benefit your best friend. Clean the buckle of the collar and inside its holes.

Step No. 7

Rinse the collar with clean water. After brushing away all the gunk from the collar, use fresh running water to clean it. Cleaning different types of collars will also be covered as we progress.

Step No. 8

This is the last step to having a fresh-smelling collar. Drying the collar is also essential because if you let It dry in the sun, it will fade the collar’s color, making it look old and give more of a worn-out look. Let the color dry inside your house, under the fan or in the direction of your air conditioner.

Step no. 9 (optional)

This step is not mandatory, but doing this would be a cherry on top of the hard work you have done in cleaning and washing your dog’s collar. I like to spray a little body mist or perfume on it to make it smell fresh and good, giving it a good smell when your dog runs towards you or when you are simply cuddling with it.

Different Types of Washing Methods for Different Types of Collars

Now there are different types of collars. Let me show you how you can clean and wash.

  1. A leather collar
  2. An electric / shock collar

A leather collar

Leather collars have this majestic and good feel to them. Spending an extra amount on your dog’s collar is unspoken affection. But the test is when you have to keep it clean. To clean a leather collar, you need warm water in a bowl with soap, baking soda and vinegar. As discussed above, baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers and using them will be very effective and beneficial. After you have followed the above-listed steps

  1. Dry brushing it with an old toothbrush
  2. Keeping it in warm water for ten to twenty minutes
  3. Brushing off the softened mud off the collar

You need to grab a clean towel and use it to pat-dry the color of all the water it has absorbed after you have thoroughly done, so you need to use a leather conditioner on the leather collar to make sure it does not dry out and stay moisturized to avoid breakages into the fabric. You can also use perfume to make it smell good and keep it supple and durable.

An electric / shock collar

Now I am no dog expert, but I do not believe in using difficult things like shock collars on poor innocent animals, but there may be ways necessary for using them. When it comes to electric or e-collars, it is good when your dog is a runner, or you are scared of losing your loved one. A GPS (Global Positioning System) collar would be very useful as you can track your dog wherever it goes if, god forbid, he goes missing.

Most GPS or electric collars are waterproof, but immersing them in water could be a good use of money if water seeps into the water insulation system. It may be expensive, but worth it.

To clean the collar, you would need to make sure the electric part of the collar where the motherboard lies is covered with a polythene bag, as that is what I do to ensure that water does not touch it. Then I use the same essentials (toothbrush, warm water, vinegar and baking soda).

 After you have covered it, wash the fabric part of the collar with the toothbrush and rinse it carefully, ensuring the water does not reach the board. Then use a dry and clean towel to wipe off the water from it.

The cherry on Top Tips

There are other methods to clean or wash your dog’s collar; they are:

  1. Tossing it in the washing machine: When washing your clothes, tossing the collar in it will also clean the collar. As the washing machine cleans all your colored clothes, it will also clean the collar. If you have a dryer, it can also be used to dry it off.
  2. Using your dishwasher: If you own a fancy dishwasher, it can also be used to clean your dog’s collar, just put the collar in the washer and let it do all the work for you. The human mind is unique. It is always finding ways to do less work time.

Make it more secure by knowing where to put a tag on a dog collar, so if your furry friend loses its way, it has his name and his home address with him.

Embarking on a Journey: Reflections on My Personal Experience

I prefer cleaning my dog’s collar when I am giving him a bath, where he runs around and splashes all the water on me, technically giving me a bath instead of the other way around. I have the synthetic collar for my dog because it’s easy to clean and makes it hassle-free for me to get things done easily and eventually saves me a lot of time and gets rid of that bad smell.

an illustration of a dog sitting in a bath tub and all the smell is gone from its collar and body.

Dogs that are very active like mine need to be given baths frequently, and their collars must be washed often. While doing so, I make sure I do not use substances or liquids that may cause itchiness or irritation on my dog’s skin; that is the sole reason I use natural ingredients, so my little friend does not have to suffer in any way whatsoever. I love my best friend, and I write this with my heart so all dog owners, even those new to owning one, can know the basics of having a good-smelling dog and a fragrant dog collar. I hope this helps.


You can clean a dog collar that smells by first soaking it in warm soapy water for 15-20 minutes. Then, use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the collar thoroughly, especially in the areas where dirt and grime may have accumulated. Rinse the collar well with clean water and hang it to air dry.

To deodorize a nylon dog collar, you can soak it in a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, rinse the collar well with clean water and let it air dry. You can also sprinkle some baking soda on the collar and let it sit for a few hours before brushing it off and rinsing it with water.

A dog’s collar can smell bad due to a buildup of dirt, sweat, and oils from the dog’s skin and fur. Bacteria can also thrive in these conditions, leading to an unpleasant odor. It’s important to clean your dog’s collar regularly to prevent this from happening.

To clean a smelly leather collar, mix equal parts water and white vinegar and gently wipe the collar with a soft cloth. Avoid soaking the leather in water or using harsh chemicals, as these can damage the material. After wiping the collar, let it air dry and apply a leather conditioner to keep it supple and moisturized.

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