The winter season can get chilly and uncomfortable for animals, prompting pet owners to bring out their furbabies’ best sweaters. While some animals don’t require much help in this department because of their thick fur, some would surely appreciate the extra protection from the cold.

Although it’s more convenient and safer to entrust this to laundry and dry cleaning services, there will be instances where you will need to do it yourself. So let’s go over the steps to keep them clean.

How Often You Should Clean Your Pet’s Sweaters

First, let’s cover one of the basics: how often should you clean your pet’s sweaters? In winter, you’d want to do it regularly. This is the season your pets will be using their garments most often. Prevent any bacteria buildup by ensuring that pet sweaters are always clean.

Conveniently, you can get drop-off laundry service. All you need to do is search for “wash and fold services near me” and schedule a visit or have them pick up your clothing.

Hand Wash vs. Machine Wash

Just like human clothes, there’s no one way to wash all garments properly; it all depends on what type of clothing they are, the materials used, and what kind of dirt you’re dealing with.

A professional laundry service will always be the best way to deal with all kinds of clothing, but there are times when you need to take things into your own hands. Check the label if you are unsure whether it’s safe to machine wash your pet’s sweater. If it doesn’t give you anything to work with, plan your action based on the material used in your pet’s garment.

Is It 100% Polyester?

Polyester is the most common synthetic fiber used in clothing. Because of its durability, most 100% polyester doesn’t demand special care when it comes to washing. You can load them into the washer without any problem.

However, because it’s made from synthetic plastic, some types of polyester don’t do well with heat. For example, if your pet’s sweater is made of Sherpa polyester, you would want to avoid the high-heat drying and opt for the “tumble dry on low” setting instead. Or better yet, you might want to consider hanging the sweater to dry.

Is it Cotton?

Since cotton is the most common natural fiber used in clothing—both for humans and pets—it’s not surprising that our washers’ “normal or regular” settings are dedicated to the material. While it generally doesn’t require extra care, you would want to separate colored and white pet garments. Cooler temperatures (at least 30°C or 86°F) are also perfect for pet sweaters as cold water can prevent sweaters from losing color.

When washing cotton fabric by hand, you want to use mild detergent if you’re unsure. Wash it as you would any other clothing but avoid wringing it too much. This way, you won’t stretch the fabric.

Tips on How to Machine Washing Your Pet’s Sweaters

Use Mesh Laundry Bags to Seal Your Pet’s Clothing

If your pet’s clothes have buttons, zippers, and other accessories that could get detached during the washer cycle, secure the clothes in a mesh laundry bag. This also helps minimize the amount of fur that gets into your washer.

Use the Right Detergent

As much as possible, use colorless, scent-free hypoallergenic detergent. This ensures your pet doesn’t have an allergic reaction when they wear their cute winter sweater. If you can’t find pet-specific laundry products, you can opt to use detergent for sensitive skin. You can also check out detergent for babies.

Clean Your Machine After Every Wash

If you frequently use your washer to wash your pet’s garments, you would want to free it from hair that could destroy your machine.

Removing Stains

The following procedure applies to any kind of stain your pet will inevitably encounter.

What you need:

  1. Basin or tub
  2. Cleaning clothes
  3. Cold and hot water
  4. Cleaning rush
  5. Laundry stain remover
  6. Laundry detergent


  1. Remove excess material. You can scrape the stain with a tool or gloves to get as much poop or foreign matter as possible.
  2. Fill the basin or tub with cold water and pre-soak your pet’s garment for around 30 minutes. This makes removing the stain from your pet’s soiled clothes easier.
  1. Rinse and brush off as much debris as possible. Remove your pet’s sweater from the basin or tub.
  2. Apply the stain remover to the affected area and let it soak for a few minutes, depending on how long the instructions dictate. Use the brush to work the stain remover on the stained area.
  3. Rinse the sweater thoroughly. You will want to remove as much poop or foreign matter as possible before loading it into the washer or starting handwashing.
  4. Wash the sweater by hand or load it into the washing machine. Wash your pet’s garment the way you would wash your clothes, except if it comes with instructions requiring extra or special steps. Never mix and wash it together with unspoiled clothes. The last thing you want is to contaminate other garments.
  5. Rinse and spin. Repeat if needed.

Once you have finished washing your pet’s sweater and are sure it’s free of debris, use the tumble dryer or air-drying. If you are pressed for time, you can do a search for “dry cleaning pick-up service near me.”

How to Remove Odors

You may need to take extra steps if your pet’s garment still smells unpleasant after washing and drying. One way to address this at home is to use baking soda.

Pour ½ to 1 cup of baking soda into a basin half-full of water. Soak your pet’s clothes and make sure that each piece of clothing is fully submerged. Leave the clothes to soak overnight and wash and dry them as usual the next day. If the smell persists, it’s time to bring it to your local laundry service provider.

 The Bottom Line

Cleaning your pet’s favorite garments is often better left to the professionals. Your personal laundry service provider knows the special tricks in keeping your little one’s garments clean and in top shape. But if you need to do it at home, our resources are available to guide you.