How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!
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Aww. . .our furry family members. What would we do without these cuties? In return for their unconditional love we tend to their every need, we baby them, we talk to them in high pitched voices (because we think they like it) and we let them get away with some things even our children aren’t allowed to do. Are you with me? I’m guilty as charged.

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!

Meet Belle. Belle came into our family this last February and she just turned 9 months old at the beginning of July. She’s an English Cream Golden Retriever. . . and a complete firecracker. We love her to pieces.

When we brought her home, it was important to set some ground rules around the house right away.

There were certain things I didn’t want her doing that our last golden retriever was famous for. From the beginning, we taught Belle that she was not allowed to:

  • Jump up on guests (or anyone for that matter)
  • Eat people food
  • Jump, climb, lay or sleep on our furniture (including our beds)

We’re also crate training her, so to make her feel at home (since she’s not allowed on our bed), we have an oversize crate that she sleeps in at night (we’ve upgraded since a few months ago) and bought Belle, her very own monkey blanket. She likes monkeys? Well, we think so. She likes the blanket, so that means she must like monkeys, too, right? Right.

So, she takes this blanket everywhere. She sleeps with it at night, she takes it on car rides, and once and awhile, she likes to drag it outside into the front yard with her, too. For those of you who have a pup (or a kitty for that matter) that loves to cuddle up with blankets (even those that are not their own) you’re going to start nodding your head after this next statement. . .after some time, the blankets tend to get. . .well, STINKY. Truth. 

For those of you who may allow your pets up on your bed (we did for our last dog), you may have the same problem with your comforter or duvet. Because let’s face it, when animals are laying on something soft like a blanket or a comforter, they’re in their happy place.

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!

They’re thinking, “Whew, it’s been a day. Thank goodness for this nice, soft, comfy spot to relax. I think I’ll lay right here and clean myself up real good – lick all the dirt out of my fur and paws. This blanket doesn’t taste half bad either, you know? I think I’ll just chew on it awhile – hmmm. . . maybe just hold it here in my mouth. Hey, there’s a piece of one of my favorite treats stuck to the corner over here. Wow, what a good day – WHAT a good day!”

You can only imagine what goes through their fuzzy little minds.

All I know is what goes through mine when I picked up the blanket and got a whiff of that wonderful doggy odor. 

Let’s set the story straight before we get too far along. Belle is really a very clean dog. Belle, herself, does not smell “doggy.” The only time she really smells like a dog is when she’s wet. And all dogs smell like a dog when they’re wet, right? If I’m wrong on this one, let me know, but from my experience, this is the gosh darn truth.

Why am I so caught up about cleanliness? She’s a dog! Yes, she is, but one of my pet peeves (“pet” peeve, get it?) is petting (that may be the most times I’ve said “pet” in a sentence ever) a dog and ending up with a smelly hand. Ick. It just turns me off and I purposely avoid the dog. Which is really sad, because I’m completely and utterly in love with pups. 

I do what I can to make sure Belle never turns anyone’s hand ripe. I use Dry Dog Shampoo on her about once a week and give her a deeper cleaning if she ever gets in a real dirty situation. 

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!

Ummm. . .like that one. Yep, that was a good day (for her). Boy did she have fun (this happens a lot).

Even though I’m pretty meticulous about keeping Belle clean – over time, even the cleanest pets can muster up enough stink to make you turn up your nose. That’s what happened with Belle’s monkey blanket. I held it up to my nose one day and couldn’t believe what I was smelling. I immediately took it to the laundry room and threw it in the washer – then the dryer – with a couple extra dryer sheets. 

When it was dry, I held it up to my nose again. I sniffed even harder and deeper this time. I was so excited to take in that freshly-washed blanket smell. . .but wait, hold on. Something was wrong. I suddenly became disgusted AGAIN. The smell was STILL there! WHAT?!!

Why does this happen? It doesn’t happen with our clothes. What is it about pet smells that just seem to linger? I remember our good friends leaving one of their dogs blankets up at our lake cabin after a nice long holiday weekend. Wow did it stink. Like, fill a room up. . .stink. We put it in a garbage bag, tied it up tight and delivered it as soon as we were able. You know what they ended up doing with it? They threw it out. It was that bad.

So, remembering that incident, and now finding myself in a similar situation, I was on a mission to rid Belle’s monkey blanket of that stubborn doggy smell. Normal laundry detergent and softener just wasn’t cutting it.

I experimented with a few different things before I found the miracle combination – yep, I found it. I finally figured out how to remove pet smells from blankets!

If you’re facing the same stinky dilemma that I was, you best stick around. . . because if you try this, the results are going to blow your mind.

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!

 So here’s what you’re going to need IN ADDITION to your normal laundry detergent:


  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda; WASHING soda)
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar

How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!Instructions

  1. Do a warm water wash and add your detergent to the washer like normal. Throw in the blanket or comforter.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of super washing soda.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide
  4. Fill the softener dispenser with 1/2 cup vinegar. If your washer doesn’t have a dispenser add the vinegar during the last rinse cycle.

That’s it!

When the washer stopped, I went to smell my blanket again. This time, there was no doggy smell! None. Zilch. Nada. I ran to tell Josh right away with the blanket in hand. I stuck it right up to his nose yelling, “Smell this!” He initially resisted because he knew what it smelled like before, but when I explained to him I truly did get the smell out this time, he took a big whiff and was as amazed as I was.

You’re running to gather the ingredients already, aren’t you? Well, you should be! I hope this method works as well for you as it did for us. I am completely amazed, and can’t stop sharing my discovery with my friends!

They’ll be talking to me about a movie they just saw and I’ll just reply with, “Do you have any stinky blankets you need cleaned? Like real stinky? Cause’ I know how to get the smell out!” I’ve become a bit “obsessed.” LOL While I wouldn’t recommend you ask crazy questions like this of your friends, my friends have come to completely understand (they’ve known me awhile) my madness.

So, what are you waiting for? Start filling that washer, grab those smelly blankets and bedding and REMOVE THAT DOGGY STINK!!

Notes: I’ve used the hydrogen peroxide each time I’ve done this and I’ve never had a problem with it discoloring her blanket. The peroxide/washing soda combination basically acts like an oxygen bleach – similar to Oxy Clean that you would buy from the store. I do want to mention, however, that I DID use Oxy Clean in one of my earlier attempts to remove the smells and it was unsuccessful.





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How to Remove Pet Smells From Blankets - Got a stinky blanket that you just can't seem to get the smell out of? This cleaning solution really works!


  1. Ok first your dog is Gorgeous!!! Such a sweetie! I have 2 schnauzers and they are my babies! They do tend to get a little stinky sometimes too. This is a great tip! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is great! I have a Golden Retriever (we think he is mixed with Collie so lots of hair!) and he LOVES the water! The only downside is the smell afterwards… Thank you for the tips since my daughter always puts a blanket on him… Haha. The colour of your dog is beautiful!

  3. This is so super helpful! I always wash our blankets after my in-laws bring their dogs for a visit.

  4. OH MY GOODNESS! Belle is absolutely beautiful! Love this post and love these tips! Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Your doggy is so adorable, Sara! All of that fluffy, white fur is just beautiful on her. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I CANNOT WAIT to try this out! We have an English Bulldog who snuggles on anything she can find; pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, whatever! And she can get pretty stinky. This sounds like the solution I’ve been needing!

  6. Belle is so adorable! Animals really do bring so much joy to families but cleaning up after them can be a hassle. Love the tips here! Perfect for so many applications!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I was wondering if this could work in a top loader? I don’t think my dispenser will hold 3/4 cup of cleaner, plus they would mix right away before ever getting near the clothes. Does it matter if the washing soda and vinegar sit together for a bit? Thanks!

    • Jennifer, my machine is a top loader as well. If you’re concerned about the vinegar mixing right away, just add it during the rinse cycle rather than putting it in the cup for the softener.

  8. tried it, and it came out fresh smelling. the last two comforters had to be thrown away.
    Thank you for sharing

  9. Hi. I have a front loader. Can u tell me where to add the peroxide? Vinegar? Baking soda? Do I just throw these directly into the drum?

    • The peroxide should be added to the detergent dispenser and the WASHING SODA (not baking soda) could be added to the drum. The vinegar should go into the softener dispenser. Good luck!

      • So the regular detergent we use is added to the same place the peroxide goes? So it gets mixed? I initially got it wrong and put the washing soda in the drum, peroxide where detergent goes and vinegar to the fabric softener. It came out ok. Took the sour part of the dog smell out but not all of it. Basically good not great. but I never used detergent. Also are your measurements for a large load? Thanks for any input.

        • I have a top loader, so I put the detergent and peroxide into the drum with the blanket and I put the vinegar in my softener dispenser. When I wash her blanket I normally don’t wash anything else with it, so it’s a pretty small load. If you’re washing a larger load, try doubling the peroxide and vinegar. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  10. Such a great discovery! I will put the dog blankets for washing straightaway! I also have dogs and I know what kind of mess makers there fluffy and adorable doggies are so I am armed with a steam cleaner, Eureka Brushroll vacuum and a doggie bathroom. We spend a lot of time out with the dogs and sometimes after it rains they are very dirty and if you let them in the house like this it could be a disaster! Thanks for the helpful post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi! Do you know if this is OK to do in a high efficiency washer?

  12. Barb Carroll says:

    I have a furry baby the same breed except black. I come home from work -I am a nurse and crawl into bed only to get up and find the frebreze. I’ m ready to retire and getting recipes to make my own cleaning products. I am taking everything off the bed and into the washer.God bless . will be following you.

  13. Thanks Sara for this tip, I knew that baking soda is good to remove pet smells from blankets, but it is better when I use with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar

    • You are so welcome! Yes, the peroxide really is the magic ingredient I think! Some people have also had luck just washing with baking soda, but I think the hydrogen peroxide is a must!

  14. Where do you find the washing soda? We have 3 fur babies…..2 Yorkies and a English Springer Spaniel (he’s 9 months old). I really need to do this!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Debbie! You have your hands full with those fur babies! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find washing soda in the same aisle as laundry detergent. In our local Walmart it is usually by some of the stain fighting products like Oxiclean, etc.

  15. Did this today with my dogs bed and blanket. It certainly worked and I will be washing his stuff this way from now on!!

  16. I hate having blankets that smell like dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog, but she does not smell very good. So, thanks for the tips on getting the smell out. I have never heard of washing soda before, but I will have to try it out.

  17. Jenna jensen says:

    I’m very excited to try this tonight! I had two questions, but the first question about where to put everything in a front loader was already asked and answered! Thank you!

    My second question is on how to dry?

    I have two catahoula leopards (yes, they are dogs!). Both are about 75 pounds and big babies! Aros is 7 and Barbie is 9.5. Barbie has very sensitive skin to chemicals such as Febreze, so I try to keep her stuff as natural as possible which is why I’m excited for your post.

    Thank you!

    • I can’t wait to hear how your blankets turned out, Jenna. In winter I do throw the blankets in the dryer – in summer, I’ll hang them outside on the side of our deck or a clothesline.

  18. Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful
    post. Thanks for supplying these details.

  19. I have 2 Black and Tan Coonhounds and a Bloodhound. They get a good funk going as a pack, but mostly our Bloodhound is the big stinker! I made custom beds out of washable heavy upholstery and couldn’t get the smell out when I washed. I used 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup Oxi Clean, 1/2 cup vodka, 1/4 cup peroxide (in my front loader detergent compartments) and then 1/2 cup vinegar in rinse (fabric softer compartment). Amazing results! Completely smell free when it came out! I freshen up with 1/2 water, 1/2 vodka and a few drops of tea tree oil on beds, chairs, couches, and carpets. Thank you for the wonderful advice.

  20. OMG….thank you so much for this recipe!!! I have two fur babies that like to take over all my blankets and even though they get regular baths they STINK up all my blankets ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. I have washed two loads already and am now washing my towels in the same stuff. Everything smells so fresh!! Now off to bath the fur babies so they smell just as clean!!

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