How to Clean a Dog Crate

By Jo Chester

Dog owners typically use two different styles of crate: rigid plastic and heavy-gauge wire. Most crates are designed to be easy to clean and care for, requiring only a bit of mild soap and water to clean. However, both common styles require a bit of specialized care.

Rigid Plastic Crates

Dog sitting in crate

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The rigid plastic crate, also called the airline-style crate, can be cleaned using a spray bottle filled with a 10 percent solution of mild dish detergent and water. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners, as they smell like the dog’s own urine and will encourage more messes in the crate. Spray the crate interior with the solution and allow it to soak into heavily soiled areas. Wipe away the solution with paper towels, a washcloth or a towel. Repeat as needed until the soil is removed and rinse with water until the remaining soap residue is gone. This kind of crate occasionally needs to be taken apart, so the seam between the upper and lower part of the crate can be cleaned.

Heavy-Gauge Wire Crates

Dog resting in crate

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Wire crates can be cleaned with the same solution used for plastic crates. Usually only the plastic tray at the bottom of the crate needs to be washed clean. The wire exterior of the crate can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. The wire should be washed only if severely soiled. Dry the wire carefully if it gets wet, to ensure it doesn't rust.