how do i clean a mesh dog harness
how do i clean a mesh dog harness

Looking to keep your furry friend’s harness looking and smelling fresh? Look no further! Cleaning a mesh dog harness is a simple and easy task that can be done in just a few steps. Whether your pup has been rolling around in the mud or simply needs a refresh, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning a mesh dog harness, ensuring that your pet stays comfortable and clean on all their walks and adventures. Say goodbye to dirt and odors, and hello to a pristine, happy pooch! Cleaning a mesh dog harness is an essential part of maintaining your furry friend’s comfort and hygiene. With regular cleaning, you can keep the harness looking fresh and odor-free, ensuring that your dog remains happy and healthy. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning, drying, disinfecting, dealing with odors, removing stains, maintaining, and even replacing a mesh dog harness.


Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. This will save you time and ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips. You will require a gentle detergent, a soft brush or sponge, a basin or sink, and access to clean water. Additionally, make sure to remove any accessories or attachments, such as bells or charms, that may be attached to the harness. This will prevent them from getting damaged during the cleaning process.

Cleaning the Mesh Dog Harness

There are multiple methods you can use to clean a mesh dog harness, depending on your preference and the level of dirtiness. Here, we will discuss two main methods: the handwashing method and the machine washing method.

Handwashing Method

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, the handwashing method is a great option. Start by filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and adding a small amount of gentle detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds. Place the harness into the soapy water and use a soft brush or sponge to scrub away any dirt or stains. Pay special attention to the straps and buckles, ensuring they are thoroughly cleaned. Once all areas are scrubbed, rinse the harness under clean water until the water runs clear. Squeeze out any excess water gently.

Machine Washing Method

If the care label on your mesh dog harness allows for machine washing, this can be a convenient option. Before tossing the harness into the washing machine, make sure to secure all buckles and straps to prevent tangling or damage. It’s best to use a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water and a small amount of gentle detergent. To protect the harness from getting snagged or stretched, consider placing it inside a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase. Once the washing cycle is complete, take the harness out and inspect it for any remaining dirt or stains. If necessary, you can repeat the process or move on to spot cleaning.

Spot Cleaning

For minor stains or dirt, spot cleaning can be an effective method. Use a soft brush or sponge and apply a small amount of gentle detergent directly to the stain. Gently scrub the area in a circular motion until the stain is lifted. Rinse with clean water and pat dry with a towel. This method can also be used for regular touch-ups between more thorough cleanings.

Drying the Mesh Dog Harness

Once the mesh dog harness is clean, it’s important to properly dry it. This will prevent moisture buildup, mold, and unpleasant odors. There are two main methods for drying a mesh dog harness: hang drying and using a drying machine.

Hang to Air Dry

The simplest and most common method of drying a mesh dog harness is by hanging it to air dry. Find a well-ventilated area, such as a clothesline or a shower rod, and hang the harness to allow air circulation. It’s important to ensure that the harness is fully extended to retain its shape during drying. It typically takes a few hours for a mesh harness to completely dry, depending on the weather conditions.

Use a Drying Machine

If time is of the essence or you prefer a faster drying method, using a drying machine can be a convenient option. Before placing the harness in the dryer, make sure to secure all straps and buckles to prevent tangling or damage. Use a low heat setting and avoid over-drying. Check the harness periodically to ensure it’s not overheating or becoming damaged. Once dry, remove it from the dryer and give it a gentle shake to release any lingering moisture.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While drying the mesh dog harness, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight exposure can cause the fabric to fade or become brittle over time. Additionally, excessive heat can damage the integrity of the mesh material. Always choose a shaded area or indoor space for drying to keep your harness in top condition.

Disinfecting the Mesh Dog Harness

Disinfecting the mesh dog harness is crucial to eliminate bacteria or germs that may have accumulated during use. There are a few different methods you can use to effectively disinfect the harness.

Using a Disinfecting Solution

A simple and effective way to disinfect a mesh dog harness is by using a mild disinfecting solution. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of pet-friendly disinfectant or mild bleach. Submerge the harness and let it soak for a few minutes. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by the disinfectant manufacturer for appropriate dilution and contact time. After the soaking period, rinse the harness thoroughly under clean water to remove any residue. Ensure that the harness is completely dry before allowing your dog to wear it again.

Sunlight Disinfection

If you prefer a more natural approach, sunlight can be a powerful disinfectant. Hang the harness in direct sunlight, ensuring that all areas are exposed. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun have disinfecting properties that can kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Leave the harness in sunlight for a few hours, rotating it occasionally to ensure all sides are exposed. However, it’s important to note that excessive sunlight exposure can also cause fading and damage to the harness. Use this method sparingly, especially on colorful or delicate mesh harnesses.

Dealing with Odors

Over time, your mesh dog harness may develop odors due to regular use and exposure to sweat and dirt. Here are a couple of effective methods to tackle unwanted smells:

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate odors from your dog’s mesh harness. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the harness and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odor molecules, leaving the harness smelling fresh. Once the desired time has passed, shake off the excess baking soda and brush off any residue. Rinse the harness under clean water and dry it thoroughly before use.

Vinegar Solution

Another effective method for eliminating odors is using a vinegar solution. Create a solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar. Place the mesh dog harness in a basin or sink filled with the vinegar solution and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. The vinegar will help neutralize odors and disinfect the harness. After soaking, rinse the harness thoroughly under clean water to remove any vinegar residue. Allow it to dry completely before letting your dog wear it again.

Removing Stains

Stains on a mesh dog harness can be unsightly and may affect its overall cleanliness. Here’s how you can effectively remove stains and restore the harness’s appearance:

Pre-treating Stains

Before washing the harness, it’s important to pre-treat any visible stains. Apply a small amount of stain remover or gentle detergent directly to the stained area. Gently rub the product into the stain using a soft brush or sponge. Allow the pre-treatment to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the fabric. This will help break down the stain and make it easier to remove during the washing process.

Washing with Stain Remover

After pre-treating the stains, proceed with the chosen cleaning method discussed earlier, either handwashing or machine washing. The combination of the stain remover and gentle detergent will work together to lift the stains during the cleaning process. Once washed, thoroughly rinse the harness to ensure all traces of the stain remover or detergent are removed. Inspect the harness and repeat the cleaning process if any stains remain.

Maintaining the Mesh Dog Harness

Regular maintenance is key to ensure that your mesh dog harness remains in good condition and lasts for a long time. Here are some tips to help you keep your harness looking and functioning at its best:

Regular Inspection

Inspect your dog’s mesh harness regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges or loose stitching. Pay special attention to high-stress areas, like the attachment points or buckles. If you notice any damage or weakening of the harness, it’s important to address it promptly. Repairing or replacing the harness can help ensure your dog’s safety and comfort during walks, hikes, or other activities.

Storage Tips

When not in use, store the mesh dog harness in a clean and dry area. Avoid leaving it on the ground or in a damp place, as this can lead to mold or mildew growth. Consider hanging the harness on a hook or storing it in a breathable bag to maintain its shape and protect it from dust or dirt. Additionally, it’s important to keep the harness away from sharp objects or other potential hazards that may cause damage.

Replacing the Mesh Dog Harness

No matter how well you maintain and clean your dog’s mesh harness, there will come a time when it needs to be replaced. Here are a few signs that indicate it’s time to invest in a new harness:

Signs of Wear and Tear

If you notice any significant wear and tear on the mesh fabric, such as holes, thinning areas, or tears, it’s a clear sign that the harness is no longer safe for use. Additionally, if the seams are coming apart or the buckles and straps no longer function properly, it’s time to replace the harness. Your dog’s safety should always be the top priority, and using a damaged or faulty harness can put their well-being at risk.

Choosing a New Harness

When choosing a new mesh dog harness, consider factors such as your dog’s size, breed, and activity level. Look for a harness that is comfortable and secure, providing adequate support and control. Additionally, opt for a harness with adjustable straps, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your dog. Take into account the material, quality, and durability of the harness to ensure it lasts through regular use and cleaning.

Additional Tips and Warnings

Here are a few additional tips and warnings to keep in mind while cleaning and maintaining your mesh dog harness:

Consult the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and care label specific to your mesh dog harness. They may provide valuable guidance on cleaning methods, detergents to use or avoid, and proper storage techniques. Following these instructions will help maintain the integrity of the harness and prevent any damage.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning or disinfecting your mesh dog harness, it’s essential to use gentle detergents and pet-friendly products. Harsh chemicals can cause skin irritation for your dog or damage the mesh fabric. Stick to mild detergents, vinegar solutions, or pet-safe disinfectants to ensure the safety and comfort of your furry companion.


Cleaning a mesh dog harness is a simple yet crucial task that promotes your dog’s comfort and overall well-being. By following the methods and tips outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a clean, fresh, and odor-free harness for your furry friend. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain the harness, and don’t hesitate to replace it when signs of wear and tear become apparent. With proper care, your dog’s mesh harness will continue to provide comfort, support, and security for many adventures to come.

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Brian Moore
I'm Brian Moore, a veterinarian with over 10 years of experience. I graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. After graduation, I worked as a general practitioner in a small animal clinic for several years. In 2017, I opened my own veterinary practice, Moore Animal Hospital. I'm passionate about providing compassionate and high-quality care to all animals. I'm skilled in a wide range of veterinary procedures, including surgery, dentistry, and internal medicine. I'm also a certified animal behaviorist, and I take a special interest in helping animals with behavioral problems. In addition to my clinical work, I'm also active in the veterinary community. I'm a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association. I'm also a frequent speaker at veterinary conferences. I'm dedicated to providing the best possible care for my patients and their families. I'm a compassionate and knowledgeable veterinarian who is always willing to go the extra mile. I'm originally from San Francisco, California. I'm married and have two children. I enjoy hiking, camping, and spending time with my family. I'm also a member of the local animal shelter and volunteer my time to help care for homeless animals. I'm excited to continue my career as a veterinarian and help even more animals in need.