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How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying – Safe Pet Care

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With the vacation coming to an end, I will need to take care of everyday tasks, such as cleaning up my pet and the pet carrier used for the trip. So, how to clean my pet carrier after flying becomes the question of the day.

Cleaning a pet carrier after a flight is simple. Let’s look at clean, safe pet care so you can keep your pup’s cage spotless and odor-free.

Why Cleaning My Pet Carrier Is Important

We clean our house and car regularly to maintain a clean environment for ourselves. So why not keep the temporary home for our pets clean as well? We use the pet case or bag to transport our fur baby; keeping it squeaky clean and odorless is healthy for the pet and humans.

It is important to clean a pet carrier regularly, and the best time to do this is immediately after returning from a trip. Neglecting this task can take significantly more time or even be forgotten altogether.

And before you ask, “how to clean my pet carrier after flying,” let’s first talk about what cleaning supplies I will need.

How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying – Cleaning Supplies

Okay, so I will need a clean old towel, scrub brush/brand new toilet brush, soap or detergent, disinfecting solution or bleach, a spray bottle, and a bucket of warm water to clean my pet carrier. And now that I have the list of cleaning supplies, let’s dive into the six easy steps of how to clean my pet carrier after flying:

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How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying – 6 Easy Steps

If I wash my pet carrier, I don’t call it cleaning. If I douse it with lots of water, it won’t remove the hardened dirt debris on and around the pet carrier. It only washes out the soft dirt debris. Proper cleaning tools and products help remove stubborn dirt and foul odor.

Follow these six easy steps on how to clean my pet carrier after flying:

Empty The Pet Carrier

The first step on how to clean my pet carrier after flying is removing everything inside the pet carrier. Everything includes a bed cover, feeding and water bowls, a blanket, and pet toys. If the pet carrier has removable parts, I take them out, too. But I don’t just remove them. Instead, I wash, clean, and dry them all separately.

Scrub The Carrier Inside And Out

Scrub the carrier with soap and water. I scrub harder if the pet carrier has accumulated hardened grime or dirt on the pet carrier’s exterior, the floor, and the sides. I must meticulously do this step on how to clean my pet carrier after flying because if I don’t get all the grime and dirt out, the pet carrier may not be completely clean and odor-free. 

Sanitize And Disinfect

Step 3 on how to clean my pet carrier after flying will ensure that my pet carrier is free of germs or bacteria. First, I spray a pet-safe disinfecting solution throughout the carrier’s interior and exterior. Then, I leave it soaked for 15 minutes to let the chemicals do their work.  

Rinse Thoroughly

After soaking the pet carrier with the disinfecting solution, rinse thoroughly. Next, I use a water hose to douse the pet cage to remove dirt on the pet carrier. Then I rinse again to ensure no disinfectant or chemical residues remain on any part of the pet carrier.

Note that this 4th step on how to clean my pet carrier after flying requires rinsing the pet carrier multiple times to ensure that no harmful chemical residue stays on any part of the pet carrier.

Towel And Air Dry

I use an old towel to pat dry and absorb the excess water in the carrier. Then I leave it open to dry for 10 to 20 minutes. Remember, only store the pet carrier when it is completely dry.

Put Everything Back In the Carrier Clean And Dry

The last step on how to clean my pet carrier after flying involves putting everything back in the pet carrier. But before I do that, I make sure that I wash and clean them well. Then, I put them back only after the bed cover, bedding, feeding dish and water bowl, pet toys, and other carrier removable parts are completely dry. Only put dry items back in the pet carrier to prevent mold formation.

Other Safe Pet Care And Cleaning Tips

  1. Bleach is an excellent disinfectant – dilute ¾ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. 
  2. I avoid tea tree oil and eucalyptus essential oil because they will leave a residue that can harm my pet. 
  3. Vinegar and baking soda are also excellent stain and odor removers.  
  4. Do not use ammonia because it has the same smell as urine. In addition, pets are likely to mask the odor with their urine, making it a useless cleaning solution. 
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How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying If It Looks Clean?

Like you, I want my fur baby to be healthy and protected from germs, bacteria, or viruses that will cause disease. But, unfortunately, if my pet carrier accumulated dirt and grime while we were on vacation, and I didn’t attend to it right away, I might forget about it. And without realizing it, my pet carrier is already a nesting place for parasites.

That’s why it’s very critical that I wash my pet carrier as soon as possible, even if it looks clean on the outside. Then, I just have to remember the easy “how to clean my pet carrier after flying” steps, and my pet will be out of harm’s way.

I might not know it during the flight, but my fur baby may have pooped and urinated in the carrier, leaving an unpleasant smell. And because I don’t want my pup to keep the stench any minute longer, I need to clean my pet carrier right away. Besides, my dog may not like getting inside the pet cage if it doesn’t smell good and clean. So, in this case, how to clean my pet carrier after flying remains the next best thing to do.

Aside from being gross, I don’t want my fur baby to contract a disease. And a dirty pet carrier can be a reason for that. Hence, ensuring the pet carrier is tidy and smelling good will ensure my pet remains healthy and illness-free.  

FAQs How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying

Here are the questions frequently asked by people about How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying.

How do you sanitize a pet carrier?

A disinfectant is the best way to sanitize your pet carrier and protect it from germs or bacteria. Mix ¾ cup of bleach with a gallon of water if you don’t have a commercial disinfectant. 

Can you wash a pet carrier?

Yes. You can wash the pet carrier along with all the things in it. Use soap and warm water and scrub thoroughly to remove the dirt on the pet cage. After washing, use a disinfectant to spray all over the carrier to sanitize the pet carrier thoroughly. 

How do you get the smell out of a pet carrier?

I can use a sanitizer and disinfecting solution to neutralize and remove the bad smell to clean my pet carrier after flying. How about baking soda? Will it do the trick as well? Spread it on the carrier’s floor and pet bedding and leave it for a few minutes. Then, vacuum the powder so your fur baby will not accidentally sniff any residue. Another effective odor eliminator is vinegar. Dilute vinegar with some water, mix it with baking soda, and spray the solution on the smelly pet carrier.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on Accessories, here are some additional posts about Accessories:

How To Clean My Pet Carrier After Flying – Conclusion

I always try to practice safe pet care, including cleaning my pet carrier after returning from a trip or every time it gets soiled and dirty. And not only the pet cage or carrier. I also wash and clean everything before I put them back inside the pet case – the blanket, bed cover, food and water bowls, pet toys, and even the removable parts of the pet carrier.

Keep your pet clean and smelling good. Keep the carrier as clean and as fresh-smelling as possible. That’s what I always do, and my fur baby and I cannot be any happier.

Happy travels, my friends.

Photo of author

Laura Fuller

Hello, I am a luggage and travel fanatic. With a vast knowledge of TSA regulations, I am here to assist you on your journey. Please join me, and together, we will navigate the world of travel. From TSA and air to cruising the high seas, we will explore the best accessories and tips for smooth travel.

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