Dog tags experience a lot of wear and tear, and can quickly collect dirt, grime, and grease. If tags become too dirty, they will not be readable and won't serve their purpose. Be sure to wash your dog's ID tag often to keep it in decent shape.
Handcrafted Custom Wood Dog Tags
Dome: Made of glass, the dome can be wiped with a soft cloth and gentle cleanser. An alcohol swab also works great.
Wood Casing: Wipe clean with a soft, damp towel when needed. Submerging in water is not recommended.
Brass or Stainless Steel Tags
Soak the ID tag. In a medium-sized bowl, mix 2 cups of warm water with one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Gently remove the dog tag from your dog's collar and place it in the bowl. Let it soak for several minutes. Then, dip a regular, non-abrasive sponge into the cleaning mixture. Scrub the tag gently until it looks clean and the shine returns. Rinse the tag.
After cleaning, check the ID tag to see if the engraved lettering is legible. If there is still dirt caught in the tiny engraved lettering, use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the letters until they are clean. Rinse away any debris.
Dry the dog tag by patting it with a soft cloth or paper towel. Let it sit for an additional 5-10 minutes to ensure that it is dry. Reattach the tag to the dog collar.
There are many ingredients to choose from to polish your dog ID tag with. For a simple option, purchase stainless steel or brass polish (available in most department stores). Otherwise, opt for natural ingredients:
- Use ketchup to polish brass tags.
- Use olive oil to polish stainless steel tags.
- Use a paste of lemon juice and baking soda for both brass and stainless steel.
First, choose your cleaning agent. Next, put 2-3 drops or dabs of your chosen polish onto a soft, damp cloth. Then, gently rub the cloth over the surface of the dog tag. Continue until the tag is shiny. Once the tag is shiny, wipe it clean. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off any residual polish on the tag. Finally, wipe dry with a paper towel.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing materials to clean brass or stainless steel, which can leave scratch marks on the surface.
To prevent damage, never use chlorinated products on stainless steel.
Enamel Dog Tags
Front Enamel Surface: Use a soft cloth damp cloth and a little bit of dish soap. Rub lightly until any dirt or grime is washed away. If needed, you can apply more pressure.
Back Plating: As with any metal, the plating may appear tarnished over time. If the tarnishing is mild, sometimes just rubbing it off with your fingers will sort it out, as the oil from your fingers can remove the tarnished layer. However, if the tarnishing is heavier, then you can use silver polish and soft cotton cloth to shine it right back up, again.