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Shampoo usage

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  • Shampoo usage

    I work by myself at a small animal shelter as the only groomer. I've never worked with another groomer so I try to find as much advice off this website as possible- and I have learned a lot.
    I have switched to using Grimenator shampoo (I've had this problem with others however). I've been doing many large big and hairys lately and am finding that I sometimes can't get a clean smell after I'm done shampooing some of these double coated dogs. I dilute my shampoos correctly- into 32 oz spray bottles (like you'd use for hosuehold cleaning, etc) and I will go through a whole spray bottle on, say, a husky (over 2 shampooings) and still not get a real good lather. It seems like I'm using an awful lot of shampoo. The shelter has a tub with a regular faucet (not the best water pressure.) The sprayer that I have- I think they call it a rain wand. I don't know if I'm not thoroughly wetting down the dog?
    There's no way I can afford a hydrosurge system or anything like it. Isn't something like that suppose to be great at penetrating the thick coat on some of these dogs?
    Walmart has this thing for pet owners- it's like a sprayer that you can put your own shampoo in and it dispenses it into the water stream. It's like 25 bucks (this is more like my budget- I really don't have the money to spend on upgrades like I'd like to). But I'm wondering if this would work for me?

  • #2
    Are you using a SPRAY bottle or a SQUIRT bottle? Because a spray bottle is not going to be as good as a squirt bottle as getting that shampoo on the dogs.

    Another thing is this: The less lather there is, I've found, the DIRTIER the dog is. I ALWAYS shampoo every dog twice. The first shampoo is quickly rinsed (I don't rinse it very well the first time), and then I shampoo again, soak while cleaning ears, etc), and then rinse VERY well.

    I use a mixing bottle that is made for 20/1 dilution ratio. My shampoos are made for 24/1 dilution ratio but to me that is for a weekly groom dog, not a monthly or more. So don't dilute it quite so much, and bathe the dog twice. I promise it doesn't take that much longer.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate


    • #3
      i know when i worked at petsomething, they use ryans pet supply brand, the shampoo called mandarin orange, or orange something.. omggg that gets the dogs sooooo clean and kills fleas too. try that!! the almond shampoo, same brand, is reallllly good also!


      • #4
        hm...maybe try just using straight shampoo? i know the last place i worked we just used the straight shampoo...and the most used shampoos (plum silky and dirty dog) 1 gal would last about 2 months. we used straight shampoo, never diluted any (i found once it was diluted it was a PITA to use! it was TOO watered down then! this might work for your big hairys that your doing...i know huskys its a huge pain to get them wet down to the skin...sometimes you have to literally soak one area and then shampoo that up and then move on down the line of the body parts lol. maybe try a little straight shampoo and see if that works for ya.


        • #5
          While on a budget what you can use for a good spray to get into the fur on the big hairys is go to walmart and get an ortho weed sprayer (10$) , the kind that attaches to the end of a hose, put in the pre-diluted shampoo and turn to 2-3 ounces on the dial, you can use most of a sprayer and you only use 3-4 squirts of shampoo. If you use a quick connect on the hose (2$-4$) you can easily attach and unattach the sprayer and your rinse handle. Works great!! It bumps up the pressure, you don't have to pre-wet, and the soap and water get right to the skin first time.


          • #6
            After you follow spikey and others advice....

            Try a final rinse of vinegar. Then rinse with water. I use white vinegar ferom Costco, very affordable. It leaves black dogs very shiney and gets all the soap out. Great when you don't have good water pressure.


            • #7
              Ok a few things popped out at me.

              1. you said you used a spray bottle? I'm thinking that is going to be a bad delivery system. You can get the squirt bottles from the pet edge catalog with dilution numbers on them for just a couple dollars. Id get those.

              2. I know Grimeinator is 32 to 1 but on big hairy dirty dogs I always make it stronger. I wouldn't use it or any other dilutable shampoo straight as someone suggested just because its a waste and a ***** to rinse, but you can definitely make it stronger. Maybe experiment with 16 or 20 to 1 on very dirty hairy dogs.

              3. Always, Always give 2 baths. One bath does not get a dirty dog clean. One bath on a big hairy dog probably wont even get down to the skin. I cant stress enough the importance of doing 2 baths. I even do 2 baths on clean dogs.

              4. If you have a particularly stinky dirty dog, once the dog is all soaped up, let the soap sit on it for 5 mins or so. Cant hurt right?

              5 Use a nice conditioner. You should be conditioning the big hairy fluffy dogs anyway but besides making their coats nice, most conditioners smell great and leave a lasting scent! My favorite is the Eqyss Premier conditioner. My clients always tell me their dog smells great for days after using that.

              Hope this helps.. Believe it or not, bathing is one of the harder parts of doign a good grooming. In grooming school we had an entire MONTH of just bath and brush out with no clipping.

              PS. Id stick with the Grimeinator too.


              • #8
                A couple of quick thoughts....

                Firstly, try applying the diluted shampoo directly to the dog's coat without wetting the dog first. Once you get a good base into the coat, spray some water onto the dog to get it sudsing. This will help you to cut the grease and the grime.

                Secondly, I am thinking that if you noticing that the double coated breeds are the ones not smelling so fresh, it is probably because you are not getting the under coat out. Try this: Once you get the the dog soapy, work the suds through with all of your undercoat tools. I start with a rake, I move to my slicker brush and then finally I comb the dog out. I do all of this while the dog is still wet and sudsy during the first bath. I rine the dog out, not completely, but well and then do a second shampooing. Hopefully this will make a difference for you.


                • #9
                  best shot!!!!!

                  Have you tried using best shot shampoo products? You can get them at petedge or They are the only thing I'll use on my double coated dogs. It has an amazing minty smell and get's them soooo clean. It also releases all that undercoat and makes brushing and shaving (if requested) a snap!. It will cut your time in 1/2 at least. Definitely worth the investment!


                  • #10
                    Build a machine

                    On the old site you will find instructions for building a recirculating bather. It's basically a sump pump, some hose, connectors and a nozzle (I used an end cap for the hose and had my hubby drill holes in it). Get a handy volunteer at the shelter to build you one- it will cost less than $100 and will pay itself back in time and shampoo in no time. I can't even imagine washing big hairies by hand- how long does that take you?



                    • #11
                      well basically why i said to try it straight up is this. first shop i worked at used tropiclean shampoo. diluted it into a shampoo machine. i remember having to fill that thing up sometimes twice a day JUST to do 25 dogs! i used MORE shampoo when it was diluted because it wasnt getting the dogs clean! i would do two baths on most of the using straight up shampoo...even on the bigger dogs...we had a pump we just stuck into the shampoo gallon and then pumped what we needed (normally about 1 to 1 1/2 pumps for smallerish dogs and no more than 3 or 4 for the big hairys) (even a dane would only get about 2 or 3 pumps of shampoo). we'd wet the dogs down, pump the shampoo into our hands, apply to the dog, lather them up, add a little more water if it wasnt lathering well (normally the hair wasnt wet enough) and then scrub scrub scrub! then rinse really well and the dog was clean. the last groomer i worked for was really anal about the feet being CLEAN. she didnt want smelly feet at all. after i was done scrubbing those feet they didnt smell. at all. now i took my dog to a self serve dog wash earlier this month. she handed us a bottle of diluted shampoo. it was maybe...4 or 5 inchs high. i used probably the whole bottle (maybe not even 1/2 inch left in the bottom) just on my dog (hes about 70 lbs and a little shorter than a lab). i wasnt able to scrub his feet very well because i feared running out of shampoo! next time ill just bring my own shampoo...but using straight shampoo isnt going to kill anyone to use it. its not a huge waste of money if your ONLY using straight shampoo on the big hairys that you feel you arent getting clean.
                      maybe it will work maybe not.
                      good luck


                      • #12
                        Maybe it was just me.. but I'd never expect 32 oz of diluted shampoo to thoroughly wash a dog 1 time, much less two.

                        In school I used 3/4 gallon washing a lab (not nearly as much coat as a husky!). That was between 2 baths.. now granted I was fairly inexperienced and probably didn't need quite that much.. but I'd guess a half a gallon with the poor and scrub method.

                        If you really want to save money, you really need to spend some on some sort of bathing system. It might take 6-12 months to pay for it's self depending on how many dogs you do.. but once you've paid for the machine, you'll continue saving $.

                        Figure out the math.. say you buy a system for $300.

                        If shampoo costs $50/gallon, and it cuts the shampoo you use to half..

                        After you go through 6 gallons of concentrated shampoo, the system has paid for it's self (keep in mind it takes as long to go through 6 gallons as what it previously did to go through 12).

                        Not to mention the systems really cut the time down in bathing the dog.. and the shear effort

                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          great input

                          thanks for all the input first off.
                          Well I do use spray bottles but I always end up screwing the top off for larger dogs and pouring it on (my hands would get awfully tired spraying a whole bottle of shampoo in one shot.) I do shampoo twice, always. I will try diluting my shampoo less as many of you suggested.
                          Also I might try the ortho sprayer idea that ruggins suggested. Cheaper alternative to the pet sprayer i was gonna buy- I never thought about that.

                          Also, I have heard a lot of good opinions on products like best shot and tropiclean that was mentioned. I order from petedge every couple of months or so (and it is that time), so I may order a smaller bottle of a couple different things and see how that works for me also.


                          • #14
                            Two things:

                            First leave the second shampooing on for 5 minutes.

                            Second, after you completely rinse the dog, dillute some fragrance (we use pet silk's clean scent) 5 part water, 1 part cologne and either spray over coat or ad to clean water and use with bathing system (we use bathing beauty). The dogs will smell cleaner and it will last longer than just spritzing after the groom.