I had just spent the entire day cleaning the house — and with a toddler at home, no less. We’d spent hours vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, disinfecting the kitchen, and then finally cleaning the floors. Cleaning the laminate floors had taken the longest. Before I could start, I had to vacuum the rugs and couches and steam-clean them to free them of dog hair. Then I had to move the furniture and sweep; move it again, and mop. For the entire duration of my cleaning session, Eira had waited patiently outside…in the mud-bath that is springtime in Alaska.
Why Would I Need a Mudbuster?
Check out that lake of mud and melted snow. That’s what Eira and I have to deal with every Alaska spring!
I knew the process of prepping Eira to come inside would be tedious. First, I’d have to wet a bath towel enough so it could wipe off her muddy underside. Then I’d have to rinse out the towel and get Eira’s legs and paws clean. After that, I’d have to pick Eira up — and she was heavy by then — and carry her into the freshly cleaned house so that she wouldn’t touch any mud on her way inside. Once inside, I’d set her down on the newly cleaned rug and grab the towel I’d set there to dry her paws off.
But did that whole routine completely get rid of the mud? No! It was so frustrating to watch poor Eira trot across the floor, tracking mud where I’d spent hours cleaning. I couldn’t get mad at her, of course. It was impossible to get the mud off of her enough to keep my house clean for more than a few minutes. At one point in April, I spent time every single day steam cleaning the rugs because they got so muddy and, when the mud dried, caked in dirt. Compare that to summertime, when I steam clean the rugs every two weeks!
Eira says, “I’m sorry for the mud, Mom!” (It’s not your fault, Eira!)
Later on in the spring when it got even muddier, I tried using a dish of water to clean Eira’s paw out. For some reason, she absolutely hated that. She’d inevitably splash water everywhere and flip the dish over, spilling water all over my feet and splattering mud all over the porch and door. Nightmare! I was relieved when things started drying out in Alaska.
Except…things got much too dry. It’s been an exceptionally dry summer this year. For the entire month of August, it did not rain, and fires sprung up everywhere. But finally last week it rained. For three days. And I was extremely grateful for the much-needed moisture. But whenever I put Eira out to go potty, she’d get a bit muddy. I didn’t even think of looking for a dog paw cleaner at a store or online. I had no hint of an idea that such a thing existed. But one day, I was browsing Amazon for cool new dog treats to feed Eira when an advertisement for the Dexas Mudbuster dog paw cleaner popped up.
I clicked the ad. I read a few reviews. And then I promptly purchased a pink Dexas Mudbuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner, size large. When I took it out of the box a few days later, it looked like a yoga mat all rolled up. It’s that big! I’d bought other things along with the Mudbuster so I didn’t realize, at first, what it was. Then, I was surprised at how heavy the thing is. That’s not a bad thing — the weight makes it sturdy and harder for your dog to knock over when you’re cleaning her paws.
My toddler and I check out the Dexas Mudbuster Portable Paw Cleaner. My hand’s on the left, his hand’s on the right. You can see how large the Mudbuster is. It easily fits Eira’s paw. The silicone tentacles are bendy and they’re what clean your dog’s paw.
The inside of the Dexas Mudbuster is filled with silicone bristles that clean your dog’s paw when you put it in. The instructions for the Mudbuster are:
- Fill it with water (it doesn’t say how full, but I found that filling it about halfway works well).
- Put your dog’s paw and leg inside.
- Twist the Mudbuster so that the bristles scrub the dirt off the paw.
- Take the wet paw out and dry it off with a towel.
- Repeat until all paws are clean!
So, does the Mudbuster work? Does it eliminate dirty paw prints all over a newly cleaned floor?
Let’s find out.
Does the Mudbuster Work?
On one rainy day this last week, I got the Mudbuster ready for Eira. I’d put her out to go potty a few minutes earlier, and she was ready to get out of the rain and come inside. I had just swept and lightly mopped my floors.
The Dexas Mudbuster’s half-full of water and ready for Eira! And she is more than ready to come inside.
I brought Eira to the porch for a cleaning session.
Here’s a sequence of Eira using her Dexas Mudbuster.
The paw goes in…
The paw goes down, down, down…
The paw comes out sparkly clean!
The bristles are super soft, so they won’t irritate your dog’s paws. And if you have problems with extra-sticky mud, the bristles are still firm enough to clean that off, especially if you twist the Dexas Mudbuster vigorously.
The only downside I saw was that it was a little difficult at first to get Eira to hold still enough to use the Mudbuster, but she’s gotten used to it because we’ve used it countless times now (it rained all day on Saturday here, so we needed to use it every time we let her out to play or go potty). She even offers up her paw to put it in the Mudbuster! So much better than using an open dish of water.
After wiping her paws dry with a towel that first time, I released Eira into the house, holding my breath. Her paws made faint tracks on the floor, but that was only because they were still damp from getting clean. The paw-prints were clear, not muddy. Success! And the great thing is, even Eira’s legs got cleaned by the Dexas Mudbuster. As you can see in the photo below, the Mudbuster is deep and roomy. If you have a dog that’s around 50 pounds like Eira, you could technically get a medium-sized Mudbuster. But getting a large means you’ll be able to clean more of your dog’s paw.
My toddler sticks his hand inside the Dexas Mudbuster. It’s quite deep!
If you have a small dog, you can get a small or medium Dexas Mudbuster, depending on the length of your dog’s legs. The small Mudbuster is 4.3 inches tall and 3.65 inches wide — for up to a 2-inch paw; the medium is 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide, for up to a 2.5-inch paw; and the large is 8.85 inches tall and 4.75 inches wide, for up to a 3.5-inch paw (which is a huge paw).
The Mudbuster comes in three colors: blue, green, and pink. I wish I’d gotten the green one for Eira because it matches the chair we have on our front porch, and for us, we definitely do store it on the front porch. That’s where Eira comes and goes the most when she goes outside.
If I had known that, I’d have purchased a different color but it’s not a big deal at all.
Recently, my husband said, “I really like that paw cleaner you got Eira.” Out of the blue. Last spring, I asked him all the time to please use a towel to clean off Eira’s paws, but the process was so daunting he only managed to do it half the time, resulting in lots of cleaning up of mud and dirt. But he loves the Dexas Mudbuster. And actually uses it! It’s so easy to use that there’s really no excuse not to.
What if, you might be wondering, the mudbuster gets really dirty and gross? You can always rinse it out with water to get mud and dirt out. All you need to do is unscrew the lid, unroll the bristle mat, and rinse. In fact, I recommend doing this after each time you use it to clean your dog’s paws off. That way you won’t be storing mud inside a paw-cleaner. Once it’s been a week or two or even a few days of extra-heavy use, you can just rinse the Mudbuster out and pop it in the dishwasher for a deep clean. It’s BPA free and completely dishwasher safe!
The Mudbuster is so easy to use that even if you have a younger or potty-training dog who needs to go out often in muddy weather, the Mudbuster will make the task much easier. And as the full product title suggests, you can take it with you anywhere you go.
Happy paw-cleaning, everyone!
Laura Ojeda Melchor grew up with two beloved German shepherd dogs—Clancy and her daughter, Bella. From the time her family brought Clancy home, Laura took on the duty of pooper-scooper and potty trainer. As a teenager Laura helped her mother care for Clancy during her pregnancy. She still remembers fondly the exciting, frigid winter night when the seven special puppies were born. Laura kept the youngest puppy—Bella—and potty trained her, too. She taught Bella important commands, took her for long walks, and spent hours throwing tennis balls for her.
In November, Laura brought home a sweet new puppy, Eira Violet. Eira is half Alaskan malamute and half German shepherd, and Laura loves her deeply. She chose not to use a crate to potty train Eira and was pleasantly surprised at the results. She now has a sweet, energetic dog who always uses the potty outside, plays well with Laura’s toddler, and enjoys long family walks in beautiful Alaska. If you were to meet Eira, she’d bound up to you with a wagging tail and get you running around the yard with her in no time.