How to Get My Maltese Dog's Face Clean

Keep your dog's face clean.
Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

Maltese dogs are known for white, fluffy fur. However, with white fur comes facial staining. Many Maltese owners have issues with tear stains and food stains on their dogs' faces. Not doing anything about your dog’s face stains only makes them worse and harder to fix. Clean your dog’s face properly and make a few changes to your dog’s food and water to help prevent deep staining.

Pour 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide into a bowl. Add enough cornstarch to the bowl to make a thick paste. The cornstarch and peroxide help whiten stained hair.

Put a small amount of the paste on the bristles of a soft toothbrush. Apply the paste to your dog’s face. Avoid getting any of the paste in its eyes. Let the paste dry; then gently rub it off with a clean washcloth. Rinse the face with clean, warm water.

Boil a cup of purified water. Let the water cool down until it's lukewarm. Wet a clean, white washcloth with the water. Apply a dab of whitening shampoo to the washcloth. Gently clean your dog’s face with the washcloth. Avoid getting the shampoo in its eyes.

Dip a fresh, clean white cloth in the lukewarm water. Gently rinse the dog’s face with the cloth until you remove all the shampoo.


  • Get your Maltese a stainless-steel water bowl. Plastic bowls often contain colors and chemicals that cause face staining on Malteses.

    Replace your dog’s regular tap water with purified drinking water. Tap water contains higher levels of minerals that contribute to face stains.

    Tie the long front fur of your dog up and away from the face. Letting the long front fur hang down into your dog’s face makes its eyes tear up, which causes staining. You can also trim the longer fur around the eyes and on the face. Keeping your dog’s face trimmed prevents longer fur around the beard area from getting wet in the food bowl. It also helps reduce the amount of food your dog gets on its face fur.

    Ask your veterinarian about products designed to whiten and clean the staining on a Maltese’s face.

    Switch to dog food and treats that don't contain any added colors. The colors in certain dog foods and treats rub off on the face and stain the fur.


  • Always exercise caution when applying any whitening solutions to your dog’s face. Be extremely careful around the eyes, mouth and nose. If you don't feel comfortable cleaning its face, take your dog to a groomer and discuss other whitening and cleaning ideas.