How to Whiten a Maltese

Don't let tear stains tarnish your pooch's snow-white fur.

Don't let tear stains tarnish your pooch's snow-white fur.

Do you struggle to remember the last time your Maltese’s coat was as snowy white as nature intended? Despite their reputation for persistence, unsightly tear stains don’t have to be a permanent part of your dog’s life. Reclaim your precious pooch’s signature look with a handful of management techniques.

Prevent Tear Stains

Hydrate your pooch with solely purified water. High-quality water is your first line of defense against tear stains. Since regular tap water is full of chemicals and high levels of iron that lead to increased tearing and discoloration, purified water helps keep stains to a minimum. Using a stainless steel bowl to store food and water also helps reduce staining.

Avoid giving your furry friend anything with added coloring. Carefully read the labels on all food and treat products to determine if any dyes have been added. Your pooch’s natural white fur is essentially the absence of color, which is why anything that she ingests with added coloring could potentially stain her fur. Look for high-quality, dye-free food and treats that will help keep your faithful companion healthy and stain free.

Give your precious pooch a new do. Keeping the hair out of your Maltese’s eyes is a crucial part of preventing tear stains. As beautiful as her silky hair may be, your pup’s long locks are liable to get into her eyes where they can cause irritation, leading to an unwanted rise in tears and stains. Use a special dog rubber band or clip to tie your precious pooch’s hair up into a top knot over the eyes or have the groomer trim those locks into a cute set of bangs that won’t irritate her eyes.

Whiten Your Maltese

Prepare a homemade grooming spray for your precious pooch and wipe her coat down daily. Using a spray bottle, dilute a 50/50 mixture of dog shampoo and water. Spray the grooming spray onto a warm, damp washcloth and wipe the hair on your furry friend’s face and around her eyes.

Kick stains to the curb with a homemade removal remedy. Start by mixing equal parts of milk of magnesia and medicinal 1 percent peroxide. Then add cornstarch, one teaspoon at a time, to the mixture until it thickens into a pasty material. Spread the paste onto your dog’s stained fur and let sit for a couple of hours. Before removing the paste from your furry friend, soften it with a conditioner and comb it out carefully.

Send stains running for the hills with another household concoction. Tear stains don’t stand a chance against the combined power of boric powder, baby powder and milk of magnesia when you mix equal parts of each ingredient and apply the pasty substance to your pup’s stained fur. Allow the mixture to air dry before carefully combing it out.

Items you will need

  • Cornstarch
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Medicinal 1 percent peroxide
  • Boric acid powder
  • Baby powder
  • Spray bottle


  • Never let any mixtures or chemicals get into your furry friend's eyes or mouth.

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About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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