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  • Writer's pictureOllu Dog Wash

Become a Self Service Guru: 8 Hacks for Washing Smart

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Whether you're a regular or a newbie, these hacks will make your self-serve wash experience even better. Read through them all or jump ahead to whatever catches your eye!

girl holding sign saying "wash smart"

Our "Secret" Shampoos

Hack #1. Did you know that we have more than the three free shampoos that come with your wash? We don't often advertise them, but we have a whole plethora of other options that will leave your head spinning. These cost a little extra, but if your dog has a particular need, it is well worth the dollars. Let the list begin!

  • Deshedding - This one is actually fairly well-known because, well, everyone wants to reduce shedding. The shampoo and conditioner combo works wonders at getting that loose hair out in the tub instead of in your house. Go heavy with the conditioner and leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.

  • Oatmeal - Great for dry or sensitive skin. It's paired with an oatmeal conditioner for extra moisturizing. Leave both in five minutes before rinsing!

  • Aloe - Another great moisturizer, especially for a dry or brittle coat. This one also comes with a lovely conditioner.

  • Blueing - Blueing shampoo is actually for whitening. If your white dog has started to look a little dingy, this stuff can brighten it up again. There's science behind it...something about blue making things look whiter. But we'll leave that research to you!

  • Argan - This is another great moisturizing shampoo, with a scent that is luxurious but not overwhelming. If you're really wanting to go full-on spa day, this is the one for you.

  • Ultramela - The shampoo is made of healing botanicals, natural herbs and essential oils. When used regularly it can work wonders on skin issues like hot spots, dermatitis and irritations. If you're wanting to try a natural form of healing before turning to medicated shampoos, this is the one for you!

  • Espania Silk - This is top of the line shampoo that leaves the coat silky smooth, reduces tangles and has a wonderful fresh smell. Paired with the Espania Silk Conditioner and leave on spray, you will love the finished result.

Let's "Face" It

Hack #2. Washing your dog's face can be tricky, and a little intimidating. Rather than avoiding the head all together, ask us for a bottle of puppy tears shampoo. This shampoo is gentle and won't sting the eyes, which can give you the confidence you need while cleaning the face. The groomers use this shampoo regularly, and for the few self-serve clients in the know, we'll let you have some squirts too. If you want to go all out, we also offer a blue berry facial for an extra charge. This shampoo is gentle and extra moisturizing.

groomer washing dog in stainless steel tub

Know the Hose

Hack #3. Hoses are just hoses, right? Wrong. A few game-changing features are hidden in our simple looking hoses. The first is that they can pull down as long as you want them for greater freedom of movement, and then lock them in place at the length you want. To use the lock feature, pull down gently and slowly until you hear a couple clicks, at which point the hose should be locked in place. To unlock it, simply pull down quickly and it will start to retract. It can take a few tries to get the hang of, so feel free to ask an Ollu team member for help if you're having trouble.

Hack #4. Another secret of the hose involves the little black ring near the spray handle. This can be used to hold the spray handle in place, so you don't have to keep squeezing it during the entire bath. This is especially useful for large hairy dogs where you're spending a lot of time rinsing and wetting. It also helps a lot if you have hand pain or injuries of any kind. How to do it? Squeeze the spray handle so that water is spraying out at full pressure. Slide the ring over the handle so that it keeps it in place. When you're ready to release it, simply squeeze the handle further in and slide the ring up and off. Simple as that.

Ramp it Up

Hack #5. Our ramp is a super handy tool to keep you from breaking your back. What most people don't know is that each of our rolling ramps is equipped with breaks. Once the ramp is in place, simply flip down the black tabs by the rear wheels, and the ramp will be nice and sturdy. They are not necessary for many dogs, but can be very helpful for large or wobbly dogs that may be more likely to cause the ramp to shake and move. Just don't forget to flip the breaks up before attempting to roll it away from the tub.

Hack #6. Our second ramp hack is for those dogs who, no matter the amount of cajoling and treats and tugging, refuse to go up the ramp. We call it the towel trick. Simply grab a towel from the self-serve supply tables and put it under your dog's belly like a little sling. Hold the ends of the towel up over your dog's back in one hand, and keep your other hand on his lead in front. You now have control over both his front and back. Use both the lead and the towel to guide your dog up the ramp. If you need a second person, one for the front and one for the back, just let one of our team members know and they'd be happy to help you. This trick works on the most stubborn of dogs, and is a great safe way to get them up the ramp and into the tub.

dog with hair blowing in blow dryer

Blown Away

Now that you know the secrets of the bathing area, it's time to move on to the blow drying room.

Hack #7. Did you know that the dryer intensity can be adjusted in several ways? One simple way to do this is by removing the nozzle at the end of the dryer. This will make the air less concentrated and is a lot less scary for dogs who have trouble with the dryer. Just ask a team member to help you! The second way to change the dryer intensity is by turning off one of the motors. On the engine of the dryer, mounted on the wall, there are two switches which control the two motors. Usually they are both on, but you can turn one off for a quieter, softer blow drying experience.

Hack #8. Another self-serve hack for the drying room is using our raising and lowering table. If you'd rather not bend over while blow drying, but your dog is too heavy to lift, this table is for you. It's located in the back left of the drying room, and has a big metal base with a foot pedal on it. Simply hold down on the foot pedal to lower it, and pump the pedal to raise it to your desired height.


Congratulations! If you read through all eight of our hacks you're officially a self-service wash guru! Now all you need to do is stop in with a dirty dog and show off your new knowledge.

Which of these eight hacks did you already know? Which ones are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below.

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