Hi Gina – I never clean my containers, unless they get grimy from dirt or paired food. With those I just wipe out.
Cotton swabs should not be left in your hide containers unless you’re putting them into another airtight container to preserve the freshness. Because I teach a lot I will do this but I don’t recommend it for most unless you plan to work “old odor.” I will toss them after a couple of weeks. Not a bad thing but you would want to interject fresh odor hides into your program, as well. Just like using more/less cotton swabs you want to vary the aging and the strength of odor you’re training.
IF your cotton swabs have gotten dirty, you can either put them in a different jar or toss them. Do not put contaminated swabs back into a fresh jar of swabs. IF the swabs you’re using are not contaminated, place them back into your odor jar for refreshing and use another day.
Joyride K9 Dog Training