How to Clean a Dog Bed

The dog’s own bed is a refuge and a safe place, a place where a unique scent is carved into the shape of its body. Unfortunately, whatever your dog is covered in can also be found in bed. Dirty beds are a breeding ground for all bacteria, microorganisms, and disease-carrying organisms, so they need to be cleaned regularly. Read on to learn how to clean your dog’s bed and what tools you’ll need.

Prepare for Cleaning

Before washing the dog’s bed, we need to do some preparations. The first step is to make sure you read the care label, which has specific cleaning instructions. Some of the materials used in dog beds may have different temperature requirements for the washing machine than others.

Once you’ve checked the label, start shaking off as much debris, hair, and dirt as you can from your bed. It’s an outdoor job, and no one wants that dander or those dirty particles flying in the air.

Once this is done, use a pet hair remover or a good quality lint roller to remove loose hair and lint from the top layer. For some hairs that can’t be removed with a roller, you can also use a dog hair removal brush.

Now it’s time to prepare the items you need to wash your dog’s bed, such as:

  • White vinegar
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • A sink filled with warm water
  • Pet-safe laundry detergent
  • Dry tablets
  • A damp cloth
  • A bed sheet or spare dog bed
  • Detergent

You’ll only need some of these items, depending on your approach. We recommend that you try a few tricks to see which one will work best for your dog’s bed. Let’s dive into the different ways to clean your dog’s bed.

How to Wash a Dog Bed

The easiest way to clean a dog’s bed is to put it in the washing machine and let it work. Machine washing allows the bed to soak well in soapy hot water and then spin it dry. Washing a dog bed this way isn’t always straightforward.

When washing your bed, you need a different cleaner than the one on your clothes or towels. Many laundry detergent products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your dog’s skin, so be sure to avoid them. There are a lot of pet-specific cleaning products on the market.

You may also want to experiment with wash cycles until you find the most effective option. Loose hairs may dig deep into the fabric of the dog bed, so you may need a faster spin and a longer soaking time than washing regular fabric.

When washing your dog’s bedding, be sure to raise the temperature. The hotter the water, the more bacteria it kills, leaving your dog’s bed clean and fresh.

For machine washing, we recommend adding a little white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the detergent; about 1/2 cup is sufficient. Vinegar is both a highly effective and low-cost detergent and deodorant.

The fluff collector must be emptied before washing the pet bed in the machine. If it’s full, the hair won’t drain properly, and you’ll end up with a wardrobe of clothes with hair, which isn’t ideal.

Sink Cleaning

Another way to wash your dog’s bed is to use a sink, pour warm water, and scrub it by hand. This means more labor is required, but can help remove stubborn stains from your pet’s bed.

After removing dry dirt, dust, and debris from your pet’s bed, place the bed in warm or hot water in the sink. For dog beds with removable lids, wash each section separately for best results.

Make sure the bed is completely submerged, add some pet-friendly cleaner and half a cup of vinegar, and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. Vinegar is a great way to eliminate odors like urine on the bed. Drain the dirty water and check for visible stains remaining.

If there are still some hairs or marks on your pet’s bedding, use a small amount of baking soda on the brush and cover all stains. Baking soda can help remove stains that soap can’t. Allow the baking soda to absorb into the bed and bedspread, then submerge again for 15-20 minutes.

Once you’ve done this, rinse the bed thoroughly with cold water to brush off any remaining pet hair and dirt. Finally, air dry on a clothesline.

You can tumble dry your dog bedspread, but most dog beds will stretch or burn in the tumble. When you tumble dry the removable lid, add drying paper to keep it smelling fresh and provide a layer of static electricity to repel dog hair.

Quick Wash

If you need a quick clean dog bed, you can do it quickly. Start by brushing off pet hair and excess dirt, then shake well. Next, mix equal parts water and detergent in a spray bottle and add a few drops of vinegar.

Sprinkle baking soda on the bed, cover it with the mixture, and let it sit for a few hours. After drying, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the solution and any dirt that comes with it. This may not be the most effective, but it will give your furry friend a fresher, cleaner place.

Sometimes, you’ll find that your machine-washed dog bed still has one or two stains. If this is the case, it may be necessary to wash your hands with warm, soapy water to clean the dog bed thoroughly.

Clean Specific Materials

Each pet bed is made of different materials, and some may require specific cleaning products or methods to remove odors, bacteria, and dirt from pets.

Clean the Foam Dog Bed

Foam-filled dog beds are relatively easy to clean, but take a long time to dry. The dense foam must be air-dried, as the foam will burn in the tumble dryer and clog together. If the foam has not dried completely, the remaining moisture will be transferred to the dog’s fur.

Moist fur can bother dogs with sensitive skin and provide a breeding ground for infections and parasites. Most foam beds have removable lids, so remove them and put them in the washing machine.

To give it a new look, the foam bed can be immersed in warm water containing a detergent or a mild stain remover. After rinsing the bed, squeeze the bed firmly to squeeze out the soap and as much water as possible. Keep the bed outside all day to ensure it is dry.

Clean and Heated Dog Beds

Warm and heated dog beds usually don’t have removable lids. You’d better wash these beds in the sink as the washing machine may deform the bed.

If the bed is electrically heated, there is no place for water. The best option for these beds is to use the quick wash example we discussed. You can also spray pet stain remover on the affected area and wipe it off to keep the dog bed clean.

Clean the Dog Bed with a Removable Cover

Any dog bed with a protective cover should be stripped before washing. Dog bedspreads are easy to clean and can be tossed in the washing machine and then dried in the drum or on a clothesline.

To remove stains from the bedding underneath, wash in the sink or cover completely with baking soda and spray with equal parts water and vinegar. Rinse well before hanging to dry.

Clean the Dog Bed Without a Removable Lid

If your dog’s bed doesn’t have a removable bedspread, then pet stains may be more difficult to remove. Unless you use an industrial washing machine (which most of us don’t use), you’ll need to hand wash the entire bed.

Washing in the sink keeps these dog beds clean and stain-free and won’t change the shape of the design.

How to Clean Urine from a Dog’s Bed

For urine stains, prepare the solution with two parts vinegar, one part water, and a quarter cup of baking soda. Spray the solution directly onto the stain and dry it with a cloth.

Keep the Dog Bed Clean

Aim for bi-weekly cleaning to keep the dog’s bed clean. Additionally, doing a spot cleaning when you see a stain can keep the bed clean and remove the stain before it falls asleep. The more often the bed is cleaned, the easier the job will be. When you wash your dog’s bed, you’ll remove foul odors, bacteria, microbes, hair, and dander. This will help keep your dog and home clean and eliminate allergens from the air. Follow our steps to ensure effective cleaning and keeping your dog healthy and smelling good.

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