How To Wash A Dog Bed?

How To Wash Dog Bed Feature Image

Washing dog beds can be a daunting task when you have no idea how to do it. However, it is a task that cannot be avoided under any circumstance. Firstly, try and buy dog beds that are washable.

If not that, at least buy one that comes with easily removable covers to prevent the hassle of getting them professionally cleaned every time. Let discusses everything from how to clean dog beds to ways to care for them.

6 Steps On How To Wash Dog Beds

1. Vacuum To Get Rid Of Loose Dirt

Before you add any liquids to clean a dog bed, the first step is to make sure to use a vacuum cleaner. This can help get rid of any loose dust, especially dog hair, which can stick to the fabric if not removed prior to the washing process. Dog hair can also often get entangled in the fabric of the bed. In this case, you can either consider a lint roller or brush them loose. Brushing also helps with removing any other debris that might be stuck.

Use a vacuum hose and an upholstery attachment to deep clean the bed. The primary area of focus should be the sleeping surface but do not neglect the outsides, bottom, and particularly the corners. There are certain fitted areas near the seams or the padding that can be hard to clean.

These should be paid special attention to as there can be unhatched eggs from fleas or other insects along with accumulated dander. Vacuum cleaning between washings is usually recommended to maintain a high hygiene level and also make the cleaning process easier.

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2. Use An Enzyme Cleaner To Attack Stains

Stains on the dog bed should be cleaned prior to washing. Many stains are often very old and can adhere to the material even after a wash. This can make it harder to eliminate them.  A  spot removal treatment usually helps with removing deep stains.

Try using an enzyme stain remover and a clean towel for the job. Scented enzyme cleaners do a good job at keeping odors away. Many enzyme cleaners lack fragrances but can keep human and pet odor away for days. Thus, they can also be used in bathrooms. These stain removers break down almost all kinds of organic compounds including feces, mud, urine, dirt, vomit, among others.

Make sure to buy all cleaning products from reputed pet stores. Products sold by them do not contain bleach or chlorine and are thus safe for pets.

3. Soak In Hot, Soapy Water

The company usually adds a tag with instructions and recommendations on how to clean a dog bed. If the dog bed has a removable cover, remove the cover and load it in the washing machine separately. Wash the dog bed cover with hot water and a mild pet-safe detergent to prevent irritation.  Remember, harsh chemicals present in the soap [1] and other pet supplies can harm the pups.
If the cushion of the dog’s bed is made out of memory foam or is too big to wash in the washing machine, use your hands to wash it. Add some warm water and mild detergent to a bathtub and soak the dog bed in it. Keep adding pressure every few minutes to remove dirt from all corners. Change the water if it becomes dirty during this process and keep the bedding soaked for another five minutes.
The quantity of the detergent will depend on if it is a routine cleaning or if you need to deep clean it.  A routine clean will only require enough detergent to make the water soapy. For better results, you can also add apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to the solution.  They act as amazing deodorizers while also ensuring the complete safety of your pet.

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4. Scrub With Baking Soda

Baking soda powder has long been used in households as a cleaner. It serves its purpose by getting rid of any scent that is often left on the bedding by laundry detergents or similar to vinegar, it also eliminates foul smells. After taking out the bed from the basin or tub, take a slightly damp toothbrush and dip it in baking soda. Start scrubbing the bed and remember to reach the closed corners as well since they often hold flea larvae. Remember to keep washing your tool throughout the course of scrubbing the dog’s bed.

5. Rinse In Water Thoroughly

It is important to eliminate any traces of detergent since you may still be unaware of what the dog might be allergic to.   It might take a few rinses before the solution completely exits the bedding. The ideal way to do this is by soaking the bed in a bathtub or basin filled with fresh water. Keep kneading the bed continuously and repeat the process by changing the water until the soap completely leaves the bedding.

6. Wring And Leave It To Dry

Wring all the different sections to remove any excess water. The more water in the dog bed, the more time it will take to dry out. However, be careful to not wring it too much. This can harm the filling or the padding in the bed.

Once you are satisfied with removing all the excess water, leave the dog bed outside on a mat under direct sunlight. This will also help kill any remaining bacteria on the bed and air dry it as well. Always keep the pet supplies in a well-ventilated area to avoid any mold or mildew in the foam.

Tips On Keeping A Clean Dog Bed

These are some tips and tricks on how to keep a dog bed clean. Following these will drastically reduce the number of times you will have to deep clean the bed. Other than the tips mentioned below, you can also use a vinegar mixture on the bed every once in a while or spot-clean the bed.

Vacuum Dog Beds Regularly

Regularly vacuuming the dog bed is highly recommended. Vacuuming, in general, helps eliminate dog hair, other dust particles, and debris from the bed. Any remaining hair can always be removed with the help of a lint roller.

Many pet vacuums come with an extra upholstery attachment that can grasp pet fur from not only the beds but also other furniture. Vacuuming regularly can also keep the bed clean and maintain hygiene and cleanliness.

Way To Clean Dos Stains From Covers

Get Dog Beds With Removable Covers

A removable dog bed cover can make the washing process a whole lot easier. Remove the cover and apply stain remover on it before loading it in the washing machine. This should help in the elimination of any urine, germs, mud, or other debris. Remember to use a pet-friendly detergent even on the cover.

Since the material of the dog bed cover is made of fabric, it can be washed more frequently. Once it is washed, the cover can either be air-dried and left out in the sun as mentioned above, or it can be loaded in the dryer.

If the dryer is large enough to accommodate the cushion and the cover, tumble dry them for a few minutes and then use a dryer sheet to air fluff it. This can reduce static, prevent shrinking, and removes any remaining pet fur.

How to clean a dog bed without a removable cover?

Make sure to read the washing instructions on the label of the dog bed. The manufacturers of the product usually provide cleaning information with directions.

Bathe And Groom Your Dog Regularly

Many people prefer cleaning their dogs once a week. This is not very uncommon but make sure to use a mild shampoo. Ideally, one should properly bathe and groom their dog every three months. This exceptionally reduces the amount of hair the dog sheds and thus automatically keeps the bed clean.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you wash your dog’s bed?

A dog bed should go through one to two washes a week. However, the dog bed might need to be washed more often if the dog or any of the household members have allergies. The more the allergies, the more the frequency of washing the bed should be. If your dog sheds too much hair, if the bed is dirty, or if it smells bad, be sure to wash the bed.

Is it ok to wash the dog bed in a washing machine?

Yes. You should wash it in the washer to remove any remaining poop stains or other pathogens.  Run the entire cycle twice. Make sure to use a pet-safe laundry detergent that does not irritate the dog’s sensitive skin. If the bed is too large, it can be taken to a laundromat or it can be hand-washed in a large tub with hot water and pet-safe detergent.

Can I spray Febreze on my dog’s bed?

Febreze can be sprayed on the dog’s bed. Provided you use the recommended amount only, it should not cause any problems. If you are worried that it may irritate the dog’s skin, spray it on the mattress instead of the cover or the sheet so it does not come in direct contact with the dog.


Dogs deserve a comfortable sleeping place after a tiring day. Washing their bed from time to time ensures it remains free of bacteria and parasites. This prevents the risk of diseases or infection and maintains their health. Follow the six steps to reward your dog the happiness she deserves!