how to wash dog beds

With the arrival of spring, it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and get your house in order. However, spring cleaning for pet parents can sometimes equal washing dog beds. As challenging and time-consuming the task may be, it’s necessary to keep to a schedule when cleaning your dog’s bedding. 

If you turn lax regarding the upkeep of your doggo’s bed, you’ll find it has accumulated all types of dirt and odors – which is nothing short of an open invitation to germs.

If your recent search history is full of queries about how to wash a dog bed – you’ve just hit the jackpot. Our comprehensive feature is about tackling dog beds that are machine washable or need a gentler touch. And, we’ve also included handy tips about how to keep your pet bed clean between washes. Stick with us as we teach you the secrets of getting rid of the wet-dog smell forever.

Are all Dog Beds Washable?

wash dog beds

If you’re a newbie pet parent, it’s likely; you’re not too up-to-date on dog bed washing instructions. So, if you’re wondering whether all pet beds are equal in terms of washability, the answer is – it depends.

Some dog beds include foam core options, like memory, orthopedic, or comfort foam. These beds will typically feature removable covers that you can rinse via hand-wash or the washing machine. It’s also possible that the dog’s bed you’ve purchased doesn’t offer a removable bed cover.

But, before you get too anxious, you’ll be glad to know such beds are also washable. The only difference is, you have the option of chucking the entire bed in the washing machine (like laundry) to have completely free of germs.

How to Wash a Dog Bed in the Washing Machine

Alrighty, now that we’ve covered the types of washable dog beds out there, let’s focus on how you can go about washing a dog in the washing machine.

Your first order of business for deep-cleaning your dog bed is thoroughly vacuuming its surface (paying special attention to nooks and crannies) to get rid of debris like dog hair, pet dander, dirt, etc. Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s recommended to wash the pet bedding at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit with pet-safe detergent and chlorine bleach – if the material can withstand it. This is where reading the instructions that come along the dog bed can come in handy.

However, if your dog bed’s instructions state washing the cover in cold water, you can try using a heavy-duty pet detergent to eliminate the lingering odor and stains. Set the washing machine on the preferred rinse cycle according to the instructions and wait for the magic to happen. Once the cycle is over, you can repeat the process if you feel the covers aren’t as fresh and clean as they need to be.

If the detergent isn’t enough, try rubbing a stain remover on the more difficult stains before you wash the bed again.

How to Hand Wash A Dog Bed

Hand-washing a dog bed without a zippered cover can be time-consuming, so make sure to start at a time where you have plenty of daylight hours left.

Once you’ve meticulously vacuumed the bed, fill an adequately-sized tub with warm water and add in 1/4 cup of baking soda. Allow the bed to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. This will help the baking soda penetrate deep inside the covers to target any odor from pet accidents while ensuring the covers turn out fresh too.

Next, drain the baking soda solution, take the bed out, and squeeze it gently to eliminate the excess moisture. Fill the tub with warm water again and add in the pet detergent according to your need. If the bed hasn’t been washed in a while, the soap solution should be strong enough to eliminate the microbes. 

Soak the bed in the soapy solution for 15 minutes while pressing down on the bed at regular intervals. This will help you get rid of the deep-seated dirt in the bed. If the water turns muddy or brown, you’ll have to get rid of the water and prepare a fresh soapy solution.

Rinsing the dog bed will require you to change the water a couple of times until there’s no sign of soapy bubbles left when you press down on the bedding. It’s essential to make sure there’s no trace of detergent left in the dog bed during a rinse because some canines may be allergic to certain elements of the detergent.

Try and gently squeeze as much water as you can from the bed. One pro tip is to deal with different parts of the bed separately instead of trying to wring out the whole thing. Too much enthusiasm while hand washing and wringing your dog bed cry can shift the stuffing/padding and create lumps.

Set the bed on a mat (or any other object that keeps it off the ground) outside to dry. However, do not place the bed in direct sunlight.

Keeping a Dog Bed Clean Between Washes

washing dog beds

Washing your dog’s bed can be an uphill task, but a routine cleanup can help you keep your doggo’s bed smelling fresh for longer. Not to mention, not letting the grime build up on your pet’s bed is a great way to maintain its hygiene and keep health troubles like allergies at bay.

That’s why this section is full of helpful tips to keep your dog bed clean between washes and keep the deep cleaning bouts to a minimum.

  • Habitual Vacuuming: It’s a good idea to vacuum your pooch’s bed every time you whip out the vacuum to clean your floors. This will help cut down on the build-up of pet dander and hair on the surface of your dog bed.
  • Baking Soda Bath:  Sprinkling baking soda on your dog bed for half an hour before vacuuming can help you combat odors and keep the doggy smell lingering on the bed to a minimum.
  • Soak in the Sunlight: Did you know sunlight has the power to kill germs and other contaminants? That’s why it’s wise to place your dog bed in direct sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes every week to ensure your dog bed isn’t teeming with bacteria.
  • DIY sanitizer & stain remover: Soak a small towel in a solution of equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water and wipe down the dog bed to eliminate nasties like flea larvae and keep the tough stains from setting in.
  • Spot cleaning: Spot-clean your dog’s bed with a pet-safe detergent and water with the help of a towel right after your doggo soils the covers to control the stains and odor build-up.
  • Invest in mattress protectors: It’s a good idea to invest in some inner liners for a dog bed with removable covers to ensure any doggy accidents or spills don’t penetrate the foam mattress.

Best Washable Dog Beds: The Top 3 Types

We’ve lined up the top three types of washable dog beds available commercially for canine parents who’re new to the game. If you’ve been scratching your head, wondering about the washability of dog beds, this section should set you up about the options available to you.

For pet owners who have nightmares about stain-ridden dog beds that require regular cleaning – we present the category of washable dog beds. These products are designed to withstand frequent washing. These products can be washed completely (covers, stuffing, and all).

The great part is that washability will rarely affect your choice of a dog bed. Even if you happen to like a bed that doesn’t offer the convenience of covers, chances are the product is likely washing-machine friendly – which means your dog bed washing woes are over. Typically, nesting and calming dog bed types don’t feature removable covers. 

Odor-free dog beds either feature an odor-resistant element (like a charcoal base), come equipped with inner liners for the bed’s foam core to ensure pet odors don’t permeate to the mattress, or feature a waterproof cover that’s easy to clean to make sure your dog’s bed remains fresh between washes.

Each type of odor-free bed has its own advantages, and you can narrow down the choices by referring to your doggo’s needs. For instance, if your pet is a little pupper that hasn’t grasped the basics of housetraining, it’s best to opt for a waterproof cover that allows you to wipe away any liquids before they have the chance to penetrate the cover.

Suffice it to say that dog beds with a removable cover can cut the time and effort you expend cleaning your dog bed by half. Whenever you feel your pet’s bed is getting a little too funky in the stink department, vacuum the cover and whip it off for a quick rinse in the washing machine.

Plus, if you fortify a dog bed with a removable cover with a mattress protecting liner – you can keep away odor and debris from reaching the bed’s mattress and keeping it completely contaminant-free. These beds are available in all shapes and perfect for doggos of all ages and sizes.

Our Final Thoughts

dog sleeping on a clean dog bed

There you have it, guys. Our How To Wash Dog Beds Article is at an end, and at this point, we can only hope we’ve covered all your pet bed-related washability queries. There’s no sure-shot method of wiggling out of washing your dog bed, but with the tips we’ve mentioned here – you can put off cleaning day for some time.

Nonetheless, it’s recommended that you wash (or deep clean) your dog bed once every two weeks to keep your home and your pet safe from germs and related health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to wash dog bed in washing machine?

Whether or not you can wash your dog’s bed in a washing machine depends on the bed type and its individual washing instructions. For example, some dog beds don’t include a removable cover and require hand washing. In that case, it’s best to stick to the product’s washing instructions to ensure the product’s longevity.

What should I wash my dog’s bedding with?

It’s always wise to opt for a pet-specific detergent to wash your dog’s bedding. That is because detergents for human use may contain ingredients that some canines are allergic to. Using a regular detergent can cause your pet to develop skin allergies that can lead to rashes, excessive itching, bald patches, etc.

How do you wash a dog bed without removable cover?

Depending on the bed’s construction and washing instructions, you can wash a dog bed without a removable cover via machine washing or hand wash. In both instances, it’s advisable to start the cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming the dog bed to get rid of loose debris like pet hair, pet dander, dirt particles, etc.

Once that’s over with, you can either stick the bed in your washing machine or an adequately-sized tub with a soap solution of warm water and pet-safe detergent. The main difference between machine washing and hand washing a dog bed is the amount of human effort you need to expend. For complete instructions regarding hand or machine washing a dog bed, refer to our How To Wash Dog Beds article.

How do you clean a dirty dog bed?

You have various options for cleaning a dirty dog bed. If the stain is minimal and not too deep, you can try spot-cleaning the bed with a pet detergent and warm water. Employ a soft-bristled scrub brush to make the process gentler on your hands. Wipe the soapy area clean with a damp towel until there’s no sign of the detergent.

If the bed is dirty overall, it’s best to go in for a deep-clean and wash the bed (or its cover) entirely to get rid of all the muck and grime. If your dog’s bed is giving off fumes, you can sprinkle it with baking soda for at least 30 minutes and vacuum the bed before washing it. Baking soda works wonders at minimizing pet odors and vacuuming a pet bed before washing it is essential to ensure the bed turns out perfectly clean from the washing.