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How to easily clean a dog bed


White puppy chewing on orange toy whilst lying in a dog bed.

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The best way to clean a dog bed starts with a commitment to our pet’s wellbeing. Our furry family members deserve the best, right? So, we want to keep their bedding clean and smelling good just like we do for our people beds! With dogs however, we want to keep not only the bedding clean, but be sure to remove or clean items that end up in the dog bed too—like their favourite toys, any food with slobber or drool in it, their collars, urine, and any bugs or dirt from the yard. We love our fur-babies and will do our best to keep them healthy, safe, and happy!

How to clean a dog bed is not a one-size-fits-all activity. There are many types and sizes of dog beds. Let’s take a look at popular doggie beds that are kept in the house for their enjoyment and rest – each requires a different approach. Your pet’s bedding should be cleaned once a week for optimum health for Rover and the rest of the household. As you get started, also be sure to read and follow any special cleaning instructions that came with the bed purchase.

Best way to clean dog bed containing foam and with removeable cover

  1. How to clean the dog bed foam? Separate the foam insert and bolster (if there is one attached) from the cover. It is best to do this project outside on a sunny day.
  2. Use one of the small attachments to vacuum up all dirt and hair on the foam pad and bolster.
  3. Immerse the foam (and bolster) in a large plastic container, bathtub, or a paddling pool with warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid. Use your hands (and feet) to agitate the water and be sure to rinse and wash these items a few times to get rid of the stinky smell. Dry thoroughly in the sun.
  4. Wash the cover in the washing machine on the delicate cycle with warm water and a small amount of soap. Run an empty hot cycle with a teaspoon of bleach after you are finished washing the bed.
    (if washing with a mixed coloured load add in a Dylon Colour Catcher + Hygienic Cleanliness pad to help prevent any unwanted colour run accidents and achieve a deep clean!)
  5. Dry the cover in the dryer on the delicate setting on low or medium heat. Wipe down the inside of the dryer with warm water and a light spritz of white vinegar.
  6. Once you put the dry bed back together, you can use this home-made DIY solution that some web sources claim can help keep the odours down:
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda in 2 cups of water
  • 10 drops of your favourite essential oil (try lavender!)

How to clean a dog bed without the washing machine

  1. How do you clean dog bed without a removable cover since it can’t go in the washing machine? Use the vacuum! Before you start cleaning the bed with any water or wet treatments, it is essential to remove any loose hair and dirt.
  2. If the bed is particularly smelly,  sources say to clean the dog bed with baking soda by spraying a solution of baking soda, white vinegar, and water and allow to sit for an hour before vacuuming. Spot clean as well with this solution.
  3. Give the bed a good shake outside and run the vacuum over it with the upholstery nozzle, paying attention to the nooks and crannies.
  4. Finish with a roller lint brush to get any final dirt off of the bed. You can also do this in between deep cleaning sessions as well. See tip #6 above for final touches!

We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to clean a dog bed. Don’t forget to check out our other laundry and cleaning tips such as how to disinfect shoes, how to disinfect a yoga mat and how to clean makeup brushes.