How To Wash A Dog Bed, A Step By Step Guide

February 4, 2022 // 15 minute read

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Are you sick and tired of the unsightly look and smell coming from your dog’s bed? It’s important to wash your pooch’s bed regularly to keep it smelling fresh and looking clean. Learn how to wash a dog bed with removable covers, without them, and learn other fantastic tips. If you are like me, then you know that your furry friend or friends are spoiled to the limit. We buy them things like toys, apparel, and dog beds. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to wash a dog bed. 

Wash a dog bed with non-removable covers by submerging it completely underwater if it isn’t fully machine washable. Keep soaking for 10-15 minutes in non-toxic detergent and scrub with baking soda to remove stains and smells. Or place the removable covers in the washing machine and wash at high temperatures using non-toxic detergent.

Dog beds can become very grimy, gross, and really smelly in no time at all. You have to stay on top of your dog bed to keep it clean, fresh, and as odorless as possible. That’s why you need to know how to wash a dog bed.

While you’ll never be able to keep it completely cleaned – it is a dog bed after all. It’s possible to keep it relatively clean and without too many odors so it doesn’t stink up the entire house.

How so? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you about today. Continue reading to learn my best tips and tricks for how to wash a dog bed by following the proven steps shared below.

how to wash a dog bed

Dog Bed Cleaning 101: Powerful Instructions For Keeping A Dog’s Bed Fresh And Clean

Are you feeling confused about the best way to properly clean dog bedding? This process isn’t so difficult that it becomes hard to accomplish. On the contrary, if you follow these simple and easy steps, you’ll have no trouble cleaning the entire dog bed without much difficulty at all.

The best tips and tricks for how to wash a dog bed and keep a clean dog bed include:

1. Fur Removal Is Your Best Friend

Fur removal is of the utmost importance during the initial phases of the pet bedding cleaning process. You have to remove pet hair right away in order to get the rest of the bed cover and cushions clean.

The smartest way to remove dog hair and loose dirt is to vacuum the bedding so that it is no longer overwhelmed with massive amounts of hair. 

Vacuum the bed and remove as much hair as you possibly can with your Hoover. Afterward, take the bed outside as an extra precaution and give it a good shake. And while you have the bed outside, you might as well attempt to remove dog hair by getting at the last remnants with a pet hair remover including a lint roller or a dog hair brush. The dog hair removal brush will do a great job at getting rid of those last stubborn pieces of hair that didn’t want to come up while using the vacuum.

2. Stain Cleaning: Follow These Instructions To Remove All The Stains Before Giving The Pet Bed A Deep Clean

According to, “It is crucial to remove all the stains before putting the bed in the washer. Once it becomes wet, the stains might become stubborn. You will be unable to remove them even after repeated washing.”

After trusting the judgment of this reputable source, it makes sense to attempt to remove the stains prior to putting the dog bed in the washing machine or submerging it in warm water. 

Use a stain remover including stain stick, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, spray and wash, or your favorite product for removing stubborn stains. It’s important to avoid using bleach or a different strong detergent during this part of the cleaning process.

Complete the following steps to remove the dog bed stain:

  1. Apply a stain remover to the stains on the pet bed. Use your favorite stain remover including the products mentioned above.
  2. Avoid using strong detergents and bleach. They could potentially cause irreversible damage to your dog’s pet bed.
  3. Use a clean wet cloth to gently dab the surface areas that were soaked in stain remover. Continue dabbing and rubbing in a circular motion until the stain remover is really soaked into the material.
  4. Follow the instructions in the next step to thoroughly wash the bed and remove the stains at the same time.
person spraying bottle to remove stain

3. How To Wash A Dog Bed In A Washing Machine

First things first, before ever placing your dog bed in the washing machine, you must read the label to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions might tell you to run the wash on a gentle cycle, which is important information to know. On the other hand, they may tell you to avoid repeated washing or they may tell you to air dry the bed instead of putting it in a tumble dryer.

Have you read the instructions all the way through? Good.

Now it’s time to put the bed in the washing machine. Unless the instructions from the manufacturer say differently, you want to wash the bed using warm water. The warm water is important because it’s going to remove bugs, bacteria, and other unwanted microscopic creatures that you may not even know exist.

Why is this important? These germs and bugs could have a deleterious effect on the health of your pet. But if you watch the fabric in the high temperatures, these little unhealthy creatures will never survive. This is exactly the goal you’re trying to achieve as well as keeping the bed clean so that it looks nice and comfy for your furry friend.

While washing the dog bed, please stick to using laundry detergent that is free of chemicals. Some chemicals could potentially cause an allergic reaction and have a harsh effect on your dog’s fur or skin. We would like to avoid this as much as possible so please be aware of the chemicals in the detergent used to clean dog bedding and dog beds.

Lastly, by using a chemical-free laundry detergent, you guarantee that the detergent itself is suitable and protective of the health of your dog.

4. It’s Time To Dry: The Right Way To Rinse And Dry Your Dog’s Bed

Here’s what you need to do next in order to properly rinse and dry your pet bed. Don’t worry because these next steps are very simple to follow and accomplish. They include:

  • Rinse out the bed. You need to rinse the bed two times at the minimum. This guarantees that all the unwanted soap and dirty water is completely removed from the bed.
  • To tumble dry or not to tumble dry. If the instructions say it’s okay, feel free to put the dog bed in the dryer. This personally isn’t my favorite way to dry a pet’s bed, but it’s definitely a safe and effective method if the manufacturer says so.
  • Dry the pet bed by leaving it in the sun. This is my personal preferred option because it guarantees that no soap scum or moisture is left behind. I like to put it directly in the sunlight on a warm day so the bed dries quickly, completely, and perfectly so that it doesn’t develop mold growths, unwanted smells, or stay wet with excess water.
pup's bed

How To Wash A Dog Bed Without Using A Washing Machine

Would you prefer to know how to wash a dog bed outside of a washing machine? On the other hand, do you have no choice but to wash your dog’s bed by hand due to the brand’s instructions?

Either way, it’s very easy to wash pet bedding without using harsh chemicals by following these simple instructions. They include:

  • To know how to wash a dog bed by hand, the most important thing is to soak it in hot water or warm water for up to 15 minutes. This is important because soaking removes dirt and grime. It also gives you the ability to kill bacteria and unwanted germs, mites, lice, and other potential scurvy little creatures that could harm your pup.
  • Does your dog bed have a strong pet odor? A good way to eliminate the order is to put apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in the water while washing it. Just add a few drops to eliminate unwanted odors.
  • Add a chemical-free detergent to the water and allow it to soak even longer. This detergent will soak up the dirt, and grime, and even start removing the stains that were treated earlier before soaking.
  • Rinse the dog bed next. Instead of doing it once, we recommend rinsing it twice. This will get rid of the soap scum and germs that are still remaining. Make sure to rinse the dog bed using cold water this time around.
  • After rinsing with cold water, make sure to thoroughly squeeze the dog bed out as much as you possibly can. Really ringing out to eliminate as much water as possible before finally drying it.
  • Take the dog bed outside and let it dry by placing it directly in the path of the sun. This will help it dry quickly and efficiently.

How to Wash A Dog Bed Suggestions: How Often Should I Wash The Bed?

You may not want to hear this, but the best way to keep your dog bed clean and free of dander and fleas is to have it washed weekly. This may seem excessive to some, but you have to realize how dirty dog beds tend to get very quickly. Remember, your dog is running around outside and rolling in the mud and getting in the leaves and getting covered in all kinds of unwanted dirt and germs.

It’s also important to remember to vacuum out the dog bed before you wash it. This will get rid of dust, loose dirt, fur and dog hair, and other things that might be clinging to the bed.

sleeping dog with blanket

Tips & Suggestions: Recommendations For Keeping Your Dog Bed Clean

Keeping a pet’s bedding fresh and clean might not always be possible to accomplish every week. So, if you absolutely cannot wash the bed thoroughly by putting in the washing machine or washing it by hand, you can keep it hygienic and clean using the following tips and suggestions.

They include:

  • Vacuum the bed regularly. I may sound like a broken record at this point, but regular vacuuming will remove dog hair and dust. It will also remove loose dirt, lice, bugs, and other unwanted things that your dog might have picked up outside.
  • Dog bed steaming is another excellent option. When you steam the dog bed at high temperatures, it immediately kills the bugs and germs. This makes the bed a lot safer for your precious pooch. Steaming has the ability to remove light stains as well.
  • Cover the bed with a protective blanket. This is a great idea because it’s a lot easier to wash a blanket than putting a dog’s bed in the washing machine. You can remove the blanket and shake it out or vacuum it to remove the dog hair. Then put the dog blanket in the washing machine and wash out the dirt and grime and germs without any difficulty.
  • Wipe down the dog bed regularly. You can use a damp cloth dipped in vinegar and water. This is a great way to cut down on unwanted owners while removing ugly unsightly stains at the same time.
  • Freshen your dog’s bedding by laying it in the sunlight. The sun has miraculous properties that seem to freshen a dog’s bed and bring new life to the material.
  • Deodorize frequently. Vinegar is a good deodorizer to use for combating pet odor. It is safe for your four-legged friends and it is natural and organic. You can use whatever vinegar you want, but my ultimate favorite is Apple Cider Vinegar. If you don’t have that, then white vinegar is a good substitute. 

Special Pet’s Bed Instructions

If you have a special needs dog or a senior dog around the house, then your pet’s bed might need slightly different care instructions. Here is a guide on how to wash a dog bed. and clean it, which is made from memory foam, how to clean an orthopedic foam pet bed, and how to clean an egg crate foam bed. 

Memory Foam, Orthopedic Foam, and Egg Crate Foam Dog Beds 

memory foam dog's bed
  1. Remove and Wash the Protective Cover – The first thing to do is to take out the foam from the removable cover by using the zipper on the side of the bed. Once it is removed, place the bed cover in the washing machine, fill it up with cold water with a scoop of pet-safe detergent and let it run. 
  2. Wash the Foam – Fill your tub with warm water half full and add a scoop of laundry detergent. Place the dog bed foam in the water and work the soapy water into your dog bed and keep it in for no more than 5 mins. 
  3. Rinse the Foam – Drain all the soapy water down and rinse the dog bed. Squeeze out as much soapy water until you get clear water. It will take you more than a couple of squeezes until you are clear. 
  4. Let it Dry – Take the foam and the dog bed cover outside to dry in the sun. Do not dry the cover with a machine dryer as it might shrink the cover and not fit your special foam dog bed. Once dry, replace the cover and zip it up. You now have a clean bed that your dog will enjoy. 

Kong Dog Beds

kong dog's bed

If you have got a chewer and a gnawer in your midst, then a standard dog bed will just not work. Kong dog beds are chew-resistant dog beds that will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here’s how to clean a Kong Dog Bed:

  1. Vacuum the bed cover as thoroughly as possible. This will help remove dirt, debris, and hair from the bed before you put it in the washer.
  2. Remove the nylon outer cover using the zipper and remove it from the bed.
  3. Wash the nylon cover separate with the cotton liner washing the nylon on cold and the cotton on hot. 
  4. Place both the cotton liner and the nylon cover in the dryer and let them tumble dry.
  5. Bring them back together once both are dry. 

Below are a few recommended washable dog beds if you are in the market for a replacement bed.

Best Overall Washable Dog Bed

Friends Forever Large Dog Bed, Orthopedic Dog Sofa Memory Foam Mattress, Calming Dog Couch Bed, Wall Rim Pillow, Water Resistant Liner, Washable Cover, Non-Slip Bottom, Chester, Large Grey

Friends Forever Orthopedic Bed Lounge Sofa

This orthopedic bed from Friends Forever is carefully designed for your pet’s comfort. This luxurious bed will allow your dog to get a good night’s sleep. They are cushioned with polyester material to provide your dog some relief from joint pains and arthritis and even just a good relaxing spot. 

They are easy to clean with a soft removable cover that is durable and machine washable. It has a non-skid, non-slip bottom to avoid your dog from slipping. It is also anti-tear and hair-resistant. Your dog is sure to have one heck of a nap on this lavish bed. 

Click Here for Latest Price

Best Value For Washable Dog Bed

MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Dog Beds Super Plush Dog & Cat Beds Ideal for Dog Crates Machine Wash & Dryer Friendly, 1-Year Warranty, Gray, 24-Inch

Midwest Homes For Pets Deluxe Super Plush Pet Beds

If you are looking for a cozy resting place for your furry friend, the Deluxe Super Plush Beds from Midwest Homes is the one for you. It can blend in with any decor in your home with its neutral colors. 

It is made with tufted, plush poly-fiber cushion to keep your furry friend comfortable all night long. In addition to that, it is covered in ultra-soft synthetic fur and a non-skid grip that would be perfect with hardwood floors and tiles. This can also be a great cushion inside your dog’s crate. Most importantly, it is machine and dryer friendly. 

Click Here for Latest Price

Best Bed For Older Dogs That Are Easy To Wash

Furhaven Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large/Medium Dogs w/ Removable Bolsters & Washable Cover, For Dogs Up to 55 lbs - Quilted Sofa - Toasted Brown, Large

Orthopedic Dog Couch Sofa Bed by Furhaven

If you have an older or injured dog around the house, then you might want to check out this orthopedic Dog Couch Sofa Bed from Furhaven. It features a medical orthopedic foam base to help soothe your dog’s weak joints. It also has bolsters around the bed to provide your dog support when sleeping. 

This is a large bed that can offer your dog full-body support from the orthopedic mattress. It has a quilted sleeping surface for added comfort. The quilted cover is removable and can be easily washed in the washer and dried in the dryer to ease the burden. 

Click Here for Latest Price

Dog Safe Detergents

Along with finding the best dog bed that is easy to wash, you’ll also need to find dog-safe laundry detergent. Below are three great options to consider:

Best Overall Dog Safe Detergent

LaundraPet, 3X Strength Premium Laundry Detergent with Enzyme Cleaner, Removes Animal Odors and Stains, Pet Detergent - 64 Oz. by Alpha Tech Pet

Alpha Tech Pet LaundraPet Premium Laundry Detergent

The Laundrapet Detergent is a triple strength detergent for all your kennel laundry needs. They can wash dog blankets, beds, and towels. They remove odor and heavy soils from washable items. You can use it for your washing machine or use it for handwashing your delicate dog beds. 

The formula of Alpha Tech Pet is low foaming and it can be the best choice for your high-efficiency machines. They are preferred by most vets, pet resorts, and groomers. If you are looking for strong and reliable detergent for your dog’s laundry needs, this is the choice that you would want to make. 

Click Here for Latest Price

Best Non-Allergenic Detergent For Dogs

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent Liquid Free & Clear Fragrance Free 40 oz

Seventh Generation Concentrated Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented

Seventh Generation’s concentrated detergent is a triple enzyme formula that removes tough stains from your washable items. The Free & Clear hypoallergenic detergent formula is pet safe and still removes odor and stain powerfully. 

It contains no dyes, artificial brighteners, and fragrances that can potentially poison your furry friend. It is made to clean and disinfect for sensitive skin. It is one of the best non-allergenic pet-safe laundry detergents you can find today. 

Click Here for Latest Price

Best Value Dog Friendly Detergent

Natural Pet ECOS Pet Laundry Detergent, 20-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

Natural Pet ECOS Pet Detergent

The detergent from natural Pet ECOS is ultra-concentrated, color-safe, all-temperature, and fragrance-free. It is specifically made for pet items at an affordable price. It is tough on dirt yet gentle with pets. 

You can use this detergent with your washer comfortably and even use it for handwashing if you need to. It does not contain any chemicals that might harm your furry friends. It is one of the best pet laundry detergents for its price. 

Click Here for Latest Price
sleeping dog

My Final Thoughts On How To Wash A Dog Bed

Washing a dog bed doesn’t need to be a difficult experience. In fact, after sharing my favorite ways to wash one by hand or in a washing machine, you now know that the process doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

To reiterate everything that I shared earlier, please follow these instructions the next time you need to know how to wash a dog bed. They include:

  • Stain Removal – before washing a pet bed, take the necessary steps to remove stains first. Use a stain stick, spray and wash, or your favorite stain remover. Do this before soaking or placing the bed in the washing machine.
  • Vacuuming – it’s important to vacuum the bed first before putting it in the washing machine. This will remove dog hair, dead skin, dust mites, lice, germs, and other debris.
  • Hand Washing – make sure to soak the bed in warm or hot water for 15 minutes. Add non-chemical detergent and apple cider or white vinegar to eliminate unwanted smells.
  • Machine Washing – read the instructions before placing the dog bed in the washing machine. If the instructions say that it’s safe, add non-chemical detergent and warm water to the washing machine before running it through the wash cycle.
  • Other Tips – remember to vacuum regularly, cover the bed with a protective blanket, wipe the bedding regularly, and place the bed in the sunlight to freshen it up.

Thank you for reading this information. I hope you found it informative, useful, and the best answer to the question of how to wash a dog bed. Do you have any other dog bed washing tricks or tips? Share them with us in the comments below.

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