5 min read

How Do You Clean A Dog Bed

So how do you go about cleaning a dog bed? Read on for our tips!
How Do You Clean A Dog Bed

If you have a pet, chances are you've had to deal with a mess or two. And while cleaning up after your furry friend can be a bit of a pain, it's important to keep their living space clean and comfortable.

When you clean a dog bed, make sure to read the instructions on the tag of your dog bed for the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to care for it.

So how do you go about cleaning a dog bed? Read on for our tips!

The first step is to remove the cover and wash it in the washing machine.

Spring cleaning time can be a daunting task, but there's no need to worry! Start off your cleaning project with a simple yet effective step - removing and washing your dog bed cover in the washing machine! Doing so eliminates any dirt or dust particles that may have accumulated over time, giving it a refreshed look.

Furthermore, giving the dog bed cover some attention at the beginning of the cleaning process will ensure that all it takes is a simple wipe down for the rest of the furniture which can save you both time and energy. So don't forget to remove and wash your dog bed cover first - it'll make overall cleaning easier!

If the bed is filled with stuffing, you'll need to vacuum it before putting it in the washing machine.

Vacuuming your bedding is an important step if you ever have to wash your filling-filled bed. It will help get rid of any dust and dirt, as well as any loose fibers that might otherwise come out in the wash.

Vacuuming may take a bit of effort but it will save you a lot headache later on when you find all sorts of lint balls scattered around after laundering your bed. Don't forget to check inside every corner and seam of the bed for extra dust or debris that might be hiding out of view!

Once the bed is clean, put it in a sunny spot to dry.

After you've cleaned your dog bed and it looks beautiful, take advantage of the sun if it's out! Bring the pet bed outside or closer to a sunny window and air it out.

This will give your mattress a fresh feel and make your room even brighter. Otherwise you can put dog bed cover in the dryer. Plus, who doesn't love that wonderful smell of clean laundry? It's an added bonus in an already delightful job well done.

After it's dry, you can put the removeable covers back on and let your dog enjoy their clean bed!

After all that hard work, you’re almost done! Once the clean dog bed is completely dry, it’s time to treat your pup to their newly-cleaned and refreshed sleeping spot. Put on the cover and enjoy seeing how happy your pup is to return to a neat and cozy place for naps.

Naps are important for dogs, just like they are for humans, so this task will have been well worth it when you see them curl up in their fresh bedding with a smile on their face. You can both now enjoy the cleanliness and coziness of their dog bed - congratulations!

That's it! Now you know how to clean your dog's bed. Just follow these four simple steps and your pup will have a clean, comfortable place to sleep in no time. And as an added bonus, keeping their bed clean will help reduce the spread of germs and keep your home healthy.

How to Clean A Dog Bed Without a Removable Cover

Presoak (optional)

Depending on how dirty the dog bed is, you may wish to presoak.

Use warm – hot water if pre-soaking to ensure you kill any bugs or bacteria. The hotter the better but check the label first for any recommendations.

If the bed is small you may do this in your washing machine.

Large beds can be soaked in a bathtub or, in a large machine at a local laundromat.


If your dog’s bed is small, place the entire bed into the washing machine. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, wash in hot water to kill bacteria.

Add a mild, chemical-free washing detergent. Ideally use a soap detergent designed for pets to avoid any skin irritations or allergies later on.

Hand Washing Dog Beds

If washing large bed by hand, make sure you completely submerge it in warm to hot water and allow enough time in the detergent to effectively remove dirt and germs. At least 15-30 minutes.


If washing the dog bed in a machine, you will want to rinse the bed twice. Once to ensure all the dirty water is washed away and again to remove all the soap residue.

You may also want to spin the bed twice to get rid of as much excess water as possible.

Hand Rinsing Dog Beds

If you are handwashing your dog’s bed, squeeze all the water from the foam filling and submerge the bed again in clean water to rinse.

You may need to do this a few times to make sure all the soap and dirt run free. A handheld shower can help speed this process if using a bathtub.

Dry the Dog Bed

Squeeze as much water from the bed as possible. If the bed fits and after checking the manufacturers washing recommendations place the bed in the tumble dryer. If it is a sunny day, leaving the bed in the sun to dry will be just as efficient.

Place the bed on a drying rack or similar to allow water to drain away and air to circulate. If it fits, a final spin in the tumble dryer will help to fluff and stuffing or foam filling.

If you are hand washing it may be difficult to manually remove enough excess water. Leave the bed in the sun for a while before using a tumble drier.

Whatever method you use for drying your dog’s bed, it is essential to make sure it is completely dry before use again.

If the foam is still damp, the bed could become smelly or worse, mould could grow inside. It is also not ideal for your dog’s health for them to sleep on a damp surface.

Keeping Your Dogs Bed Clean Between Washes

Washing a dogs bed without a removable cover is not something we want to be doing every week. Although, it is recommended to wash your dog’s bedding weekly.

There are a few simple ways you can keep your dog’s bed clean between washes and in turn, keep your house odour and bacteria-free.

  • Vacuum: Vacuum your dogs bed regularly and use a dog hair removal tool for dogs that shed heavily.
  • Steam: There are numerous portable and inexpensive steam cleaners perfect for cleaning pet stains and odours. We use ours at least twice a week. Steam has the advantage of heat to kill bacteria, will clean and freshen fabrics.
  • Protective Cover: Protect the bed with a comfortable waterproof backed blanket or cover that can easily be machine washed. You can also use a blanket designed for pets or humans.
  • Hand Wipe: Spray and wipe the bed with a water and vinegar mix to spot clean and deodorise or use a product designed for pets laundry.
  • Air: Air the bed in the sun as often as possible.

Additional Tips for Washing a Dog Bed

The following list of chemicals are found in many cleaning products for humans.  They can be harmful to your dog. There are lots of effective organic or natural cleaning products on the market that are free from harmful chemicals.

Do Not Use

  • Bleach
  • Chlorine
  • Fragrance additives
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylates or NPE
  • Phenols
  • Formaldehyde
  • Perchloroethylene
  • Phthalates
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Diethanolamine

Also, be mindful about the use of essential oils with dogs. Natural does not always equate to healthy.  Essential oils can be very dangerous to dogs so don’t be tempted to add a few drops here and there as a deodorizer.

Keep your four-legged friend's bed clean and cozy with simple cleaning instructions. Start by shaking off loose dirt, then use a vacuum to remove hair - baking soda can help keep it smelling fresh!