How to Clean Dog Beds
We spend a lot of time keeping our homes spic and span, especially when there are four-footed friends to constantly clean up after. So it can be quite dismaying to see the way said furry friends keep their own abodes - a dog's bed is his castle, and too often it's a castle coated with mud, hair, slobber and something that smells suspiciously like the pile of trash your dog was rubbing himself in at the dog park.
Dog beds come in all shapes (sometimes odd ones) and sizes - some are covered with a slipcover and other doggie nests are piled high with blankets. Today we'll discuss how to best clean your dog's bed and the accessories that come with it.
Cleaning Foam Dog Beds
If you've got a foam dog bed, we hope you've got it somewhat safe from pet hair inside a slipcover. If so, unzip the cover, take it outside and shake out as much of the hair and dust as you can. If any hair remains, try a once-over with a lint roller.
Next, soak the cover in the sink or bathtub in very hot water for 10-15 minutes before popping it in the washing machine to kill any insect eggs that could potentially be lurking. Wring the water out and pop the cover into the washing machine on the heavy-duty setting.
Vacuum the foam bed thoroughly to get any dust or hair that may have snuck in.
Fill your bathtub with hot water and some mild detergent (don't use the same water you washed the cover in!). Once the water is warm enough to be tolerable, use your hands to work the soap into the foam and perhaps put something heavy on it to hold it down while it soaks.
Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean water. Don't forget to squeeze the foam bed to get the soap out - keep at it until all the suds are gone.
Bring both the cover and bed outside and lay them in a sunny spot. Don't pop them in the dryer - that could shrink the cover.
Reunite foam with cover and repeat the process in a few weeks after Fido stinks it up to his liking.
Note: If you bought a stuffed dog bed that doesn't have a detachable cover, vacuum the bed thoroughly then follow the same steps listed above for foam beds. And for those with washable covers, consider replacing it once a year.
Cleaning a Dog Crate
If your dog carrier is your pet's main place to rest, try to clean it every other week (or more often if you have a puppy who hasn't quite mastered his potty training). The first step is to remove the bedding and wash it as described in the tip above.
If you have a home with a yard or driveway, spray the crate with water outdoors using the spray nozzle on your garden hose. If you live in an apartment, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes or a damp sponge.
Use an ammonia-free cleaning solution to sanitize the hard shell of the crate. Dog urine is ammonia-based, so the scent of a cleaner that contains ammonia can confuse your pet and make him think it's OK to pee inside the crate. If you have a soft-sided crate, soapy water and a rag will do.
Air dry your crate and then put the bedding back in it for your pet's comfort.
Need advice on what to pick for your dog's next bed? Check out our guide to dog beds.
Related Advice from Other Dog Owners
Vinegar Rinse for Foam Beds
I know with some stuff, if you do a final rinse with white vinegar in the water, it will cut the rest of the soap residue (and hard water that holds it) right out and save time and energy on the washer's part.
~Stephanie A., owner of a French Bulldog and Jack Russell