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Tips & Advice

How to Clean a Dog Bed

As much as we love them, unfortunately our dogs can't clean their own bed - and if yours can, let us know! With a great range of beds available we've put together a guide with tips and instructions on keeping your dog's surroundings clean as new and smelling like new too!

There are many different types and each will require a slightly different method of cleaning depending on the material and structure.

Tip 1: Before doing any sort of washing, remember to remove all hairs first. Otherwise you'll find yourself crawling in the inside of your washing machine trying to scrape all the hair away! We recommend a metal brush or some tape wrapped around your hand. You can then pat the bed down and the tape should do most of the work.

Cleaning Foam Dog Beds

1)       You can wash your foam dog bed in the washing machine, if you choose to do so, we recommend using a very gentle setting. Additionally, you can wash it by hand either by filling your bath or another large container with warm water and adding a small amount of mild detergent and mix it up.

2)      Once mixed, dunk in the dog bed. Use your hands to squeeze the soapy water through the foam and work it through and over the whole bed.

3)      Once it is soaked and clean, remove it from the tub or container after wringing it out as best you can, then empty the water. Refill it with just normal clean water.

4)      Place the foam dog bed back in, and rinse it through, working the clean water into the material. Rinse, squeeze, ring out until the dog bed is clean and contains no more dirty water.

5)      Hang the dog bed out to air dry. Don't use a dryer machine otherwise this can cause damage to the foam material.

Tip 2: Use static guard to help loosen dog hairs from the bed, you can also run a hoover over it to help remove any loose hairs.

Cleaning a one-piece or two piece bed

1)       Some beds come in separate parts with an outer ring and a thin mattress to sit inside, one piece or more parts. Checking the label first, these should be able to be placed into the washing machine for cleaning, either together or separately depending on how big they are.

2)      After checking the label, separate the parts of the bed and place them into the washing machine (if it is too big - you'll need the next set of instructions for hand washing!).

3)      You'll want to use a mild detergent and a cool or warm temperature, no more than 40˚C. Add fabric software if you want to, if you think your dog would appreciate it!

Tip 3: While your bed is in the wash - wash the dog too! This will help keep your canine bed cleaner for longer. Plus, all that hard work you've just done cleaning it then won't be spoilt when your canine hops back in!

4)      The bed can be placed into a dryer machine on a gentle setting, low heat or alternatively, you can air dry it.

Tip 4: Use a dryer sheet in the dryer machine. This will help remove static and more hair.

Hand washing your dog bed

1)       Where you choose to wash your dog bed is obviously up to you, however, we recommend outside using a washing up bowl or maybe the bath tub.

2)      Take a bowl of warm water and using a gentle detergent with a cloth, sponge or other suitable cleaning tool, scrub the bed all over. Pay particular attention to areas that are very dirty, if they are very difficult to clean, you want to think about leaving the bed to soak for 20 minutes to loosen any dirt.

3)      Once you've put in all the elbow effort, rinse the dog bed thoroughly with clean, warm water.

4)      You can now either leave the bed to air dry, or (if it will fit) place it into a dryer machine on a low setting. Remember to check that the bed is not still soaked before placing it into the machine.

Tip 5: Remember to check any labels on your dog beds. If there are specific instructions, remember to follow them too!

Washing a waterproof bed

1)      To clean a waterproof bed we suggest doing so outside using a hose or jet wash. The wonderful thing about the dog bed being waterproof is that you don't need to worry about it getting soaking wet!

2)      Using a good detergent, scrub the bed using a large sponge or cloth, making sure you work into the surface.

3)      Once you've used the sponge and detergent, spray over it with the hose and rinse it well. Removing any residue from the bed.

4)      Allow the bed to air dry and you'll have a fresh clean waterproof dog bed!

Please remember that the above is not an exhaustive guide on cleaning a dog bed and they should not be used as official instructions. Please see individual instructions and information on machine settings and more detailed information on cleaning your dog bed. We do not hold any responsibility for damage to products or otherwise through following the information above.

Questions? Got something to add?

Leave us a comment if you think there should be something added, we'd love to know what you think!


Rupert Brown

Rupert owns and runs Muddy Paws with his wife Emma. Having set up the company when Oscar was a puppy 8 years ago (the famous chief tester here at Muddy Paws HQ), Rupert has lots of experience when it comes to looking after a canine companion. Visit Rupert's Google+ profile.

Rupert Brown

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