I used to think that washing a dog bed is just as simple as putting in the washing machine. Turns out I am wrong. There is a whole lot more science behind it.
The procedure to wash a dog bed starts even before using the washing machine. We are talking about the bed sheets here. The key steps that I follow when I clean my dogs’ beds involves:
- Remove Fur And Hair
- Remove Stain
- Kill The Bugs
- Before Use
Note that post-handling of bed sheets are also key. Allow me to elaborate on these steps I follow when I clean my dogs’ beds.
Remove Fur And Hair
The very first thing to do is to remove the fur and hair on the bed sheet. The rationale is straightforward. You want to reduce the fur and hair that will be going into your washing machine eventually, because they will clog up the filter in your washing machine and reduce the effectiveness of the wash.
Fur and hair that cling onto the bed sheets are also not the easiest to remove, especially if we leave it to the random chaos in a washing machine to decouple them as there is no deliberate action to do so.
Please get a lint roller to help you remove the fur and hair with ease. A lint roller is a stick with a roller at one end that is wrapped by sticky tape which can be peeled off easily once they are utilized. You are going to find them really handy to remove the fur, especially the short ones which are hard to spot with the naked eye. It also makes the job one notch easier. The lint roller I use is the Pet Lint Roller Hair Remover. It is sturdy and comes packed with lots of ammunition for a cheap price. This is definitely the most valuable bundle on Amazon.
An alternative is to wrap your hand with a tape, with the sticky side facing outwards, and go through the sheet, if you want to save money. However, to be honest, it is not going to be worth the time for that bit of money. Furthermore, you can use the lint roller for almost any other clothes in your house, not just for your dog beds.
The next step is another pre washing step. Look for visible stain on the bed sheet, like blood or food stains. These stains require manual localized intervention in order and cannot be left to the washing machine to do the job.
Use a small, stiff-bristled brush or simply a toothbrush to handle this affair. You can use soap or toothpaste to clean with the brush, or use a stain removal agent for the really stubborn ones. Look no further than the Amazon’s Choice: the Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover. It is enzyme based to break down organic splotches and make this step much less of a chore.
Kill The Bugs
The next step is to kill the bugs on the dogs’ bed. The washing machine does not guarantee that it will destroy these pests camping on the bed sheet of your dog bed. The best way to kill them is using heat, but you should not use high temperature water to wash the bed sheet in your washing machine as hot water will loosen up the fabric and in a typical highly violent environment in a washing machine, it is going to get ripped.
You should soak the bed sheet in hot water for a couple of minutes. The heat from the hot water carry out the bloodshed.
However, some bed sheets are not recommended to be soaked in hot water, while some dog beds are meant to be washed as a whole. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on whether the usage of hot water on the dog bed or bed sheet.
In the event that it is not recommended, you can use a steamer. It sprays hot steam onto the fabric, giving the high temperature required to kill the bugs without subjecting the fabrics to the intensity of being soaked in hot water.
I personally recommend using the PurSteam Travel Steamer. It can be used for many purposes, apart from just dog beds, and it is very portable and convenient to use, perfectly meant for traveling too. The steam it emits is highly pressurized and generous in volume, which makes the task effortless.
Finally, we are at the step where we can use the washing machine.
Follow the dog bed’s manufacturer instructions to adjust the temperature of the washing machine settings accordingly. I just have a few tips in this step, which many other sites share about using the washing machine in general.
Baking soda is a cheat code in many house chores, especially when it comes to washing.
Add some into the washing machine to remove smell and increase the effectiveness of stain removal.
Pet Friendly Detergent
Use a hypoallergenic detergent to wash your dog beds. Dogs have sensitive skin that may react badly to a typical detergent that we use for our fabrics. A normal detergent contains amount of chemicals that, while not enough to harm us, can do some damage to our dogs.
Consider the Bissell Professional Pet Urine Eliminator as your go-to choice for pet friendly detergent. It removes stains and odors effectively, and can even be used on your carpets. It is meant specially for pets and your dogs will love their beds like never before. For that reason, it is the best seller on Amazon.
The best way to dry a dog bed is to use the natural heat from the sun. Natural drying instead of using the dryer is safer as you do not expose the fabrics to unnatural high temperature and pulling that can occur in a dryer. This lengthen the durability of the dog bed.
Before you let your dog back onto the bed, use a vacuum to remove any remaining debris remaining on your dog bed. It may have settled there while drying it outside in the sun. This ensures your dog is sleeping in a clean and cozy bed, free from outdoor elements for a healthy night.
The next thing you can do is to spray essential oils for a fragrant scent and a good night’s sleep for your dog. Use lavender as it has calming properties and reacts very well to dogs. It is crucial to get the best natural essential oil for your dogs as you do not know what other chemicals manufacturers add to their formula of essential oil. These chemicals can be detrimental to your dogs with sensitive skin, and since the essential oils are meant for humans and not pets, the amount, whilst is debatably bearable for humans, might be too much for your dog. Some of them have even burnt the skin of humans, let alone your dogs.
For this reason, I will recommend the Healing Solutions range of essential oils as they are proven to be using only natural ingredients as claimed by many of their previous customers and is of top-notch quality.
This is my complete guide of washing a dog bed. I would recommend washing the beds at least weekly, unless your pooch in very domesticated and does not like being out in the mud or rain and like to stay dry and clean, then a monthly affair would suffice. Regular washing of the sleeping areas of dogs is pivotal to ensure hygiene, for both you and your dogs.