How to Clean a Dog Bed

Posted by Matthew Ressler on

Dogs are known as a man's best friend for a reason - they are always happy to see us and are always there to provide us with companionship. But sometimes, dogs can be a little messy - especially when it comes to their beds.

In fact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, dogs actually raise the bacteria count in your home. While not all of this bacteria is bad, your dog’s bed could be laden with harmful bacteria and germs that could make you or your dog sick. 

Whether your dog’s bed has a machine-washable removable cover or requires a more hands-on cleaning approach, we’re here to help. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary steps to ensure your furry friend’s bed stays clean, fresh, and inviting. 

Each Situation Calls for Different Solutions

Cleaning a dog bed is not a one-size-fits-all task; each situation requires a specific solution. Whether it's a muddy paw print, a surprise accident, or just the daily accumulation of fur, knowing how to address each type of mess can make the cleaning process much more effective. 

Removing Stains

If you find a stain on your pup’s bed, begin by blotting out as much of the spill as possible using a clean paper towel. Make sure to press gently to absorb without spreading the stain. 

For those stubborn spots, an enzymatic cleaner or a pet-safe stain remover becomes your next line of defense. These products are formulated to break down the stain's components without harming your pet, ensuring the bed not only looks clean but is safe for your furry friend to snuggle back into. 

Removing Hair

Dog hair can weave itself into the fabric of your pet's bed, presenting a persistent cleaning challenge. A rubber glove can work wonders here—simply dampen it and run your hand over the surface of the bed. 

The friction created will ball up the hair, making it easier to remove. For more thorough cleanings, a lint roller or a vacuum with an upholstery attachment can efficiently remove those more stubborn hairs.

Cleaning Up Dog Poop

Accidents happen, and when they involve poop, cleaning up requires a bit more care. Remove any solids using a paper towel, being careful not to press the waste into the fabric. 

A pre-treatment with a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner can help in breaking down the mess. After letting it sit according to the product's instructions, wash the dog bed (if machine washable) in hot water to kill any bacteria, ensuring the bed is both clean and hygienic for its next use.

Dog Urine

Urine stains not only leave a mark but can also carry a lingering odor if not properly treated. After blotting up as much urine as possible, apply a generous amount of an enzymatic cleaner designed to neutralize pet odors and stains. 

These cleaners are adept at breaking down the urine at a molecular level, effectively eliminating both the stain and smell. Allow the bed to air dry thoroughly, as dampness can lead to mildew.

Cleaning Blood

Blood stains need to be addressed with care. Cold water is your best initial approach, as hot water can set the stain. Gently dab the stained area with a cloth soaked in cold water or use a spray bottle to apply it directly. 

If the stain persists, a mixture of salt and cold water can act as a gentle abrasive solution. Always test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the fabric.


Mud can create a mess, but it's one of the easier challenges to tackle. Allow the mud to dry completely before attempting to clean it. Once dry, use a brush to gently scrape off the mud particles. 

Vacuuming the remnants can help clear out any lingering dirt. For any stains left behind, a damp cloth with mild soap can be used to blot the area clean. Rinse with a wet cloth and let your pet’s bed dry completely.

How to Clean a Dog Bed With a Removable Cover

For dog beds with removable covers, the cleaning process is streamlined and efficient, ensuring that your pet's resting space remains fresh and hygienic with minimal effort. At CordaRoy’s, our pet bed outer covers are designed with convenience in mind, making them perfectly safe for both machine washing and drying. Here's a step-by-step guide to effectively clean your dog bed's removable cover:


Step 1

Before tossing the cover into the washing machine, shake it outside to remove any loose dirt, hair, or debris. For pet hair that's clinging on, a lint roller or vacuum with an upholstery attachment can be handy.

Step 2

If there are any visible stains on the cover, treat them with a pet-safe stain remover prior to washing. Apply the stain remover according to the product instructions, allowing it to sit for the recommended amount of time to break down the stains effectively.

Step 3

Review the washing instructions for your dog bed cover. Place the cover in your washing machine, opting for a gentle cycle to prevent damage to the fabric. Use a pet-safe, mild laundry detergent to ensure the cover remains safe for your dog's use. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as these can degrade the fabric's quality and potentially harm your pet.

Step 4

After washing, you can dry the cover in a tumble dryer on a low heat setting. CordaRoy's covers are designed to withstand the dryer, but keeping the temperature low is important to prevent any damage. Alternatively, for those who prefer to air dry, simply hang the cover outside or in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight to maintain the fabric's integrity and color.

Step 5

Once the cover is dry, inspect it to ensure there are no damp spots. Then, fit it back onto the bed's inner liner. A good shake and a fluff can help to redistribute the fill evenly, making the bed inviting and comfortable for your dog to enjoy.

How to Clean a Dog Bed Without a Removable Cover

If your dog's bed needs a good cleaning but you don't have a washing machine or it does not have a washable removable cover, don't worry - there are still ways to get the job done! Here are a few steps on how to clean your dog's bed and remove stains and odor without using a washing machine:

Step 1

Start by removing any loose dog hair or debris from the bed. A lint roller can be helpful for this step. 

Step 2

Next, vacuum the bed thoroughly. Pay special attention to seams and crevices where dirt and hair can accumulate.

Step 3

Once the bed is vacuumed, spot-clean or hand wash any areas that are particularly dirty with a cloth that is dampened with hot water.

If you own a CordaRoy’s Pet Bed, be sure to not let the foam on the inside of your bed wet. 

Step 4

Finally, sprinkle the bed with baking soda and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming it up again. This will help freshen and deodorize the fabric.

How to Disinfect a Dog Bed

If you do not have a CordaRoy’s Washable Dog Bed, consider the following for disinfecting. 

Disinfecting a dog bed is important to keep your furry friend healthy and safe. Fortunately, disinfecting a dog bed is easy and only takes a few simple steps. To disinfect your dog's bed, you will need to mix a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe down the bed with the vinegar solution.

Once the bed is wet, sprinkle baking soda on the bed and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, vacuum the bed to remove the baking soda. Allow the bed to air dry completely before letting your dog use it again. 

How to Freshen Up a Dog Bed 

Keeping your dog's bed smelling fresh and inviting is key to making sure your furry friend feels comfortable and at ease in their resting space. Over time, dog beds can start to hold onto odors, but with a few simple steps, you can breathe new life into them. Here’s how to freshen up your dog’s bed:

  1. Vacuum the Bed: Start by vacuuming the entire bed, paying special attention to seams and crevices. This removes loose dirt, hair, and dander that contribute to odors.
  2. Sunshine and Air: If the weather permits, place the bed outside in a sunny spot for a few hours. The sun’s UV rays have natural disinfecting properties, and the fresh air can help eliminate lingering smells.
  3. Baking Soda Treatment: Sprinkle baking soda generously over the bed's surface and let it sit for an hour or more. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that absorbs odors without the use of harsh chemicals. Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly before the next step.
  4. Lightly Spray with a Fabric Refresher: Use a pet-safe fabric refresher to give the bed a pleasant smell. Spray lightly and let the bed dry completely. Ensure the product is safe for pets and try to choose a scent that’s calming and not too overpowering for your dog’s sensitive nose.
  5. Washable Covers: For ongoing freshness, consider investing in a new washable cover. Our 40" Waterproof Terry Corduroy Pet Bed Cover offers convenience and hygiene, as they can be easily removed and machine washed. Alternatively, our high-quality 30" Canvas Pet Bed Cover is not only durable but also easy to keep clean, ensuring your pet's bed remains a welcoming spot.

What if My Bed Isn’t Washable

If your dog's bed isn't washable, there are still plenty of ways to keep it clean as mentioned above. One option is to wipe it down with a mixture of water and vinegar. This will help to remove any dirt or debris, and the vinegar will also act as a natural disinfectant. If there is a strong odor, you can sprinkle baking soda on the bed. Let it sit for a few hours, then vacuum it up. This will help to absorb any unwanted smells.

If you're tired of dealing with a dirty dog bed, you may want to consider purchasing a washable one like CordaRoy's Pet Beds. These beds are easy to care for, and you won't have to worry about them getting ruined in the washing machine. Plus, they're incredibly comfortable for your furry friend!

At CordaRoy's, we understand that accidents happen - that's why our pet bed covers are machine washable! Whether your furry friend has had an accident or you just want to give their bed a good cleaning, our machine washable covers make it easy to keep their bed looking and smelling great.


What Is an Enzyme Cleaner? | Better Homes & Gardens 

New CU-Boulder study looks at microbial differences between parents, kids and dogs | University of Colorado Boulder 

What’s Hiding in Your Laundry? | WebMD 

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