How to Clean a Dog Bed Without a Removable Cover? 6 Methods

how to clean a dog bed without a removable cover

Perhaps you’ve recently bought a dog bed without a removable cover and you are wondering how to wash it clean of dirt it has accrued over time? 

Admittedly, cleaning a bed without a removable cover is a daunting task that needs proper know-how to keep your dog clean and free of bacteria.

Got a few minutes? Read on below:

How to Clean a Dog Bed Without a Removable Cover?

First things first, it is imperative you understand that washing your dog’s bed every time he sleeps on it isn’t feasible.

However, a dog can bring all manner of dirt to his bed, which can get stuck between tight areas and expose your dog to potential health risks. This is why I always recommend regular cleaning, after which washing can come at least once a week.

For a start, we’ll be looking at how to wash clean a dog bed without a removable cover, after which we will break down how to do proper washing.

Items You’ll Need to Clean and Wash

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Warm Water
  • Washing Machine
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Lint Roller
  • A Stain Remover Product for Pets

Cleaning a Dog Bed Without Removable Cover

1. Remove Dirt and Dog Hair

If you have a dog who spends a lot of playtime outside, you might want to pay more attention to the inner edges of his bed.

This is because dogs who play outside usually get in bed with a lot of dirt stuck in their fur. This dirt often gets swept away to the bed’s nooks as a dog sleeps on it at intervals.

Also, whenever a dog sheds his hair while in bed, it creates a mess. For this reason, I recommend vacuuming the bed first to push out dirt and reduce mess if the bed is wet. I reviewed best dog beds for hairy dogs, you can check it here.

However, if a bad smell is emanating from the bed, you can get some baking soda and spray it evenly on the bed; the smell will be subdued to a large extent.

For loose hair, I recommend using a dog hair removal brush to fish them out. Alternatively, you can use a lint roller to remove loose hair.

There are many choices of these products you can get in the market for a token.

When you’re done with all the above, take the bed outside and shake very well to make hair and dirt residue fall out, after which you should run a vacuum over the bed again but, this time, with the upholstery nozzle paying close attention to the nooks and creases.

2. Remove Stains

The number-two important cleaning step is to remove stains from the bed; this could also be stains from your dog’s drool. Stains are more difficult to spot or remove when a bed is wet, so I recommend using a stain remover before washing.

However, avoid products with harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, as they may irritate dogs with sensitive skin.

For this reason, I strongly recommend stain removers that are specifically made for dogs like the one below; they are less harmful to dogs and can neutralize odor even better. 

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to go all-natural, you can use apple cider or white vinegar; either can remove stains and deodorize greatly.

Whichever option you go with, spray it on each stain spot on the bed, leave for 10 minutes, and then dab with a damp cloth.

You should strictly dab the spots with a wet cloth and not scrub; scrubbing will make stain residues and chemicals spread to other parts.

Washing a Dog Bed Without Removable Cover

how to clean a dog bed without a removable cover

While cleaning a dog bed regularly can make it less messy, doing a complete wash is the best way to keep a dog bed free of dirt.

Hence, I recommend cleaning twice a week and washing once. Follow the simple steps below for washing a dog bed without a removable cover.

3. Immerse the Bed in Hot Water

Depending on how dirty the bed is, soaking it in hot water will help ease out dirt and kill bacteria lurking in it.

If you’re dealing with a small bed, you can immerse it in a washing machine with hot water and then leave for some minutes to ease out dirt and kill germs.

On the other hand, big beds cannot go into a washer, so you’ll need to fill your bathtub with hot water and then immerse the bed in it.

Otherwise, if your location is close to a laundromat, you can take it there and make use of their bigger washer.

Note that the soaking should be done with a detergent, albeit a mild one. Avoid detergents with a harsh chemical.

4. Wash

Again, place the bed in a washing machine and wash. Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions if there are any.

Use a soap detergent; ideally, one made for pets, and you can also add apple or white vinegar to kill bacteria.

Otherwise, if your dog uses a big bed, handwashing will suffice. After the first step of soaking, place the bed in the tub, and add some detergent. Wash thoroughly and pay close attention to the nooks.

5. Rinse

Rinsing a dog bed involves two processes – 1) to make the bed free of all dirty water and 2) rinse off soap residue. While doing this, ensure you spin the bed twice to remove as much water as possible.

On the flip side, if you’re washing with your hand, squeeze the bed as much as possible to remove all dirty water. Again, submerge the bed in water and then squeeze for the second time to remove soap residue.

You can repeat the process so as to get rid of much soap residue and dirty water as possible.

6. Dry

There are many options to deploy when drying a dog bed; it all depends on what ticks the box for your convenience.

On a sunny day, it’d make sense to take the bed out and leave it to dry. Otherwise, if it’s a small dog bed, you can put it in a tumble dryer.

When drying out in the sun, place the bed on a drying rack or whatever you deem will do the job of draining water and letting air circulate.

Whichever method you go with, ensure that the bed is completely dry before bringing it in for your dog to use again.

This is because mold could grow inside the bed and, even worse, it could become very smelly after some time.

The aftermath of your dog sleeping on a damp surface are some risks to his health.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog’s Bed?

Ideally, as mentioned earlier, washing your dog’s bed at least once a week will do him a lot of good.

A dog’s hair is a homestead for a plethora of bacteria and dirt, with most being carried during their playtime in the compound.

These can be transferred to his bed whenever he sleeps on it.

Even worse, bacteria and germs can thrive in a dog’s bed for up to 12 months, even without the dog using the bed actively. In this case, you’re safe either as your dog can transmit bacteria to you.

However, regular cleaning and washing will keep germs and bacteria at bay. If your dog hasn’t been using his bed in a while, ensure you clean or wash it first before he starts sleeping in it again.

Ingredients You Avoid In Cleaning Products For Dogs

Many cleaning products in the market include chemicals that can be harmful to your dog.

Check the labeling of the product and ensure any of the following concentrations is not included:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Nonylphenol Exthoxylayes or NPE
  • Phenols
  • Bleach
  • Fragrance Additives
  • Chlorine
  • Perchlorathylene
  • Phthalates
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Diethanolamine
  • Petroleum Distillates

In addition to the above, I’ve seen cases where people add drops of essential oils on the dog bed to neutralize odor.

The truth is that essential oils are potentially dangerous to dogs, despite their being natural. Considering this, never nurse the idea of adding a few drops to whatever mix you clean a dog bed with.

How to Maintain a Clean Dog Bed?

As stated earlier, having the discipline to wash your dog’s bed once every week is a Herculean task.

I mean, some of us even cringe at the thought of washing our own beds, let alone that of our dogs.

However, maintaining a good cleaning culture between washes will parry infections away from both you and your dog.

1. Dry Out in The sun

Take your dog bed without a removable cover out in the sun once in a while. Other than drying out mess such as your dog’s drool, the sun can help eliminate the smell and kill bacteria lurking in tight edges.

2. Use Stain Removers

Whenever you notice your dog has created stubborn stains on his bed, use a stain remover product to remove them. This will make washing later easier.

3. Cover the Bed with a Waterproof Liner

There are many water-resistant covers than you can get from a pet store, plus they are usually large and easy to wash.

Cover your dog’s bed with it, and you can also do the same wherever he sits — on the furniture, the bed, and the rug. This is to protect them from your dog’s mess.

4. Vacuum the Bed

Vacuuming is pretty much a piece of cake and should take only a few minutes of your time. You can do this every day or two to help maintain a bed smell-free.


Keeping our dogs’ beds clean always is not only good for them but us owners as well.

While washing a dog bed without a removable cover can be a daunting task for anyone, doing the actual washing will be a walk in the park if you follow this article’s guide on how to wash a dog bed without a removable cover.  

With it, subsequent washes will be easy, and stains and smell won’t be so challenging to get rid. I hope you know how to clean a dog bed without a removable cover.

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