Can You Put a Dog’s Bed in the Washing Machine?

dogs bed being cleaned in a washing machine

After a long day, we all enjoy falling into our freshly washed bedding and dogs are no different. This prompts the question of whether or not you can put a dog’s bed in the washing machine.

Dogs have the luxury of lounging in their bed for the majority of the day, which ultimately causes their beds to be extremely smelly and dirty much faster. 

Cleaning a dog’s bed can seem like a tedious task, but all it takes to restore its fresh scent is a good clean with the appropriate cleaning products and the correct method. 

The easiest method of all is to put the dog bed in the washing machine. This is completely safe to do if you follow the correct instructions. 

However, this may cause some damage to either the dog bed or your washing machine if the correct washing instructions are not followed.

Why you shouldn’t put a dog’s bed in the washing machine

There are a few things you should know before deciding to wash your dog’s bed in the washing machine.

Although it will make the bedding much cleaner and smell better it could result in various different problems which can cause your washing machine to break down.

removing dog hair from washing machine pump filter

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should not put a dog’s bed in a washing machine.

Dog hair can block the pump and the sump pipe

When washing a dog bed in the washing machine, the dog hair can cause the pump to become blocked and even block the sump pipe. 

The mixture of water and pet hair can create clumps of hair that will stick to your laundry, your washing machine drum and the internal pipes in your machine. 

This can cause your washing machine to temporarily be out of use as the water is unable to flush through the machine effectively and will need a service to dissolve and remove the hairs for future washes.

If your machine does become blocked up with dog hair, it may show an error code depending on the make and model of the appliance.

Faults such as the E03 error code are related to issues preventing the drainage of the appliance. This is usually because something is blocking the pump. A common fix for drainage problems is to check the filter and pump for any large blockages, in this case, it would be clumps of hair.

A great tip If you are still going to use the washing machine to wash your dog’s bed, is to use a lint roller beforehand, this can prevent large amounts of hair from blocking your machine. However, doing this will not always work.

Unbalanced loads might stop the machine from spinning and display an error code

When washing your dog’s bed, the heavy blankets may cause the machine to be uneven. An overloaded wash cycle can prevent the machine from spinning and often display an error code.

washing machine displaying an error code because it is unbalanced

The code UE error code is most commonly the fault code that will appear if the washer is not able to automatically balance the load itself.

This could also display itself as the UR error code on a Samsung washing machine which means you have an underloaded or overloaded drum. 

You can also prevent this from happening if you don’t put memory foam from your dog’s bed in the washing machine or large bundles of bedding all at once. 

How to wash a dog’s bed

When washing your dog’s bed, you want to consider a few things. 

Firstly, you need to wash both your dog’s bed cover and the bed itself but putting foam or a sponge in the washing machine isn’t always possible, so these steps are only effective for dog blankets and bed covers.

As discussed before, there is some aftercare to take into consideration before throwing them in the washing machine. By following these methods, you should be able to effectively clean both your dog’s bed and your washing machine afterwards.

lint roller being used to remove dog hair
  1. Always check your dog’s bedding first to ensure the label says it is safe to wash in the machine
  2. You want to remove as much excess hair as possible before putting it in the machine – The best way to do this is by hoovering the cover and using a lint roller which will get rid of any extra dirt or fur
  3. Using dog-safe products is always important – Using non-toxic detergents is key to ensuring it is safe for all pets
  4. Turn the machine to the highest heat setting possible to kill all bacteria and dirt – If you have any hard stains or urine patches, tackling these before these steps is advised for more effective cleaning 
  5. Air dry the bed cover /bedding or if suitable you can put them in the tumble dryer on low heat (check the labels)
  6. Clean down your machine of any dog hair that has been left behind by following our next steps

How to get dog hair out of a washing machine

The common problem with washing dog beds in the washing machine is that people complain about the hair that stays in the machine afterwards as it sticks to their clean clothes.

dog hair getting stuck inside washing machine

This is not an ideal problem to have as the hair will stay in the machine for a long time and may result in a wet dog smell and possible blockages in the future. 

To remove dog hair from a washing machine, follow these quick steps:

  1. Pre-prepared your machine by using a damp kitchen roll or a baby wipe to wipe the inside of the drum, door, and door seal – Removing as many stray hairs as possible
  2. Set the machine to a rinse cycle or a quick wash on the hottest setting – Anything between 65-90 degrees will be the most effective
  3. Then add a half-cup of white vinegar to the detergent drawer – White vinegar helps loosen pet hair as it is a natural softener, and it will also clean your machine internally
  4. Begin the hot wash cycle
  5. Once the cycle has ended, wipe down your machine’s drum again with a wet cloth and clean your machine’s filter (located at the bottom right of your machine behind the small door) – Remove any clumps of hair that may be gathered in there

There are alternative methods, such as washing machine cleaning products and dog hair dissolvers that may also work but this is an effective way that can be done with a product we all have at home.

How to clean your dog bed by hand

If your dog bed does not have removable covers or if you’re like me and don’t love the idea of cleaning dog hair from your washing machine every weekend, here is a method you can use to clean your dog’s bed without using your electrical appliance.

This method is also suitable for foam filling if you have already washed the cover in your machine.

  1. Just like before, hoover off as much extra hair and dirt as you can
  2. Fill up your bath or a large garden bucket with enough warm water to fully cover the dog bed. I would recommend a huge rubber garden bucket which personally works best for me as it avoids any dog hairs blocking my bath pipes – which let’s be honest, is a task I’d like to avoid
  3. Add in your pet-safe detergents or your home ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon. Then you can fully submerge the bed in the warm water for roughly 15 minutes or until the water starts to turn brown
  4. Using an old toothbrush or a cleaning sponge, scrub away any hard stains by hand. If their too stubborn apply a pet-safe stain remover or baking soda which will also remove any lingering odours
  5. Rinse and ring out any excess water
  6. Leave out to dry in the sun remembering to flip it to thoroughly dry from the bottom
dog sitting in freshly washed dogs bed

Whether you clean your dog’s bed by hand or if you use your washing machine, making sure to use suitable products will prevent any reactions to your dog while they lie comfortably in their clean bedding.

By following these steps regularly, you can guarantee your dog’s bed is clean and your appliance is ready for your next load of laundry every time.