Tips

How to Wash Dog Beds, Clean Pet Toys and Get Rid of Pet Hair

From boisterous canines to heart-melting kittens, pets make life better. They bring cuddles, companionship…and maybe a few slobbers and never-ending hair. Cleaning pet sweaters, beds and toys isn’t always as simple as throwing them in the wash. From trying to figure out how to remove cat hair from clothes to how to clean dog beds, we show you how to get your pet supplies squeaky clean.

How to wash stinky dog beds

If there’s one place where there’s an abundance of hair, it’s the dog or cat bed. And if there’s odor, you’ve got double trouble. Whether or not your dog bed has a cover, you’ll want to thoroughly vacuum it before you throw it in the wash. After you vacuum, take a lint roller or pet hairbrush to snag elusive stray hairs. 

Or if you have Speed Queen’s® DR7 dryer, skip the vacuuming and lint-rolling and let the Pet Plus® cycle do the work. Tested at rescue and service animal organizations and a university veterinary clinic, the results are exceptional. You only need to wash once to remove hair and odors. 

Then check for stains that look like they might give your washer a run for its money. Spot clean deep stains by saturating them with a mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and detergent.

Check the tag to see any special instructions before washing. Once your dog’s bed is fresh and clean, tumble dry on gentle for about 20 minutes, then pat with a dryer sheet for static and any final hairs.

If your dog or cat bed has stuffing and you need to handwash it: 

  • Fill your bathtub with enough hot water to submerge the bed
  • Pour about a capful of detergent in and gently scrub the bed with a scrub brush
  • Drain the tub, then rinse the bed under the faucet 
  • Air dry 
  • Let your pet enjoy their “ultimutt” clean bed

How to clean pet toys

When it comes to cleaning pet toys, the good news is that pet toys are made to be chewed on, pounced on, tugged on, and dragged through the mud. But before you toss that well-loved pet toy in the wash, hang on. Will heat ruin it? Will the washer make it lumpy? What about disinfecting? 

Rope and plush toys

A rope toy is usually more durable than even regular clothing, so you can let the washer handle rope. A plush toy can also be machine-washed (unless the tag says otherwise). Just place your pet’s plush toys in a mesh bag and wash on gentle with cold water. Even squeakers!

Rubber and plastic toys

That toy bone might have puppy bite marks, or the plastic mouse might get clawed, but rubber, nylon or plastic often can’t beat the heat. Either keep the water on cold or use a toothbrush and antibacterial soap to get rid of dirt and bacteria. 

Disinfecting toys

Forget the bleach. Your pet’s toys end up in their mouth or cuddled up close, so you want to safely sanitize. Use a 1:1 vinegar-water ratio to soak all toys in to disinfect. Just rinse thoroughly to cut the sharp vinegar smell. 

For toys that heat won’t bother, the microwave is a fast and easy sanitization solution. Pre-soak in water until toys are completely wet, then microwave for about a minute to help kill germs. 

How to get rid of pet hair

Pet hair somehow finds its way everywhere. In your closet, under your couch cushions, on your blankets—pet hair is just there. A couple easy tips to get rid of pet hair include: 

  • Grooming your pet and vacuuming your floors regularly
  • Using a lint roller on fabric and hard surfaces, like couches and countertops

Speed Queen’s® Pet Plus® cycle can also make your life more hair-free and carefree. Hair-covered laundry goes in, hair-free laundry comes out. 

Last but not least: Use safe detergents

When you roll your sleeves up all ready to scrub, don’t fetch your normal detergent. Skip the harsh chemicals and stick with gentle soaps. While your go-to shampoo is great for stripping dirt out of your hair, it may strip away natural oils from your pet’s fur and irritate their skin. And laundry detergents with pleasant smells usually contain unhealthy dyes and fragrances.

While you can get special pet detergents, a detergent made for sensitive skin is also a good choice. Or make your own. It’s easy-peasy to whip up a DIY laundry detergent, and you likely have the ingredients on-hand.

Make pet cleaning easy

Cleaning your dog’s bed, getting cat hair out of clothes, and keeping pet toys clean and disinfected can be easy. Happy washing!