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My nickname for Rocket is Lil' stinker because he is always getting into something offensive smelling. I guess I don't really mind since I know he is having fun but it does make for a pretty dirty dog bed. Even a weekly bath doesn't keep his bed odor-free.
Unfortunately, many common cleaners and detergents are unsafe for our dogs. Actually, if you really spend some time researching, you will find that not only can the additives found in laundry detergent irritate your dog's skin, they can be toxic. Dryer sheets and fabric softener are just as bad. This article posted by The Spruce talks about the dangers of dryer sheets.
Are there laundry detergents actually safe for pets? YES!
Here are 3 detergents safe for you AND your dog.
Seventh Generation: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent is free of dyes and artificial brighteners and delivers a powerful, stain fighting clean. It's also fragrance-free which your dog will appreciate.
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day offers a collection of household products made with essential oils from flowers and herbs that smell nice and are excellent at cleaning dirt and grime. Their products have a mild garden fresh scent and include Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Geranium and many others. They list all of the ingredients on their website as well as a glossary that explains what everything is.
Method: Method's entire product line is safe for use around pets and is specially formulated to put the hurt on dirt without harming your furry friends. Besides their laundry detergent, I love their naturally derived squirt + mop floor cleaner. Perfect for your pup's paws.
For a clean and odor-free dog bed
Fortunately, there are many ways to safely and naturally get the job done. Most of us even have the supplies needed already in our pantries.
- Baking Soda – to neutralize odors
- Distilled white vinegar – to soften dog bed and prevent fur from sticking
- Mild detergent – chemical free like we mentioned above
Step 1: Remove any fur from the bed. A helpful trick is to put on a rubber dish glove and rub your hand all over to pick up any fur. This works great on your couch as well. If you need to, use the vacuum to pick up any loose dirt.
Step 2: Check the cleaning instructions on your dog's bed to determine if it's safe for the washing machine or hand-wash only. If the bed has a removable cover, take it off and set aside the rest. Place the cover in the washing machine, add mild detergent and 1 cup of baking soda to the wash water. To keep pet hair from clinging to your dog's bed or blankets, add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the last rinse cycle. You can also wash it by hand in the bathtub with warm water and follow the instructions above.
Step 3: To prevent the cover from shrinking, line dry outside in the sun or place it in the dryer on air dry or low heat for 15 minutes, then hang until dry. If you do use a dryer, do NOT use dryer sheets.
Step 4: If the bed is really dirty or if there isn't a removable cover, you may need to wash the entire bed. To do this, fill the bathtub with warm water, add a small amount of mild detergent and 1 cup of baking soda. Make sure the bed is entirely covered in water. Work the detergent into the bed by gently rubbing it. Be especially careful with foam as it is delicate. Soak the bed for about 15 minutes then drain the tub and squeeze out soapy water. Refill with fresh water and add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar. Work the vinegar into the bed and squeeze out any remaining soap. Drain the tub again making sure no soap is remaining. Rinse once more to remove the vinegar. Carefully squeeze as much of the water as you can and place outside in a sunny area to dry. Make sure the bed is thoroughly dry before using to prevent mold from developing.
This method works really well for blankets and dog toys as well.
Related Post: How to Naturally Protect Your Dog's Paws in the Summer
To freshen the bed
Sprinkle baking soda generously over the top surface of the bed and let it sit for a few hours. Make sure the bed is out of reach for your dog because ingesting baking soda especially in large quantities can be dangerous. Vacuum up the baking soda and loose fur. Do this weekly to keep Fido's bed deodorized and de-stinkified!
Now you can go nuts and pick out some super cool dog beds not only your pooch will love, but compliments the decor of your house without worrying about offending family and friends!
Have any tips to keep pet odors at bay? Let us know in the comments below!