Freshen Up Your Dog’s Bed with This Simple Vinegar and Baking Soda Trick


Cleaning a dog bed regularly is important to remove dirt, odors, bacteria, and allergens. Using vinegar and baking soda is an effective way to naturally clean and disinfect a dog bed. The acidity of vinegar helps kill bacteria and break down stains and odors, while the abrasiveness of baking soda scrubs away dirt. Using natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda is often more effective than regular detergent in removing tough odors and stains from accidents. It also avoids exposing your pet to harsh chemicals found in many conventional cleaners.

Regularly washing a dog bed with vinegar and baking soda provides several benefits. It keeps the bed fresh and comfortable for your dog. It removes allergens that can cause irritation. And it prevents the buildup of bacteria, mold, and yeast that could lead to skin infections or other health issues. Overall, this simple green cleaning method helps maintain a clean, healthy environment for both you and your furry friend.

Supplies Needed

There are just a few simple household ingredients needed to wash a dog bed using vinegar and baking soda:

  • White distilled vinegar – The acidic nature of vinegar helps cut through dirt, debris, and stains. It’s also a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate odors.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help lift stains. When combined with vinegar, it makes a fizzy cleaning solution.
  • Water – Use lukewarm water to rinse the bed thoroughly after washing.
  • Spray bottle – This makes it easy to evenly distribute the cleaning solution over the entire surface of the bed.

Having these basic supplies on hand means you can give your dog’s bed a deep clean anytime it’s needed. The cleaning power of vinegar combined with the scrubbing bubbles from baking soda allow you to get the bed fresh and clean without harsh chemicals. Be sure to use white distilled vinegar, as other types like apple cider vinegar can leave behind residue.

Preparing the Bed

Before washing your dog’s bed, it’s important to prepare it properly to ensure any loose debris is removed. The first step is to take the bed outside and give it a good shake to dislodge any loose hair or dirt.

brushing dirt off a dog bed before washing

According to the article “How to Wash Dog Beds in the Washer” on the Maytag blog, you should use a brush or vacuum to remove as much hair and dirt as possible before washing the bed. This will prevent the debris from getting tangled or trapped in the bed during the wash cycle.

Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of the bed, removing any visible dirt or grime. Pay extra attention to areas that are prone to collecting debris, like along seams or edges. The more thorough you are in pre-cleaning the bed, the better the final wash results will be.

Once you’ve brushed and vacuumed the dog bed to remove surface debris, it’s ready for washing. Just be sure to properly clean the brush and vacuum tools afterwards to prevent spreading dirt and germs into your home.

Mix the Cleaning Solution

An effective cleaning solution for washing dog beds can be made by mixing vinegar and baking soda. According to Hellamaid, the ideal ratio is 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water [1]. To make the solution:

  • Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a spray bottle.
  • Add 2 cups of warm water and shake vigorously to combine.
  • Add a light sprinkle of baking soda to the bottle and swirl around.

The baking soda helps boost the cleaning power of the vinegar solution. The vinegar helps break down stains and odors, while the baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive on the fabric [2]. This DIY cleaner can be used on dog beds to help lift dirt, debris, and stuck-on messes.

Spray and Scrub

Liberally spray the solution over the entire bed. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. This allows the vinegar solution time to penetrate stains and odors (source). Scrub with a brush using circular motions to lift dirt, debris, and stuck-on gunk. Pay close attention to areas that get the most use and show visible signs of soiling. The vinegar will help break down urine, feces, and other organic stains while the baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to scrub away grime.

spraying a cleaning solution on a dog bed

Rinse Thoroughly

After letting the cleaning solution soak, it’s time to rinse the bed thoroughly to remove all traces of vinegar, baking soda, and dirt. Take the bed outside and use a hose to rinse it off. Make sure to rinse both sides of the bed.

You can also rinse the bed in a tub if you don’t have access to a hose. Fill the tub with cool water and submerge the bed, swishing it around to remove the suds. Drain the tub and refill with clean water, repeating this process until the water runs clear.

It’s important to rinse thoroughly until all the suds and cleaning solution residue are gone. Remaining vinegar can irritate your dog’s skin. Check the bed closely to ensure no soapy residue remains before moving on to the next step.

According to WikiHow, rinsing with a hose or in a tub helps remove all traces of the cleaning solution from the bed.

Disinfect and Deodorize

To thoroughly disinfect and deodorize the dog bed, make a new solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water (How do I clean dog bedding with vinegar?, How to Clean a Smelly Dog Bed With Vinegar | Cuteness). Pour the vinegar solution into a spray bottle. Then, liberally spray the solution all over the dog bed, making sure to cover every surface. Allow the vinegar solution to sit on the bed for at least 10-15 minutes before proceeding. This gives the vinegar time to kill bacteria, break down stains, and neutralize odors.

Dry the Bed

disinfecting a freshly washed dog bed with vinegar

After thoroughly rinsing the dog bed, it’s important to let it dry completely before your dog uses it again. The best way to dry a dog bed is to allow it to air dry in the sun. Sunlight acts as a natural sanitizer, helping to kill any remaining germs or bacteria that may be lingering in the fabric. Lay the bed in a spot that gets full sun exposure and let it sit for several hours, flipping periodically, until fully dry. The heat from the sun will help expedite the drying process.

If the bed has a removable cover that is machine washable, you can also tumble dry it on low heat according to the care instructions. Avoid using high heat, as this can damage the fabric over time. It’s best to air dry foam inserts and beds that are not machine washable rather than attempting to dry them in a machine. Thoroughly drying the dog bed is a crucial final step to ensure no moisture is left behind, which could allow mildew or mold to grow.

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Refresh Regularly

It’s recommended to wash your dog’s bed about once a month to keep it fresh and clean. More frequent washing may be needed for puppies or incontinent dogs. Spot clean any accidents immediately to prevent staining and smells. When you notice an accident, blot up any excess liquid then spray the area thoroughly with undiluted white vinegar. Allow it to sit for several minutes to penetrate and neutralize odors before blotting it up. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that helps remove urine smells.

For beds with removable covers, just throw the cover in the wash. For beds without removable covers, spot clean the accident immediately with vinegar then wash the entire bed monthly. Washing dog beds regularly with vinegar and baking soda helps eliminate odors, bacteria, dirt, and allergens.


Washing your dog’s bed with vinegar and baking soda is an effective way to remove odors, dirt, and stains. First, remove the bed’s cover and soak it in a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and water. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. Spray vinegar directly onto the bed to help disinfect, deodorize, and dry faster. Finally, put the cover back on the freshly washed bed.

Using vinegar and baking soda to wash dog beds has many benefits. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial that kills odor-causing bacteria. Baking soda is a deodorizer and mild abrasive that helps lift stains. Together, they break down dirt, eliminate odors, and sanitize the bed [1]. This green cleaning method is safe for dogs and the environment.

a clean, fluffy dog bed

To keep your dog’s bed fresh between washes, spot clean messes right away, vacuum regularly, and sprinkle with baking soda. Wash the bed and bedding every few weeks or whenever it starts to smell. With this simple process using pantry staples, you can easily keep your pup’s bed clean and comfortable.

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