Best way to wash dog bedding?

brendainnjDecember 6, 2009

Hi, I'm new here, and not sure if this is the best place to post this. How does everyone wash their pets' bedding? I used to throw mine in my top loader, it was pretty easy to wipe (or vacuum) out the dog hair when it finished. Now that I've invested a small fortune in a front-loader, I am loathe to ruin it with dog hair. There's enough dog hair on our clothes, let alone putting in the dog's bed. I have a lab who sheds almost constantly. I can't afford to replace his bed every time it's dirty, and it seems silly to go to the laundromat for 1 item. The vacuum doesn't take out enough of the hair either, I've tried. I'm not even sure there is a solution, just curious what everyone else does. Thanks so much!

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I've never had dog hair left in my washer from washing the beds, but I have had horse hair when I washed DS's horse blankets. I just wiped out the worst and ran a rinse or short wash cycle with the washer empty. That always took care of it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:06PM
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I refuse to buy commercial dog bedding just for the reasons you posted. I purchase used comforters from the goodwill or other thrift store, they run about $10 - $15 a piece and I rotate them. Then after a month or so of rotating them I take them all down to the laundrymat and run them through the huge 55 pound machine. I have a Bull Mastiff Husky mix and he shed everyday and has a bloom twice a year, loves to roll in the dirt, the grass or anything else. So I am always cleaning. I have also found it is almost impossible to clean the interior pillows of the dog beds, and they collect the finest dirt particles. Making them smell bad. Washing the outside of the bed only takes care of so much. Comforters...just pop the whole thing in and presto. And when my pup gets excited and starts to tear the comforters, I dont care because it costs next to nothing to buy a good new used one. Good luck with whatever you choose

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:07PM
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I use my front loader for my golden retriever's and golden doodle's bedding. Any hair remaining, I just wipe out with a damp paper towel or a microfiber cloth. Never had a problem.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:09PM
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labs do shed a lot but you can reduce the amount by using a good soft bristle slicker brush regularly (at least once a week). I used to collect whole bags of hair off mine after brushing especially when she was moulting with a change of season and it really cuts down on the amount of hair that floats around the house.

As far as washing, I just toss them in the machine and clean out the filter afterwards.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:21PM
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I like going to the laundromat for pet bedding;
they have these huge washing machines that supposedly can handle 60 pounds of dirtiness, & it seems like the dryers get hotter than mine.

I just read a book while the blankies are going around & around.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 5:10PM
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I have a huge front loading washing machine that I do use to wash my dog beds.

I do shake them outside first, to get off the big clumps.

Any hair left in the machine, gets wiped out with a damp paper towel.

I probably get more hair left in the lint trap in the dryer than I get in the wash machine.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 5:38PM
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I guess I don't understand the problem. Your washer and dryer have lint filters, don't they? If you worry, just open the dryer every now and then while it is drying and clean the filter. I have both front-loading washer and dryer (and a lab) and still wonder what the problem is?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 4:24PM
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She has a brand new washing machine & she just wants it to keep its "new car smell" a little longer!

I don't blame her.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 3:27PM
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I usually add a drop of tea tree oil to my wash water, especially for dog bedding.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 3:39PM
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I have used my (high end) washer and dryer for pet bedding since they were new ---- what did I buy them for if not to clean things? High giggle factor here!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Carmen I actually agree with you. Pets are part of the family and should be treated as such. While I understand people may want to keep things nice and clean and perfect, you have to make compromises when you own an animal.

For instance I love the way some people have their homes immaculate. A friend of mine has an all white living room which looks fabulous. I know I will never have that. To me it is more important to live in a home than to have it perfect.

My couches will always have some dog hair. I look for carpets and tiles that can hide dog drool and the dirt that comes in on their feet. My white down comforter is now covered by a red duvet cover.

As for my washer and dryer....I've never had a problem with the dog hair. The lint trap catches most of it anyway. Besides my hair will probably destroy things faster than the dogs anyway, and my husband swears I shed as much...can't hide long black hair :-)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 5:25PM
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I run the vacuum over the beds now and then but when it's time to clean them, I zip off the covers & toss them in the frontloader. I have 2 black lab mix dogs and 2 cats. When I wash the dog beds or the couch blankets, I do end up with a little hair in the rubber gasket and I wipe the window off with a towel as it collects some hair too. Other than that, I just try not to make the next load of laundry something that I really don't want hair on (I wouldn't want to wash a white linen tablecloth next load for example) but other than that, I haven't had any problems. I've had my front loader almost 2 years.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 11:57PM
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OK, maybe I'm missing something. I'm familiar with the lint filter in my dryer & that's not the issue. Where is there a filter in my FL washer? I see only 3 very small holes in the rubber gasket which even now gets clogged with hair from our normal clothes. I don't see anything in the manual about a lint filter.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 6:29PM
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I washed a throw pillow (thanks to my lovely cat) in my FL washer today and in the process, it ripped open (it's an older pillow that actually says to dry clean - which I have ignored several times). Anyway, I opened the washer to find a big pile of loose pillow fluff. I though sure I was going to have a problem. The gasket area (where I usually remove a little dog hair most loads) was full of fluff. As a precaution, I decided to check the lint filter. I was quite surprised to see that none of the fluff made it past the gasket. There was little lint or hair in the filter, also surprising since I've had the machine almost 2 years and this is the first time I've opened it up.

brendainnj, a lot of the FLs don't tell you about the lint filter, I'm not sure why. Our first FL, a small Whirlpool we bought in 2005 had a little door at the bottom of the machine that you just flipped open to access the filter which the book said to check every 6 months or something (or maybe that's how often I remembered to do it?). On my current Whirlpool Duet, the manual says nothing of the filter but I've read online about those. To access this filter, I had to remove the front panel underneath the washer door which required a star-bit screwdriver. I took out the 3 screws along the bottom. The filter is just to the right of the center and is round. Just twist the knob and pull out the filter (be ready for water to come out as well, probably a cup or two). It looks like a larger version of my fridge water filter if that makes any sense to you. Of course, if you have a different brand of machine, this won't help you much so try a google search.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 3:58AM
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The new machines don't have lint filters you can clean and if you go over to the laundry forum, you'll see where people are indeed having issues with them and lint/hair. It's a big issue for people who have septic systems (the synthetic lint, not the biodegradable pet hair). The new machines allow more residue to go out with the wash water.

I have a twenty pound dog, so I cover his dog-bed cusion with a pillow slip. That's easily shook out and laundered with my dirtier clothing. I sometimes baby-sit my daughter's large breed dogs and I took them to a laundromat too, and ran them through the big machines.

I don't have to do that anymore, however, because I'm eccentric enough when I bought my last washer, I got a wringer washer, even though a new one is as expensive as some of the bells and whistles front loaders. It had to be imported from overseas, since they aren't made in America anymore. My wringer handles any size load and with the big drain-hole and screen lint isn't an issue anymore. The dog bedding goes in last.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 1:38PM
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Where is the lint filter usually located in a front load washer?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 1:55AM
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I agree the lint-trap catches almost everything and I have big dogs.

I also almost always use some bleach, too. I use to work at a shelter and its just habit - bleach kills parvo and all viruses. My dogs never leave our back yard - so yes, it's just habit. They aren't out picking up any viruses at a dog park or anything... But still, its just what I do.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 1:48AM
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