The Secret on How to Get Dog Beds (and Towels and Blankets) Clean

With three dogs under foot, we’ve gone through our fair share of dog beds in the past eight years. Even when beds still looked brand new, they certainly didn’t smell brand new—and nothing seemed to work to get the stink out! Think you’re destined to buy new beds every month? Think again! We have the simple tricks to getting those beds (and towels and blankets) clean and smelling fresh as new!

1. Vacuum before you wash

This probably gets overlooked, especially if you have a dog with lighter fur.  Even short-haired dogs shed and sometimes they shed a lot more than you think! Vacuuming beds before you wash will not only help you get a cleaner bed, it will keep your washer, dryer, and pipes free of fur clogs—and residual smell.

Flip the bed inside out and use the handheld attachment to get into all the crevices where fur and other debris likes to hide. Keep the bed inside out to wash.

2. Washing machine protocol—and the secret! 

We try to steer clear of harsh detergents since two of our three dogs have environmental allergies and their skin is more sensitive. Using baby laundry detergent—we use Purex but any kind will do—is gentler on the fabric and also your dog’s skin, but possibly not as tough on stains or smells.

If you find your detergent alone isn’t cutting it, here’s how to compensate:

  • White vinegar: Pour anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of vinegar directly on the beds in the machine.
  • Secret Ingredient that WORKS: Add 5 drops of Purificiation Essential Oil from Young Living to the laundry soap dispenser. You can use more drops if needed for especially stinky or soiled beds.
  • Optional: Add 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil to the soap dispenser for a bigger scent boost. Lavender is a calming scent and safe for dogs! Purification already contains a cross between French and English Lavender (see below), so adding more lavender is not a must, but we like it!

3. Dry thoroughly

One of the issues with the timed cycle on the dryer is beds never seem to actually be dry! Lingering moisture in the crevices will lead to a musty smell in the bed—and your dryer. Keep the bed turned inside out and dry on a timed cycle for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the number and size of beds. Then flip the bedding and dry again for 20 to 40 minutes. This will ensure a thoroughly dried bed—and no smell!

What is Purification?

Purification is an essential oil blend crafted by Young Living, one of the longest standing and most reputable oil companies in the world. It’s comprised of six oils:

  1. Citronella
  2. Lavadin
  3. Lemongrass
  4. Rosemary
  5. Myrtle
  6. Tea Tree

Something to keep in mind: the smell might be overpowering to some first-time essential oil users, but it is highly concentrated and you only need a few drops for it to be effective. Wholesale price for a 5ml bottle is $15.75 and retail price is $20.72, which doesn’t include tax or shipping. Depending on the size and number of your dog beds, you can get at least 10 laundry loads out of one bottle. It’s versatile, too—you can use 2-3 drops on a cotton ball and leave it at the bottom of your trash to eliminate smelly bins or diaper pails. And of course, there is always diffusing it, too!

Lavender essential oil comes in a 15ml bottle; at wholesale price it runs $24.25 and retail price is $31.91.

You do not need to be a monthly member to get wholesale pricing—we’re not! You will have to sign up under a distributor though, where you are required to make a one-time starter kit purchase, starting at $45. If you want to purchase products at retail price, this is not necessary—when purchasing retail, simply choose “retail” as your membership option at checkout.

Note: We are not Young Living distributors nor do we get any kickback from linking you to this product. This is simply a product we love that works for us! It is highly recommended you purchase this product through the Young Living website, as they guarantee fresh and authentic oils “from seed to seal.” 

The Bottom Line

We were skeptical essential oils would work but “Purification” truly does eliminate the stink—even for those super sensitive to smell, like myself. We still donate our dog beds to the shelter or to a local rescue group after months of use, but this has helped save us some money by prolonging the life of our dog beds.