Can You Put a Cat Bed in the Washer?
There will come a time when you realize that your cat’s bed is far more filthy than you once thought. After all, when your cat sleeps on it day in and day out, it sheds the same amount of skin cells and other things onto the bed as well as its own fur. Just as you should wash your own sheets on a regular basis, you should make sure that you clean your cat bed on a regular basis as well, but unfortunately it isn’t as straightforward as this.
More often than not, you would just think that you could place the cat bed in washer, but the truth is that there are many different types of cat beds, and not all of them should go directly into the washer. In fact, most cat beds you have to disassemble a little bit first before you can get to properly cleaning the bed. When you are first purchasing cat beds, this is something that you will want to pay close attention to. There are more and more beds that can be machine-washed without a problem, but you will still need to keep an eye out on the ones that you cannot put into the washer. For instance, there are many models of heated cat beds that you cannot wash, for obvious reasons. With that being said, you can absolutely put your standard cat bed into the washer without an issue, as long as you take care to follow the usual steps when washing pet beds.
How Do You Wash Cat Beds?
Washing cat beds is a pretty simple process. There are only a few steps that you have to take to ensure that your cat bed is being fully cleaned and that it will come out of the washer looking freshly cleaned as if it was from the factory all over again. The materials that you are going to need are going to include rubber gloves, a vacuum, a lint brush (or similar), and a stiff-bristled brush.
First, you are going to want to make the job easier on the washer by doing what you can to remove hair and other debris in the cat bed yourself. This will mean that the washer will have an easier time reaching all of the other spots on the cat bed without spending too much of the wash cycle cleaning off dirt and debris from your cats. You will want to put on the rubber glove and lightly beat the bed so that you can get all of the cat hair out of the bed’s fibers. Wearing the rubber glove will not only keep you clean, but it will also make it a little bit easier for you to loosen up all the hairs in the bed. Loosening up the hairs is an important step, as it will make it easier for the vacuum to pick them all up.
You will then want to move on to vacuuming the cat bed. You can use the regular head of the vacuum first to simply get a broad range of debris out of the bed, but eventually you will want to stick to the crevice attachment so that you can get into all of the grooves of the bed and its seams and stitches. You can also spray a light misting of water over the bed before vacuuming. This has been shown to make it easier to vacuum up all of the debris that your cat may have left behind. If the bed is particularly smelly, you can sprinkle some baking soda on it before you vacuum the bed to make things a bit more tolerable before you put it in the washing machine. Remember to vacuum all around the bed as well to take care of any stray cat hairs. If you are worried about fleas, a vacuum is capable of removing flea eggs, but you will want to be very careful when disposing of the dust within the vacuum to ensure that you do not provide the flea eggs with a way out.
Now that you are done vacuuming, you will want to take the lint brush and make one final pass over the cat bed to remove any of the finer hairs that the vacuum was incapable of getting on its own. You can also use a stiff-bristle brush here if the cat bed has larger pieces of debris that still remain on it. Doing this will again help to make sure that all of the washer’s use is focused on cleaning the bed itself and not getting rid of things that could have been easily removed beforehand.
From here, you will be ready to move things into the washer. You will want to remove the cover from the cat bed. The cover is usually the patterned part of the bed and will be the part that covers the mattress inside of it. The cover should go into the washing machine, and you should be mindful to use all pet-safe soaps and treatments on the cover so that you are keeping your cats safe. You should wash the cat bed’s cover on a cold cycle and with a dye-free detergent. Naturally, the cat bed should be washed separately from any other household items and clothing, and you can give the cover two cycles if it’s notably dirty. You can then dry the cover in the dryer.
For the mattress, you will want to remove that and while the cover is in the washing machine, you will want to try and shake the mattress clean. This will help to remove hairs and debris that have somehow lodged themselves under the cover of the bed and into the bulk of the mattress. You can use the rubber gloves to keep your hands safe here too. Next, you can put the mattress into the washing machine either separately or with the cover, assuming that it is both washer-safe and that it is of the proper size. Otherwise, you will want to soak the mattress in a tub with about three tablespoons of pet-safe detergent. Finally, you will want to rinse out the mattress and leave it to dry outside as long as the weather permits. Otherwise, leave it to dry in a safe place inside.
Before you know it, you can put the cat bed back together and it will be looking (and smelling) brand-new again, becoming something that your cat appreciates spending time on.