If your dog likes to snuggle with you in bed, chances are his natural odor will become embedded in the fibers of your bedding. While some comforters can be tossed into a washing machine, other nonwashable or oversized pieces will require an extra gentle hand.
Always check your comforter’s care tag for cleaning instructions.
If your comforter is machine washable and small enough to fit into your home washing machine, you can clean it at home. Use a presoak setting and add a half-cup of baking soda to the water and detergent in the wash cycle and then add another half-cup in the rinse cycle to help neutralize doggy odors. If your dog has soiled the comforter in any way, pretreat stained areas with an enzymatic cleaner to help remove traces of urine or feces. Depending on the level of saturation, you may need to run the wash cycle more than once.
Take the comforter out of the washing machine and smell it before putting it in the dryer. Setting odors with a dry cycle can exacerbate the problem. Line drying a comforter can help it retain its shape more than putting it in the dryer.
Some super thick comforters or large size bedding won't fit into a traditional home washing machine. Check your local laundromat to see if they offer oversize or industrial machines for cleaning your comforter. Follow the same above instructions for washing. Since it's not practical to bring a large wet comforter home with you, partially dry it in a large commercial dryer and allow it to finish line drying at home.
If you have a comforter with intricate detailing such as lace, appliqué or embroidery, or your bedding is made from fabric that’s not machine washable, a professional dry cleaner is the best cleaning solution. If there are particular areas that require spot cleaning, identify those for the cleaner when you take it in.
Dry cleaning a comforter can be pricey, so call in advance for rates.
Spruce it Up
You might not need to wash or clean your comforter in its entirety. Clean small soiled areas by hand using a delicate wash detergent or a mix of water and vinegar and allow to air dry. If it has a light doggy smell to it, try spritzing your comforter with a fabric refreshing agent. Hang it outside for an hour or fluff it in your dryer with fabric softener sheets for a couple of minutes.
Consider using a removable duvet cover or even a washable decorative blanket over your comforter. These will be easier to clean and will lengthen the life of your bedding.