The reason for using waterproof dog beds, especially for large dogs, is that you cannot fit a big dog bed in to a domestic washing machine. Of course there are large dog beds with very little substance and very little stuffing that you can fit in, but firstly, the stuffing can’t cope very well with washing and will clump up in to hard, uncomfortable balls and a bed with so little stuffing will never give support and insulation enough for a large dog on a cold floor anyway. So a great big, thick and supportive dog bed will end up smelling of dog and it will look dirty, greasy and muddy. If it does not have a waterproof cover, you are pretty stuck as it is not really possible to clean it.
So a waterproof bed with a thick, insulating and supportive stuffing is the solution. It is very easy and quick to wash a dog bed like this. You just take it outside and use hot, soapy water with a sponge going over all the dirty places on the bed. The soap can be any kind as long as you don’t use bleach in too high a dose. Once the bed is well cleaned and scrubbed all over, you need to rinse the soap off really well. If you leave too much of the soap residue, it will cling to new dust and dirt quicker and soon look like it needs a wash again.
One way of making washing easier and almost not needed is to take advantage of fitted, machine washable covers for dog beds. If you have a mattress dog bed with a fitted fleecy cover, you simply take this off and put it in your washing machine. As the fleecy cover is not waterproof, the water will wash it perfectly in the machine and it will come out looking new. If you have a dog that loves the muddy puddles or swimming in the ponds, he will bring in enough mud and dirt to penetrate the fleece cover and you might need to wash the waterproof dog bed underneath, but you might just do that once a year or so. Vacuuming the surface is normally enough on a weekly basis.
Good, clean dog beds are necessary for your household and for the dog.