Let’s face it, if you have a furry four-legged friend living in your home, they’re going to make messes from time to time. Not only that, but their very presence can often dirty up a home with dander, hair and dirt that gets tracked in from outside. Cleaning up after your pet is no picnic, but there are a number of ways to prevent your home from smelling and looking like it belongs to the dogs and cats.
Protect Your Furniture
Pets are going to find their way onto furniture whether or not they’re technically allowed on it, so you’ll want to clean your furniture and protect it against excessive odor or filth. One of the best ways to combat pet odor on furniture is to sprinkle your upholstered pieces with a dusting of baking soda. Let it settle on the furniture for about 15 or 20 minutes before vacuuming it up. You can also use odor-eliminating sprays to help with daily maintenance between cleanings.
Remove Urine Stains
You’ve probably seen many different pet cleaning products on the market, but those are mostly unnecessary. It’s easy to remove urine stains from carpet with a mixture of standard dish soap and warm water. Use just a few drops of dish soap in a cup of water, then blot the stain with a sponge or cloth. To remove any remaining soap, dab that area with a cloth soaked in water and a small amount of white vinegar.
Pet hair is one of the biggest problems associated with owning a furry friend. If you have a pet that sheds particularly badly, you’ll be fighting a constant battle for cleanliness. You should vacuum up pet hair where you can, and you can use damp rubber gloves to collect hair from hard-to-reach places. The hair sticks to the damp gloves, and the gloves can quickly be rinsed and made ready for another pass through the house.
Seek Hidden Odors
In some cases, you might smell an odor that you know was left by your pet, but you can’t find the offensive stain or source with the naked eye. If you want to find those pet stains that produce odor but can’t be seen, try using a black light. Black lights will show the presence of offensive stains caused by living creatures, so you might even unearth stains that weren’t made by your pet. In either case, black lights are an excellent tool for comprehensive cleaning.
Prevent Chewy Messes
Most dogs go through a phase in which they want to chew everything in sight, and you probably bought your dog a chew toy to protect your furniture and other items that could potentially be destroyed. Chew toys are great, but some of them can leave behind stains. This is particularly true for natural chew toys made from rawhide or bone. It’s better to stick with artificial chew toys with lighter colors that won’t affect your carpet.
Clean Fecal Stains
Pet droppings are the epitome of messes that you’ll have to clean up, and stains created by indoor accidents can be a pain. To fight these stains before they set, blot the area with a cloth soaked in a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar. For every two cups of warm water, you’ll need about one tablespoon of both soap and vinegar for the mixture to be effective. For stubborn stains, use an eyedropper to introduce a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to the stain, then blot with a cloth soaked in warm water.
Remove Dirty Tracks
If your pet likes to track mud into the house and onto the carpet, it’s probably quite tempting to clean those messes right away. Cleaning mud from a carpet isn’t easy, but if you wait until the mud has dried, you can vacuum most of it away. The remaining stains can be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and dish soap.
These are just a few of the most common and effective ways to clean up after your pet, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Every situation is different, and you might stumble upon something that works even better than these methods.