Pets add a lot of love and personality to a home, but they also add plenty that needs cleaning up. From slobbery chew toys to pet hair on the sofa, they definitely leave their mark on the home.
Here are some simple tips for keeping things fresh and clean, for you and your pet.
Pet toys. Wash plastic and rubber toys in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart warm water. Launder plush toys, or give them a dry shower by sprinkling on some baking soda, then brushing off after 15 minutes.
Collars, harnesses and leashes. Cloth or nylon materials can either be wash by hand with a little dishwashing soap and water, or tossed into a nylon bag (or even a pillow case) and ran through the washing machine. Leather will need to be wiped down with a damp cloth, then rubbed with a little saddle soap. While cleaning them, check for worn areas – you may need to replace them.
Bedding. Vacuum bedding and crate pads thoroughly. Most should be washable (or have removable, washable fabric covers), so launder them along with any pet blankets. You can keep pet bedding smelling fresh in between washings by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, waiting 15 minutes, then vacuuming it up.
Outdoor shelters. If your pet has a doghouse, crate or some other outdoor hangout, be sure to give that a good cleaning, too. Sweep or rake out leaves and other debris. If the shelter can be disassembled, take it apart, scrub it down with a nonammonia-based cleaner, then hose it down, let it dry, and put it back together. If it cannot be taken apart, then take care to keep it free of debris and hosed down so it stays as clean as possible.
Removing pet hair. Shedding is the bane of many pet owners’ existence. Regular floor vacuuming is a must to keep it under control. For getting pet hair off of furniture, there are several things you can try: lint rollers; swiping a damp rubber glove over surfaces; using a squeegee with a rubber edge; or trying hand-held vacuums or attachments specially designed for picking up pet hair.
Reducing litter box odor. Litter boxes can bring the worst of smells to the house. Whenever you replace the litter, be sure to clean the litter box itself. Use a nonammonia-based cleaner. Also, consider using a different litter to help control odors better, such as Arm & Hammer Double Duty Advanced Odor Control Clumping Litter. It’s specially designed to eliminate odors. A breakthrough formula uses powerful moisture-activated baking soda crystals boosted with neutralizers to destroy odors on contact.