Cleaning Top Pet Messes
Keep your home fresh and learn how to tackle some of the top pet messes
Pets are messy. They shed. They pee on the carpet. They puke. They smell. But we still love them.
We'd also love to clean pet stains on floors and remove pet odor from furniture and throughout the house with a lot less effort. We turned to two top domestic goddesses to find out how.
The Hair Issue
Brushing your pet once a week helps reduce tumbleweeds of fur from floating across your floors. But some errant hair is still likely to escape. Luckily, the solution is simple, says Linda Cobb (a.k.a Queen of Clean), a former owner of one of the largest cleaning companies in Michigan.
For stubborn fur on fabric, wipe a damp sponge over the hair. "I usually wipe from the back to the front and the sponge just rolls the hair up," she says.
Another trick is netting from your local fabric store. "You just ball it up, and wipe it over the furniture and that picks up hair like crazy," says Cobb, the author of four books, including How the Queen Cleans Everything (2002, Atria).
The Odor Issue
We love our pets, but let's face it; we don't want our homes to smell like them all the time. Keeping homes smelling fresh can make for a happier living environment for all parties involved, pets included.
To keep odor under control in your home, try Febreze® products, which help eliminate tough pet smells that all animal owners contend with. For furniture-loving furry friends, Febreze® Fabric Refresher™ helps keep couches, pillows and beds that our pets snuggle up with nice and fresh. Febreze® Stick&Refresh™ with Command™ Strips from 3M™ attach to a variety of surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and mudroom. By eliminating odors at their source, Stick&Refresh help keep living areas smelling their best.
The key to avoiding a pet pee stain? Get to it right away, blotting up as much as you can.
"Standing on a big wad of paper towels is a good way to draw things out of the carpet," explains Cobb.
Then pour club soda and salt on the spot. The carbonation lifts the urine to the surface, while the salt helps prevent staining by absorbing the urine. Lastly, dry with a clean towel.
Schar Ward, author of Coming Clean: Dirty Little Secrets From a Professional Housecleaner (2002, Book Peddlers), makes her own spray for bathroom accidents. It's a mixture of one cup white vinegar and four cups water.
With this, just spray, let sit for about five minutes and towel dry.
For good measure, she then sprinkles the area with one cup baking soda and two drops of bergamot oil, which can be found in health food stores and smells yummy." You might see it start to bubble but that's OK," says Ward. "That means it's just starting to work."
Let the mixture dry before vacuuming up.
What the Cat Coughed Up
Hairballs and vomit are a different story. Don't immediately clean them from your carpet, says Cobb. Instead, sprinkle a heavy coat of baking soda on the accident and relax. The baking soda lifts moisture from food and stomach acids out of the carpet.
After the baking soda dries, pick up big pieces with a paper towel and use your vacuum's attachment to suction the rest.
Litter requires a little diligence. Empty the entire pan at least once a week and wash it with straight vinegar, says Ward, who owned a professional maid service for 35 years in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Next, rinse the pan with water and dry. Pour a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom before filling it.
Place a mat where your cat exits the box to prevent your kitty from tracking litter through the house. Or, forgo litter for Yesterday's News. These moisture-locking pellets are made from recycled newspaper, and are often used in animal hospitals and humane societies.