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Effective Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Pets
Your pets are important members of your family. You love them unconditionally and make sure that they have everything they need to stay happy and healthy. While you love your pets, there’s one thing you likely don’t love so much: the messes that they leave behind.
Unlike people, our pets can’t clean up after themselves. They can’t wash their dishes, launder their bedding, or pick up shed fur. These messes might be unpleasant, but they come with pet ownership. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the mess just because you have a furry friend or two (or more!). Here are a few tips that can help you effectively clean up after your pets.
Cleaning Dirty Bedding
Chances are that you have at least one bed for your canine or feline friend in your home. Rather than waiting until it starts to smell before you clean their bed, toss it into the washing machine once a week. Use fragrance-free laundry detergent and skip the fabric softener.
Freshening Up Your Sofa
Many pet owners let their dogs or cats hang out on the sofa. If you’re the type to snuggle on the couch with your four-legged friend regularly, you may have noticed a funky odor starting to develop. Remove pillows and blankets and wash them. If your sofa cushions are removable, take them off and launder them as well.
Another option is to use some baking soda. Vacuum your sofa first and then sprinkle some baking soda on the cushions. Let it sit overnight to absorb odors and run the vacuum the next day. If you’re noticing that the odors just won’t go, you can also call in professional upholstery cleaning services.
You don’t expect your human family members to eat off of dirty plates. Your pets shouldn’t eat this way either. Just emptying leftover food bits or giving a quick wipe with a paper towel isn’t enough. No matter what type of diet you feed your pets, wash their dishes with hot, soapy water after each meal to kill bacteria.
Neutralizing Litter Box Odors
If you have a cat, you have a litter box. It doesn’t take long for odors to develop. These odors don’t just affect people; they also affect your cat. She might even avoid her box and choose to go somewhere else if the smell is too strong.
To keep the nose-wrinkling smells to a minimum, clean the box at least twice a day, even if you don’t see any messes in it. Change the litter and clean the box at least once a week. Scrub the box with warm, soapy (fragrance-free) dish detergent. This might seem like an arduous task but your nose (and your cat’s nose) will thank you.
Dealing with Indoor Accidents
You might not have gotten to the door fast enough. Perhaps you were out a little later than normal. Or, maybe you have a new puppy in the house. Indoor accidents happen. While cleaning up wood or tile is fairly simple, cleaning up carpets can be more difficult.
Blot urine spots with paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible. Once a majority of the mess is up, you can get to work cleaning. For carpets made of synthetic fibers, use a mix of white vinegar and water. Don’t soak the area. For natural fibers, sprinkle baking soda and vacuum the area after the powder dries.
Removing Fur from, Well, Everything
Cats and dogs, long-haired and short-haired, shed. The hair gets everywhere – your clothes, your sofa, the floor. Use a dryer ball or fabric sweeper for clothes. Run over your floors with a microfiber cloth daily. Use a pair of rubber gloves dipped in water to get fur off of your sofa. You should also brush your pet regularly to reduce shedding overall.
Your pets fill your life with joy, love, and plenty of cuddles. Just because they make messes, however, that doesn’t mean you have to deal with a dirty house and funky odors. These steps can help you to clean up after your pets and leave your home, your clothes, and your belongings clean and fresh.
Mikkie Mills, is a freelance writer who often writes about family, home improvements and the occasional DIY project.