In the United States, a lot of people have a lot of pets. Specifically, 43,346,000 households are caring for 69,926,000 dogs, and 36,117,000 households are taking care of 74,059,000 cats. That’s a lot of hair, dander, dirt and germs potentially scuttling around your homes. Sounds a little scary, but don’t worry.
It is possible and even somewhat easy to keep a clean house when you have pets. There are a lot of housecleaning tips for pet owners out there. We’ll guide you through some useful pointers, including preventative measures, items you’ll need for cleaning up pet messes and how to use them, and other useful tips for keeping all the dog and cat hair at bay for a clean house with pets.
Preventative Measures: Useful Tips to Lessen the Pain of Inevitable Pet Messes
Every pet owner has been there. You come home from work, and your angry cat has urinated in your shoe or your dear sweet lab has reupholstered your family room with his springtime shedding. Things like these are bound to happen at some point, but there are ways to head off the household pain of cleaning with a cat or cleaning with a dog and have a little more control. It takes a little bit of planning — and these preparation tips are helpful supplements to your usual list of tips for how to clean your home with pets:
- Confine Your Pets to Specific Areas in Your Home: Using baby gates or just the simple act of closing doors will effectively restrict your pets’ access to certain rooms, and there will be less stress regarding cleaning a mess. It’s one of the best tips on how to keep a house clean with pets. If you only allow your dog or cat access to the carpet- and rug-free kitchen, family room and outdoor patio, you have control over where your they could potentially make a mess. Also, if they do make a mess, you can rest easier knowing that there will be no rug or carpet to scrub, just a hard surface floor to clean.
- Use Only Indoor/Outdoor Rugs: There are dozens of stylish, beautiful rugs in this category. They come in a vast range of colors and designs so it will be fairly easy to find some that blend in with your home’s décor. Place a small indoor/outdoor rug before every door leading indoors from the outdoors. These rugs will grab most of the grime or water your pet may trek into the house. Additionally, place these rugs throughout your home, wherever your pet likes to hang out. These rugs are very easily cleaned with a damp cloth. They can even be hosed off outside if needed.
- Bathe Pets Regularly: This tip mostly applies to your canine companions. Timely baths and grooming are essential preventative steps you can take in keeping your home clean, smelling fresh and, importantly, keeping your dog friends smelling great. Remember not to bathe them too often. A bath every three to four weeks is ideal to prevent their coats’ essential oils from being stripped away.
- Brush Your Pets Often: Regularly scheduled brushings are important. Brushing your pets’ fur lessens shedding and redistributes your pets’ essential oils in its skin. Brushing keeps the fur healthy, and it makes your pets look great!
- Wipe Your Dog Down Once or Twice a Week: In between your pets’ baths, take a damp washcloth or wipes that are made for pets, and wipe Fido down. Doing this will get rid of dirt and dander, and will make them smell fresher. Look at it as a freshness recharge in between their baths. Your home will continue to smell fresh as well.
- Vacuum Often: We know it’s no fun hauling out that vacuum — it’s heavy, cumbersome and noisy. If you make the effort to vacuum your floors and furniture at least once or twice a week, you will find less dog or cat hair floating around, or stuck to your clothing. If you buy one of those lightweight cordless vacuums, it will be even easier to vacuum more often, maybe even daily around the spots your pets like to frequent. The vacuum, and how often you use it, is one of the best tools to improve how you clean your home with pets.
- Be Choosy About Fabrics: Choosing sofas, armchairs and loveseats that are upholstered with microfiber or leather make cleaning easy. These fabrics are wiped down easily. Cleaning off stains and pet hair is easy to do on these fabrics as well.
- Launder Your Pets’ Bedding Frequently: Pet beds, or the bed covers, can get smelly. Their blankets can be odor magnets as well. A weekly wash helps your home smell fresher.
- Keep the Grime Outdoors: Cleaning a home with pets can seem like an endless cycle thanks to the outdoors coming in with your dog’s feet. If you have a yard that can get muddy, keep a towel — preferably an old towel you won’t mind getting stained — by the door your dog uses to come in and go out. When the pup is getting ready to come in, wipe his feet beforehand. Easy to clean runners help keep your abode dirt-free as well.
- Hire a Cleaning Service: Of course, it’s understandable that this isn’t really a doable option for everybody’s budget. However, if you can afford it every other month or so, bringing in a cleaning or housekeeping service for a “deep clean” can effectively help keep the dander, fur and grime in full check.
- Paint Lower Cabinets With Dark Shades of Paint: Darker shades of paint will disguise the smears, stains and smudges your pets leave on your cabinets. Take prevention up to a higher notch by using paint that can be used both indoors and outdoors to make it even easier to clean.
- Use Placemats Under Your Pets’ Food Bowls: This is just common sense. Instead of mopping up the floor, you can bring a messy placemat to the sink to clean very easily. Take it up a notch and look for placemats with a rim to contain spilled water.
- Invest in Some Inexpensive Decorative Throw Blankets: Cover up your furniture, bed, or armchair with these budget-friendly throw blankets. You’ll be glad you did this when you see how much longer your furniture will last because of them. Using an acrylic/cotton blend, or even 100% cotton is best. These materials are machine washable and relatively easy to maintain. They also can take the effects of pet paws and hair.
Items That Will Help You Get Rid of Stains and Odors
Let’s start at the beginning. You’ll need tools. A variety of cleaning implements and everyday items are the first things to acquire if you’re going to be prepared to keep your home spotless. Cleaning a home with a cat is pretty close to cleaning a home with a dog.
- Lint Removers: Lint removers for your clothes are essential for every household that has dogs or cats. Refillable rollers that come with the sticky-sided paper are the kind you should pick up. They truly do great work in removing pet hair. There are reusable lint brushes available as well. These are also sold in pet stores or pet sections of your local supermarkets or drug and discount stores.
- Enzymatic Cleansing Sprays or Pourable Solutions: When your pet makes a stain on your floor, there is a pretty good chance they will do the same thing again in the exact same spot unless you remove the stain and all traces of the stain completely. These stains have to be neutralized to prevent pets from re-staining these spots. Enzymatic cleaners are the best at removing pet urine. There are several brands on the market and are easy to find at your local pet store or from pet supply websites.
- A Sturdy Cleaning Brush With Stiff Bristles: Some rugs can really hold on to pet hair. Sometimes, a vacuum won’t pick up all the hairs that become trapped and entangled in the fibers. Use a sturdy brush to scrub your carpet or rug quickly in a back and forth motion until all the hair and dirt come loose. Then the hair and dirt will be easily removed from the carpet’s fibers.
- Old Towels and Rags or Paper Towels: These are useful for blotting fluids unceremoniously left by your pets.
- A Standard Paint Scraper, Spatula, Disposable Paper Plate or Stiff Cardboard: This sounds like a redundant list, but these items are all similarly useful when you need to scrape and scoop up solid waste before the cleansing and disinfecting process starts. You don’t need every single one of these items, but it is very useful to keep one or more of these items handy in case you need to clean up a poopy mess.
- A Stain Remover Made for Pet Messes: You’ll need a good stain remover. A stain remover makes cleaning with a pet a lot easier than with plain water. Stain removers come in different forms, but a spray or liquid is best for precise placement on the stain or stains. Make sure you get one that’s non-toxic.
- A Wet and Dry Vacuum: If you can make an investment in a wet/dry vacuum, you’ll have a gadget that can vacuum up wet messes easily. This vacuum can also be used on pets who are willing to sit still and be vacuumed of loose hair.
- UV Fluorescent Tube: Adding an ultraviolet (UV) light to your cleaning box is a bit high-tech, but worth it if you can get one. The portable ones are powered by batteries, and can easily travel with you all over the house and beyond. These lights will help you find dried, forgotten urine stains, which will make it easy for you to eliminate the stains once and for all.
- White Vinegar: Most households have this in their kitchen already. Mix up a natural cleaner by combining a half cup of vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle. This handy cleaner will help remove new and recent pet stains.
- Incense: Burning a little incense to remove your pets’ odors post-litter box use is a great idea if you don’t want to wait for the odor to dissipate on its own. Use it on a rainy day, when your dog is bound to be damp from going in and out of your house several times a day. It produces quick results. It’s an effective way to keep your house from smelling like a wet dog.
- Lemons or Any Other Citrus Fruit: Citrus fruit is another superb natural tool for getting rid of pet odors. Cut up a couple of lemons or limes, put the cut pieces in a bowl, and place these bowls anywhere near the litter box or your dog’s bed area.
- Latex Gloves: Put on some latex gloves and use them like a lint roller. If you run your hands over any pet hair-covered surface, the fur and hair will stick to the latex. This method can be used on your furniture, bed covers and your car’s upholstery. When you need to get rid of the hair, run your gloved hands under running water, and this will clean off your gloves.
- Shaving Cream: Foamy shaving cream —not the gel — can be used in place of a standard pet stain cleaner. Clean up any debris or solids then spray the shaving cream on the stain and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Then wipe the foam away with warm water.
How to Remove Pet Hair From Everything You Own
It feels like an endless fight, doesn’t it? As a pet owner, you’re constantly finding dog or cat hairs everywhere. It seems almost impossible to keep the scourge of pet hair under tight control. The best defense against accumulating pet hair is to have an effective offensive game plan.
It sounds corny but it’s true. Not only do you have to stay on top of removing dog or cat hair as you encounter it, but it’s more effective to be ahead of the hair that’s building up in your home. The following are ways to effectively get rid of pet hair:
- Hair on Your Floors: Stop vacuuming your wood or tile flooring. When you use a vacuum on these floors, most of the pet hair is just flying all over the place, not being sucked up into the vacuum. Instead, buy a duster mop, preferably one that’s electrostatic. These trap hair really well. Vacuum afterward, to get the dirt that’s still there. If dust bunnies are a constant issue, dust-mop your floor two to three times weekly. Aim for daily.
- Hair on and in Your Rugs and Carpets: If your rugs or carpets are starting to look dull, and the color looks off, it could be your pets’ hair getting stuck or woven into the carpet’s piling. Vacuuming doesn’t always work well. Remember that stiff-bristled brush we talked about earlier? Grab that brush, and scrub your rug. Don’t use soap or water — just the dry brush scrubbing the rug or carpet will loosen hairs. Once you loosen those hairs, you can collect them with a dustpan or break out the vacuum again. Doing this weekly can keep your carpets and rugs looking fabulous.
- Hair on Your Furniture: Use a dry squeegee or a latex glove to easily remove pet hair from your furniture. If neither these nor a vacuum work, get that lint roller out. Another way to remove hair from furniture — take a paint roller and cover it in duct tape, sticky side out. Roll the paint roller over your furniture. You’ve just fashioned yourself a nifty, larger lint roller.
- Hair on Your Clothing: Usually, a lint roller works well on your clothing. The problem is that sometimes we might not have a lint roller handy when we most need one. When this occurs, find some masking or duct tape. Wrap a 4 to 6 inch piece of tape, sticky side out, around a few of your fingers. Pat the hair off your clothes with this makeshift lint “roller.”
Maintaining a Clean Home With Pets
We truly love our pets. They are an important part of our household. Many pet owners even treat their dogs and cats as furry children. Even so, there is a good chance your fur baby is trekking dirt, grime and germs into your home. We’ve provided some useful cleaning tips, but you may have some more concerns that were not addressed here.
For more information about cleaning your home from top to bottom, Thai Cleaning Service can help. Thai Cleaning Service is a trusted cleaning company in the Baltimore area. We have maintained a 97 percent customer retention rate during our eight years in business. Feel free to contact us to let us know how we can help you reach your home cleanliness goals. For a free estimate, please fill out the form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.