Cleaning tips for people with dogs and cats

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Cleaning tips for people with dogs and cats

Cleaning up after your pets has never been easier, thanks to the new pet cleaning products available today. You don’t have to settle for dark stains on the carpet, pet hair all over the house, or an obnoxious odor. In fact, many of today’s cleaning products can remove any trace “an accident” ever happened. It’s just a matter of knowing what products to use and when. Here are a few tips to cover some basic pet messes.

How do I clean urine stains?
Use cleaning products specially-designed to clean pet messes. These products, available at pet stores, have special enzymes that remove stains and neutralize odors, so there is no smell left to attract your dog back to the same spot. 

Should I use my steam cleaner to clean up urine stains?
No, heat bonds urine protein to the carpet’s fibers, leaving odor and possibly discoloration. You can use the steam cleaner, however, to absorb the urine only. Once you feel you have used enzymatic cleaners to neutralize the spot, you can follow up with the steam cleaner later. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners either, as ammonia is a by-product of decomposing waste, which means the spot you clean will smell like urine to your dog.

How do I clean vomit stains?
This is a challenge if your carpet doesn’t match the color of your pet’s food. But begin by picking up as much of the solid material as you can by using a spatula or a dustpan – (this keeps it from smashing into the carpet). Then use an oxygenated-cleaning solvent (available at pet stores) and cool water, so the stain doesn’t set in the carpet.

How do I clean poop up from the carpet?
Pick up as much of the material as you can by using a spatula or dust pan. Just like with urine, apply a stain and odor remover designed for pet messes. Once the area is clean, apply a pet digester to eat the remaining biological materials. Cover the area with a damp towel and let the enzyme work on the stain as indicated. Rinse with warm water or a steam cleaner.

What if I don’t have any special cleaning products?
Then gather paper towels, water, dish-washing liquid, and vinegar. Blot the stain with paper towels. Clean the spot with a few drops of dish-washing liquid and one cup of warm water. Rinse with fresh water and blot dry. Next, add one third cup of white vinegar to two thirds cup of water and dab on stain. Vinegar neutralizes odors. Rinse with water and blot dry. Then sprinkle the carpet with baking soda or rug deodorizer and vacuum. Never scrub or wipe the stain, as this distorts the carpet fibers. Always blot and press.

Shine a black light, available at pet supply stores, onto the carpet or furniture to locate the stain. Both new and old stains will appear. Remove them with the special pet cleaning products mentioned above.

What’s the best way to get remove pet hair?
Brush your dogs and cats every day. Brushing helps remove dead hair and reduces the chances that you will be wearing their fur out the door. Adhesive tape rollers, velour brushes, and lint brushes work well to remove hair from clothing. In a pinch, use a dryer sheet on your clothes.

To loosen pet hair from the carpet, use a spray or deodorizing foam product (available at the pet store) on the carpet; a pet hair magnet on upholstery; and a hand-held or upright vacuum with a beater brush on fabric furniture. You can use an electro-static sweeper along floors and those hand-held dust clothes across wood furniture and electronic equipment. My new favorite tool though is a long-handled pet adhesive roller that goes under beds and couches–a place where pet hair likes to gather.

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4 thoughts on “Cleaning tips for people with dogs and cats”

  1. I was actually having a discussion with my Mrs about rug cleaners a few hours ago. This blog is very interesting, I have learnt something new. Cheers from London!

  2. Cathy M. Rosenthal

    I am so glad you found it useful. Every pet caretaker, at some point, must learn the ins and outs of cleaning up after pets. Cheers from America!

  3. First of all congratulation for such a great site. I learned a lot reading article here today. I will make sure i visit this site once a day so i can learn more.

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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