Cats, dogs, and all other furry animals become well-loved household pets, and they are as much a part of your family as your children are. On the down-side, these lovely beloved pets often make household cleaning an absolute headache. What with muddy paws, hairy furniture and carpet, and the odd accident, we can spend a lot of time cleaning up after our furry little darlings.
Since pets will never be able to clean up after themselves, we have to get creative and mend the most common pet damages ourselves. Here are some cleaning tips to help reduce your cleaning efforts that all your pets can cause.
Reduce the Mess
Cleaner pets mean a cleaner home. Regular washing and brushing of your pets will reduce the amount of hair and lingering smell that they bring into the house. Purchase a cheap lint brush (the kind with tacky tape wrapped around it) and keep it handy to pick up loose pet hair quickly and easily.
Another handy pet-mess-prevention tip is to spray a light mist of vegetable cooking oil on the inside of your pet dishes before you feed them. This makes both food and water dishes easier to clean out, and the oil will add shine to your furry friend’s coat.
Pet Hair Removal
Carpets are probably the easiest household item to remove pet hair from, since we tend to vacuum regularly. Just make sure that your vacuum cleaner has a beater brush or brush roll to really lift the carpet fibres and pull pet hair out of the floor.
On fabrics and upholstery, a brush with crimped nylon bristles (pet rake) will speed up the removal of pet hair tenfold. Use light, even strokes in one direction to remove the hair. Velour brushes, tape rollers, and even packing tape wrapped around your hand will work well too.
Most pet supply stores and department stores sell “pet sponges” which can be used on both upholstery and carpets. The sponges work best in corners and hard-to-reach places where pet hair seems to gather.
If all else fails, very lightly dampen a regular cleaning sponge, wring it out well, and use light strokes, pulling towards yourself, to collect pet hair
Pet Stain Removal
Pet stains can be the most annoying of all our cleaning chores. They often carry the annoying irritation of odour, and should be cleaned to treat both the stain and the pet smell.
To remove a pet urine stain, dampen a cleaning cloth with warm water. Then dilute the stain by dabbing the area. Start at the outside of the stain and work inwards to the middle. When evenly dampened, clean the area with an acid solution made from one litre of water mixed with 3 tablespoons white vinegar.
If it is a particularly bad stain, or if the pet has returned to that spot more than once, follow the acid solution with baking soda. Really scrub the soda into the spot, using a nylon bristled brush. Even if our noses can no longer smell that odour, a pet will repeatedly return to the same spot if it can smell it’s own scent.
Older stains, and ones that have been repeatedly returned to, require something more. You will need to purchase an enzyme cleaner (just check the pet store or the pet section of your department store) and follow this process:
1. Apply the bacteria enzyme cleaner according to the directions on the packaging. Allow it to work for about four hours.
2. Neutralise the spot (do not remove the enzyme cleaner first) by mixing a solution of one cup vinegar to a gallon of warm water, and rinse the area thoroughly with the vinegar solution. Scrub roughly with a nylon brush.
3. Apply a fresh batch of the bacteria enzyme cleaner solution. Rinse and clean completely with warm water after about one hour.
Cleaning out the litter tray is an unpleasant job at best, but there are a few things that you can do to make it less tedious. Firstly, lightly coat the inside of the tray with a thin spray of vegetable oil, and lightly dust the oil with a thin coating of baking soda. This will prevent things from “sticking”, and absorb much of the nasty smells. Purchasing litter tray liners also makes cleaning up a lot easier, since you can just grab the plastic liner and throw the contents into the waste bin.
It is important to thoroughly wash the litter tray, even if you use liners. A large number of bacteria can grow in the litter tray. Do not use ammonia or bleach. Bleach mixed with the ammonia that naturally occurs in pet urine will cause an unpleasant smell that will make your pet restless and drive them to have accidents elsewhere in the home. Just clean it with soapy water, or water that is mixed with an all-purpose bacterial cleaner.