If you’re a pet owner, there’s a good chance you’ve gone into a meeting with fur clinging to the seat of your pants after sitting in your cat’s favorite chair. Or maybe you’ve had company for dinner and suddenly noticed a yellow spot in the middle of the living room rug. Whatever your pet mess story, every pet owner shares your frustration.
So what’s the solution? You should be cleaning smarter, not harder. Here are some magic pet cleaning hacks that will have you cleaning up after your pets less often but keeping your home and car cleaner.
- Magic Vomit Eraser
Most people will tell you saving cleanup for later only makes it harder on you, but not when it comes to pet vomit. “Vomit is actually much easier to clean if you allow it to dry and then vacuum,” suggests Donna Smallin Kuper, a certified house cleaning technician and a small space lifestyle expert at Unclutter.com.
- Magic Carpet Stain Eraser
Between muddy paws and in-house “accidents,” your dog could end up making your house look more lived-in than you’d like. To clean urine or other pet stains from the carpet, Smallin Kuper suggests starting with a Shop-Vac to suction the urine. “Pour 3 percent hydrogen peroxide on the stain and cover with a white towel, then hold a hot steam iron on the towel for 15 to 20 seconds to transfer the stain to the towel.
Repeat until no more stain is being transferred. Cover with a clean white towel and something heavy, leaving it overnight to dry,” Smallin Kuper advises. Before treating a highly visible area with any home remedy, always test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the treatment doesn’t hurt the carpet.
- Magic Pet Hair De-Fuzzer
Pet hair and dust balls are attracted to all surfaces — wood floors, tile, carpet and furniture are all at risk of collecting whatever your pet sheds. This is particularly true if you have a pet with long hair. To remove pet hair from most surfaces in your home, especially during dry winter months, “spray a static removal product lightly over your carpet or furniture,” Smallin Kuper advises. “Wait a few minutes, then vacuum as usual.” Consider getting your pet groomed to reduce the need to de-fuzz your home!
- Magic Car Seat Cleaner
What dog doesn’t love a ride in the car? The only problem is, the fuzz he leaves behind is a nuisance to clean — until now! To clean dog hair from car upholstery, wipe it down with a slightly damp rubber glove. The hair will stick to the glove, not your passenger’s pants.
- Magic Pee Eraser
Removing pet accident odor from linens is simple. Wash the soiled clothes or linens with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar along with your regular detergent in the washing machine. The vinegar will neutralize the urine smell, and your pet won’t be tempted to put in a repeat performance and mark it next time the urge arises.
- Magic Litter Trick
Cat litter boxes can be smelly, and litter has a way of making its way out of the box and onto your floor. Try a covered litter box to help reduce odors and minimize floor scatter from digging and burying. Place a cat mat in front of the litter box opening to minimize tracking.
- Magic Snow Paw Saver
Salt ice melt can damage your dog’s sensitive paw pads and your hardwood floors too. Keep his feet and your floors in good condition in winter by washing road salt from your dog’s paws before he walks in the door. Place a bucket of warm water by the front door before you head outside, then dip puppy’s paws in the water for a quick rinse and rub them dry with a towel before setting him loose in your house.
Which pet cleaning hacks do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below! And if you’re dealing with a specific (and stinky) type of pet cleanliness issue, take a look at How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell: What to Do When Your Cat Thinks Outside the Box.
Cara J. Stevens is a freelance writer living in Connecticut with her husband, two children and one small fluffy puppy. She has authored several books for children and writes frequently about parenting, hair care, DIY crafts, food and healthy living and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.