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We love our pets. We also love clean homes. But not all cleaning products are safe to use around pets. Don’t worry! Weekend chores just got a little friendlier with this guide to pet-safe (and kid-safe) cleaning products.
Any products with ingredients like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, gycol ethers, or formaldehyde are toxic to humans and pets. These chemicals can cause anemia, liver and kidney damage, and other health problems.
FLOORS AND STAINS
There are many types of floors and many types of stains that might need to be cleaned up on those floors. In general, Pine Sol, Mr. Clean, and similar floor cleaners are dangerous because the vapors are toxic and it’s difficult to get all the chemical residue off the floors.
Swiffer created the pet-focused dry Swiffer cloths featuring deeper ridges that trap and lock dirt, hair, and pet allergens. They are easy to use and safe for all floor types—hardwood, tile, vinyl, etc.
Eco Me Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner has a fresh mint scent and breaks down dirt, grease, and grime on a multitude of surfaces from floors to countertops.
Bean and Lily Non-Toxic Floor Cleaner is a plant-based formula safe for all hard floors, gentle on skin, and safe for even the daintiest paws.
Stains and Smells
Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover is a fan favorite for pets and humans alike. Use it to tackle the occasional accident or stain on carpets and rugs.
PetSimplicity “Whizz Away” tackles the stain and odors simultaneously. It’s an enzyme based cleaner that breaks down urine on both hard surfaces and carpets.
Many pet-friendly household cleaners use enzymes. However, the effectiveness of enzymes is reduced by humidity, pet medications, and other factors. Smiling Paws Pets Enzyme-Free Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator works on most surfaces and is environmentally and pet friendly.
Another option for a safe, natural way to clean up pet urine is to combine one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water. Let the mixture sit on the stain for five to ten minutes then blot up the moisture. Repeat if necessary until the stain and smell are gone.
UPHOLSTERY AND LAUNDRY
It’s easy to overlook laundry detergent and assume that any dangerous chemicals are washed away in the rinse cycle. But there is residue left behind that can be harmful to your pet, especially if they chew on their bedding or have sensitive skin.
Puracy Carpet and Upholstery shampoo smells great and works on any soft surface. It deep cleans the fabric or carpet and can even be used in the washing machine!
To tackle strong odors in sofas, curtains, pillows, bedding and other items, use Clean+Green spray-on fabric cleaner. It helps eliminate odors and stains simultaneously. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and follow any cleaning tips to avoid damaging upholstery.
Washing pet blankets, beds, clothes, and other items? Use Seventh Generation laundry detergent. They use a combination of plant-based and enzyme cleaners that are tough on stains but gentle on pets, kids, and the environment. It is clinically tested hypoallergenic and has no added chemicals, dyes, or synthetic fragrances.
KITCHEN AND BATH
Avoid Windex, Formula 409, and other chemical cleaners, especially when cleaning areas that are within reach of your pet’s nose, tongue, and paws.
Also avoid using chemical drain openers. This may seem harmless since it’s going down the drain, but drain openers give off toxic fumes that are dangerous to pets and small children. Instead reach for a non-toxic, enzyme based drain declogger like Earth Friendly Enzymes Drain Opener.
Use Puracy Natural Multi-Surface cleaner to tackle everything from baths, windows and floors to stainless steel and countertops. It’s biodegradable, non-toxic, and comes in a fresh green tea and lime scent.
Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner (and all her other products) smell great, are all natural, and work great. It uses plant-derived ingredients that are safe for pets and all non-porous surfaces.
Does your dog like making window art with his nose, tongue, or paws? SpotAway Pet-Safe Glass Cleaner works on glass, plexiglass, chrome, stainless steel, mirrors, and other surfaces. It is chemical free and non-toxic so Fido won’t get sick when he returns to recreate his window or mirror masterpiece. (Don’t forget the car windows, too!)
For a budget-friendly, effective cleaner, combine baking soda and white vinegar for a pet-safe cleaner that works on most hard surfaces. Make a paste of the desired consistency and you’re set! Add a bit of lemon for some fresh scent. Caution: Don’t let your pet eat the baking soda, though. It’s not toxic but it will cause an upset stomach.
Not all air fresheners are created equal and not all are safe for your pet.
Avoid spray air fresheners. These only mask the smells rather than address the source and are harmful to your pets (and they’re not great for the environment). Instead, opt for a fragrant candle like the Pet Odor Exterminator Candle (it also works on those funky garbage, garage, and bathroom smells). Just remember, candles can be dangerous and toxic to some birds. Check with your veterinarian first.
Some swear by the all-natural power of vinegar to cut through pet smells. Put some citrus rinds in a cup of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and leave it on the counter.
Combine ½ cup of baking soda with 10-15 drops of your favorite natural essential oil for an easy-to-make, cheap, and effective air freshener.
Odor absorbers like charcoal are also effective, especially around litter boxes and other places that tend to have persistent smells.
Furry pets have a tendency to leave “evidence” of their presence everywhere. Call it “pet glitter”—just as noticeable and hard to get rid of as real glitter.
Add a rubber squeegee and rubber dish gloves to your cleaning arsenal for some unorthodox tactics. Put on the rubber gloves to tackle upholstery, throw pillows, curtains, and other fabric surfaces with “pet glitter”. Work from top to bottom, rubbing your gloved hands over the fabric to collect all the pet hair. Then, use the rubber squeegee to get all the fur off the carpets and rugs.
Tackle dirty paws, a smelly rear, or other grooming issues between baths with Pogi’s Grooming wipes. They’re biodegradable, free of parabens, alcohol, fragrances, chlorine, and other harsh chemicals. Your pet will feel great, smell fresh, and your home will stay cleaner!
Don’t forget to deep-clean the food dishes and kennel! VetriCure Pet-Safe Disinfectant is bleach and alcohol free but powerful enough to kill bacteria, including trichophyton, the leading cause of ringworm.
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