Make a clean break from harsh chemicals with all-natural, DIY cleaning solutions.
We all want a sparkling clean house, but when you have pets, keeping your interiors looking their best is an ongoing challenge. And while we want floors and surfaces to be free of dirt, bacteria, and allergens, the cleaning products on the market often use chemicals that can make our pets sick. Whether these chemicals are ingested or inhaled, the end result is a pet in distress.
But that's no reason to stop cleaning; you just need to think beyond the store-bought, cleaning product bottle. There are plenty of safe cleaning solutions you can make at home for a fraction of the cost of the brand name sprays, polishes, and soaps. Go all natural with these DIY dog-safe cleaners.
Distilled White Vinegar
This cost-effective method has been used for generations as a household cleaner. It may have a strong smell to it, but distilled white vinegar has a variety of uses in household cleaning applications. Here's how to whip up a batch of all-purpose cleaner: combine 3 cups of hot water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle. Shake the contents, spray over dirty surfaces, and wipe clean. It can also be used as a stain-remover for carpets. For light stains, combine 2 tablespoons of salt with ½ cup vinegar, then use a clean rag soaked in the solution to blot at the stain. For heavier stains, combine 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of borax with ½ cup white vinegar, and apply using the same method as mentioned above.
Great for cookies and great for cleaning! Baking soda is an amazing odor absorber, and it can be used as a mildly abrasive paste for scrubbing away at stubborn stains. Get your dog's food and water bowls sparkling by making a thick paste from equal parts water, baking soda, and salt. Apply the paste using a sponge or washcloth, scrubbing in a gentle circular motion, then rinse with warm water. Did Fido have an accident on the rug? Use baking soda as a deodorizer for your carpet. Just sprinkle baking soda over the carpet and let it set for 20 to 30 minutes before vacuuming it up.
This delightful-smelling fruit juice is an incredibly effective and all-natural cleaning product. That's because it has antibacterial properties, and its acidity helps cut through grease. Combine a little lemon juice with coarse salt to make a scrub for wooden cutting boards, sinks, and metal pans. You can also use fresh lemon juice to spot-clean areas with greasy or grimy buildup such as cabinet door pulls or faucets.
If you have housetraining problems, hydrogen peroxide needs to be part of your cleaning arsenal. It's great at treating urine stains because it helps break down uric crystals. When combined with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide creates an all-natural and powerful deodorizing carpet cleaner. First, blot the stain with a paper towel, then sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over it. Next, combine ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and pour the solution onto the stain over the baking soda. With a clean cloth or scrub brush, scrub the stain then let it sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming the area thoroughly. For tough or set-in stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.