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Sunday, June 16, 2024

10 Go-to Cleaning Hacks for Pet Parents



Dog Prints on Carpet 1 of 11

Of course we're obsessed with our pets — they'd have to be pretty amazing for us to love them so much, considering how gross they can be. All pet owners know that life with a furry friend is messy. Keep your space clean and welcoming to both humans and animals with these quick and easy tips. Your home will be so clean, you'll almost forget you share it with a really adorable member of another species.

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Collect Pet Hair With Rubber Gloves

Pets that shed are easy to love but hard to clean up after. Pet hair has a tendency to cling to soft surfaces like it's magnetized. Use a clean rubber dishwashing glove to pick that stubborn hair from your clothes and furniture. Pull the glove on and run your hand across those surfaces to easily collect Barkley's castoffs.

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Prevent Stains With Baking Soda

It's a testament to how much you love your furry friend that you're more concerned than annoyed when they vomit on your carpet or furniture. But that doesn't mean you can't still be a little annoyed, and worried about especially gross stains setting in. Quickly remove as much of the mess as possible using paper towels, then sprinkle baking soda over the area to neutralize odors and absorb remaining vomit. Let it sit for a few minutes and vacuum it up. Follow with a mild cleaning solution if necessary.

Image Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages An Adorable Cocker Spaniel Puppy 4 of 11

Sweep Hairy Carpets Before Vacuuming

Hey, no one vacuums as often as they should. So if you look down at your carpet and see pet fur tumbleweeds sailing past… no judgment. A traditional vacuum doesn't do a great job at collecting pet hair that's pressed into carpet fibers. The next time you pull out the vacuum, try sweeping the carpet first to loosen the hair so the vacuum can grab it.

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Clean Nose Prints With Vinegar

Watching the world go by is the pet equivalent of watching TV. Plus, watching through the window is the best way to spot your human coming home. But all those wet nose prints and slobber marks look terrible on your windows. Spritz windows with a mix of equal parts white vinegar and water and wipe with a sponge. Your windows should be clean, and you won't have to worry about using toxic cleaners around your pet.

Image Credit: Madiha Ali/Moment/GettyImages Dog digging in garden 6 of 11

Treat Muddy Paws With Baby Wipes

Dogs are like toddlers in some ways. If they see a puddle, they're going to aim straight for it, and then track all that wonderfully squishy mud right into your living room. Keep baby wipes right inside the door to clean dirty paws as soon as your pet comes inside. They're effective and gentle enough for sensitive paws.

Image Credit: ChristopherBernard/E+/GettyImages Lazy British Shorthair Cat lying comfortably on grey couch 7 of 11

Squeegee Hair Off Upholstery

Is there any part of the house that your pet hasn't touched with their shedding? And if your pet has been in the car recently, there's a good chance there's fur lingering in there too. A simple squeegee will help you remove pet hair from upholstered surfaces like your couch and your car seats. Wet the rubber blade and drag it across the fabric to pull hair right up.

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Run Toys Through the Dishwasher

If you're going to let your pet lick you, it's definitely best not to think about how dirty that mouth is. But when you're picking up your pet's chew toys, it's hard to think about anything else. Kill bacteria on chew toys by running them through the dishwasher alone, without dishes. This only works with hard rubber toys that are dishwasher safe, so check the packaging first.

Image Credit: saraidasilva/Moment/GettyImages High Angle View Of Cat Smelling By Litter Box On Table 9 of 11

Contain Litter Smell With Diaper Pail

Having a litter box makes cat ownership easier than dog ownership… until it's time to clean the thing out. In between cleanings, the smell's not great. Neutralize those odors by picking up a diaper pail with a filtering system and an odor-lock system and keeping it near the litter box. Whenever you see used litter, scoop into the diaper pail and seal it. You can do full box cleaning less frequently while keeping any smells from spreading.

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Pick Up Pet Hair With Sticky Tape

Auuuggh! You've scraped and swept as much pet hair as you could off of yourself and the surfaces in your home, and yet clumps still appear every day. Between big cleaning sessions, wrap packing tape around your hand, sticky side out. Press the tape to any areas where you see shedded hair to get rid of it on the spot.

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Get Hair Off Clothes in the Dryer

Listen, sometimes you just need to grab that pet and snuggle. Having cuddle time with your buddy is great for your spirits but not so great for your clothes. Just like a vacuum won't remove all the hair that's pressed into carpet fibers, the washing machine won't pull up all the hair on your clothes. After your pet sheds on you, toss clothes into the dryer and tumble them for about 10 minutes. Once the hair has been collected by your dryer's filter, wash clothes like normal.

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