Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Spring cleaning is always a daunting task, especially for pet parents. But the spring is a great time to address any long-standing or overlooked messes so you can start your summer off with a clean slate.
Cleaning up pet hair, washing pet beds and toys, and dealing with pet odors can all seem like overwhelming and time-consuming tasks. To help pet parents navigate the spring cleaning season, we’ll give you some helpful tips and tricks for making cleaning up after your pet seem less daunting.
Removing Pet Fur From Furniture
Pet fur can be challenging to remove from furniture and carpets. In this case, grooming gloves do double-duty when used as pet hair magnets. Run your gloved hand over a couch or chair cushion to scoop up the hair in the mitt. Grooming gloves are also perfect for quick car cleanups too, so keep some in the trunk.
Another spring cleaning tip is to sweep up animal hair from those darker household spots—like under the bed and behind furniture. Pet hair can be used by moths to build nests, so it’s best to tackle the issue early on.
How to Get Dog and Cat Smells Out of the Carpet
Johnny Falco, co-owner of the cleaning and pest control service, Biomonde, in Brooklyn, NY, says that indoor odors tend to be worse on warm and rainy days. He explains that “In humid weather, the carpet fibers try to release the odors.” So, those spots on your carpet that you thought you had cleaned away may resurface in the spring and start emitting unwanted pet smells. As this occurs, many pet parents add the tasks of pet odor removal and eliminating pet stains to their spring cleaning routine.
For handling wet urine, it is very important to soak up as much of the urine as possible with a rag or paper towels prior to applying any cleaner in order to eliminate cat pee and dog urine odors effectively. Once you have soaked up the urine, spray a layer of Nature’s Miracle Oxy Formula pet stain and odor remover to the area and let soak for 5 minutes before wiping clean.
For carpet stains that are older, you may need to use a deep cleaning vacuum, like the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution. This Bissell model is just one of the many options available to consumers, however the advantage of this deep-cleaning vacuum is that it has a lightweight design that out-cleans the leading rental (rentals are usually quite bulky). It also comes with detachable tools that make it easy to get into the nooks and crannies in your home, so you can have it smelling like a fresh spring day.
Litter Box Odors
Keeping the cat litter box area clean and smelling fresh are important to not only the cleanliness of your home but also the well-being of your cat. While regular maintenance is essential to keeping the litter box and your home clean, the occasional deep clean is essential for you and your cat’s health.
To do a really thorough, deep clean of the litter box, you will first want to dump out all of the current litter in the box. This way you can get out all of the old litter that may be stuck to the sides or bottom of the litter box. Then wash the litter box with a detergent soap and hot water. After letting it dry, you will want to spray the entirety of the litter box (inside and out) with a mild bleach solution so that you can kill any remaining germs or bacteria. The box will need to be washed again after it air-dries to make sure there is no bleach left behind that could harm your felines.
While you let the box air-dry outside, you can get to work cleaning the area where the litter box is located. Sweep up all of the cat litter that may have escaped or been tracked out of the litter box. Give the area a good scrubbing with a bristled kitchen brush and some soap. You can then use Nature’s Miracle Advanced Just for Cats Stain & Odor Remover Spray to really make sure you eliminate any residual cat smells from the litter box.
As you are setting your litter box back up, you can try out some new litter box accessories that make maintaining your cat’s litter box easier. Put a litter mat down, which will catch stray litter. You can also set up a cat litter disposal system that will hold all the used cat litter and trap the odors so that you don’t have to stink up your kitchen garbage every time you clean out the litter box.
Once the litter box is clean and dry, you can set it back up in its newly enhanced area—this time, with a litter box liner. A litter box liner will help make sure that dirty litter doesn’t get stuck to the corners and bottom of the boxes, and will make complete litter changes easier and faster. To top everything off, you can use Arm and Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder with baking soda to help to minimize the potency of litter box cat smells.
Cleaning Toys and Bowls
Be sure to do a thorough cleaning of your pet’s toys, beds, and eating areas and bowls. Pet saliva and hair are welcome mats for bacteria, so routine cleaning and sanitation of your pet’s food bowls and toys is great habit to get into.
For hard toys made of rubber and plastic, you can put them right onto the top rack of your dishwasher. You will want to use an all-natural detergent or vinegar instead of your regular detergent. Once your run a full cycle, you can let the toys sit out to air-dry.
If you prefer to wash your pup’s toys and bowls by hand, you can make your own cleaning solution and scrub them right in the sink. You will want to mix equal parts warm water and vinegar together to make a cleaning solution that is safe for your pet. You can let your pet’s toys sit in the solution for around 30 minutes to loosen up dirt and debris that they may have collected. You can then scrub them with a bristled kitchen brush to really make sure they get clean. Afterwards, you can let them sit out to air-dry. You can also use the PL360 Citrus Scented Multi-Surface Cleaner to clean your pup’s toys and bowls.
Keep Your Home Free of Pests
Spring cleaning for pet parents also involves kicking out pests that might be hiding around the home. For these projects, Falco uses pure cedar oil in his treatments. “Cedar oil not only kills the larvae and pests in your home, but it can be used on the pet itself to kill the vermin! Cleaning under beds, and particularly in closets, are key to pest and odor control,” he says. TropiClean offers a natural flea & tick home spray that features cedar oil, and it can be used to help eliminate these pests from blankets, bedding, pillows and carpets, or on dogs 12 weeks and older.
If your home is clean and prepared for the warmer and more humid summer weather, you can prevent the development of more serious cleaning issues. By following these spring cleaning tips for pet parents before the season begins, you can enjoy a spotless, odorless home for the rest of the year.
Jasmine Chang has been a New York City-based fashion editor and consultant for over 25 years. She adores dogs because of their authenticity and the fact that they never judge what people wear. She lives in Brooklyn with her very spoiled Frenchie, Harry.