Love your pets, but hate the mess? We’ve got some easy, pet-friendly advice for keeping your home clean and smelling fresh.
1. Wear rubber gloves to catch pet hair
Want to de-fuzz a carpet or de-fur a sofa? Put on a pair of dishwashing gloves and sweep the area with your hands. The fur instantly sticks to the rubber nubs at the fingertips. Once you’re done, dip the gloves in water, and allow the fur to float to the surface. Then gather it and toss it in the rubbish.
2. Use a damp sponge or cloth to catch pet hair
Another way to do away with pet hair on furniture is to wipe them down with a damp sponge, cloth or baby wipe. They’re like magnets for malting hair, causing it to gather in clumps.
3. Keep the lint roller handy
If you have unexpected guests pop by, do a quick once over, not just of your clothes, but of small furnishings such as pillows, ottomans and curtains. Running a squeegee over soft furnishings also works wonders.
4. Vacuum your dog
Why not go straight to the source and vacuum your furry friend? Invest in pet-friendly attachments such as the Dyson Groom, designed to push through the topcoat and gently remove loose fur without hurting your dog’s delicate skin. If they can’t stand being vacuumed, try holding the brush about five centimetres away from their fur.
5. Refresh your bedding with bicarb soda
Ever let your furry friend climb into bed with you? Eliminate odours from bed covers by adding a cup of bicarb soda to your load. Then launder as normal – on a hot cycle with a mild detergent that won’t irritate your pet.
6. Deep clean their collar
Collars can start to smell pretty funky pretty quickly, what with everything your pet gets up to. Soak them in very hot water with a few squirts of dog shampoo. Leave for 15 minutes, and then rub against itself to extract dirt before patting with a towel and placing in the sun to dry.
7. A few drops of lavender oil
Lavender’s a soothing scent for humans – and pets, too. To calm your dog, naturally eliminate odours and keep fleas and ticks at bay, apply a drop of lavender oil between their shoulder blades. You can also dilute with water and keep in a spray bottle to spritz and freshen up your car.
8. Create a cleaning station
Going for a muddy walk? Place a clean rag and container of water by the door so that you can wipe their paws and pat them dry before they bolt into the house.
9. Wash hard toys in the dishwasher
An easy way to wash their hard rubber or plastic toys – if you can get them to let go – is to put them in your dishwasher. Skip the detergent and use white vinegar instead. Arrange the toys on the top rack and run a full cycle.
10. Wash soft toys in the washing machine
Place soft toys in a garment bag or pillowcase and run on a hot cycle. Make sure you use a gentle, pet-friendly detergent. Or simply sprinkle the toys with bicarb soda and add two cups of white vinegar to the load. If you’re cleaning squeaky toys, remember to squeeze out the water when you’re done so they can keep on squeaking.
Eliminate odours from bed covers by adding a cup of bicarb soda to your load. Photo: Kevin Russ – Stocksy
11. Deter your dog from digging with citrus
Dogs dislike citrus, so a good way to deter them from digging up your garden – and subsequently traipsing the dirt into your house – is to scatter some orange peels around the soil.
12. Buy them a bandanna
This isn’t just a cute accessory. For excessive droolers, dribblers and slobbery eaters, the bandanna will save the rest of their coat from getting soppy and dirty. And at the end of the day, you can simply untie it and throw it in with the rest of your wash.
13. Add bicarb soda to the litter tray
Add a layer of bicarb soda underneath your kitty litter to keep that pungent stench under control.
14. Make your own fragrance sachets
If you want to nix that wet-dog smell, buy fabric softener sheets and place them in envelopes, then leave them under your dog’s bed or anywhere he or she likes to snooze.
15. Lightly grease their bowls
After you’ve cleaned and dried their food and water bowls, rub a bit of olive oil along the insides. This keeps food from sticking – making them much easier to clean – and helps maintain their glossy coat.
16. Prevent chewing with clove oil
Puppies love to chew – whether it be table and chair legs, cardboard boxes or your favourite shoes. Save your belongings and discourage bad habits by rubbing the most chewable spots with clove oil. The bitter taste will deter them from sinking their teeth in.
17. Absorb odours with coffee beans
Coffee clears your nasal palate at the perfume counter and it can also work to neutralise odours in your house. Simply heat a cup of freshly ground coffee beans in a cast-iron pan over a low heat. As soon as the scent’s released, take the pan to the room you want to deodorise and leave until all odours have cleared.
18. Remove scratch marks from wooden furniture
Simply mix ¾ cup of oil with ¼ cup of vinegar, dip a cloth in and wipe over the damaged area, concentrating on any scratches and scuffs.
19. Clear up urine stains
Accidents happen – there’s no need to panic. Treat it immediately by blotting with a clean towel to absorb as much as possible. Then mix up a solution of ½ white vinegar to ½ water, pour onto the stain and scrub with a brush to help neutralise the ammonia. Follow it up by pouring over bicarb soda to create a bubbling mound. Leave to absorb for a few minutes then wipe and vacuum up.
20. Buy some pet-friendly pot plants
Did you know some of the most common household plants are toxic to your pet? Choose pet-friendly options, such as spider plants and bamboo palms, which filter the air and help neutralise odours. You can find a whole range of non-toxic pot plants here.