How to Handle Pet Cleaning Chores Naturally
Here are a few cleaning tips for families with pets that will help maintain a clean house while keeping it safe and gentle for our dear friends.
Pick the right products: There is a deluge of cleaning products in the supermarkets with the promise of leaving a home squeaky clean, but they may be loaded with ingredients that are not best for pets. Read the labels carefully and stay away from ingredients like phenols, isopropyl alcohol, formaldehyde, phthalates, bleach and perchloroethylene.
Look for “non-toxic” on the label, because ingredient disclosures are not always complete. Check the safety level of common cleaning products with the Environmental Working Group at ewg.org.
Replace store-bought supplies with simple homemade cleaners and disinfectants where possible. Vinegar water can be used to clean glass and many hard surfaces, as well as a simple disinfectant and deodorant. Baking soda can be used as a deodorizer and mixed with vinegar as a mild abrasive.
Use the right equipment: Equipment is key to pet-friendly cleaning. Vacuums with HEPA filters and microfiber flat mops for hard floors will help keep pet hair under control. Sweeping often exacerbates the hair problem because it stirs up the hair in the air.
Manage air quality: With pets around, we worry about the odors and invest in air fresheners and plug-ins. Not only are they expensive, they actually contaminate the air we breathe and can irritate the respiratory system of several types of pets, particularly birds. A good alternative is to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum after a few minutes to deodorize, or wipe surfaces with vinegar water where applicable.
Deep clean with elbow grease: Avoid deep cleaning products like spray oven cleaners and bleach around pets. Neither is it advisable to use the oven self-cleaning cycle around birds, because it generates toxic fumes that can be fatal. Soaking the surface in advance, followed by the appropriate abrasive pad gives the same result with a little more effort.
Pallavi Raj is the cofounder of HomeBlis, a Dallas company that provides a home service subscription for services such as house cleaning, lawn mowing, pool cleaning and more. For more information, visit HomeBlis.com.