It’s a common assumption that indoor pets and a clean house or simply can’t go together. But who says you can't have the best of both worlds – a home filled with the warmth and companionship of indoor pets, and a clean, fresh sanctuary that's ready to welcome guests at any moment? If you’re a pet owner, you're well aware of the delicate dance required to keep your living space looking fabulous while sharing it with your four-legged friends. But don’t stress – it really IS possible to strike the perfect balance and keep your home looking and smelling fresh and clean, even with your furry residents in tow! Here’s how…
When it comes to maintaining a pristine living space with indoor pets, your furniture can take quite a beating. Paw prints, fur, and occasional accidents can become part of your daily routine. But you don’t have to resign yourself to having shabby furniture if you want your pets to be able to snuggle with you on the couch or the bed.
- Consider using washable, removable covers for your furniture or designating a sheet or blanket that you can place over your furniture whenever you want your pets to come up. These top layers can easily be thrown in the wash once they start to get a bit too smelly or furry, saving you the hassle of spot-cleaning. This is a particularly advantageous strategy to utilize during your pet’s shedding season! And then don't forget to wash your sheets regularly (and top of bed too!). Washing is key to keeping a clean living environment in every room of your home.
- If you’re in the market for a new couch, carefully consider your colors and materials. Invest in pet-friendly furniture options that are easy to clean and resistant to scratches. Look for materials that won’t trap as much fur, like microfiber or distressed leather. Choose colors that naturally blend with your pet’s fur.
- Make vacuuming a habit, focusing on furniture surfaces, upholstery, and under cushions. Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet-specific attachment to effectively remove pet hair and dander.
Proper Cleaning Materials
Having the right cleaning supplies and tools on hand can make a world of difference when it comes to maintaining a clean home with pets.
- Opt for cleaning products that are safe for both your pets and your home. There are plenty of pet-specific cleaners on the market designed to tackle stains and odors without harmful chemicals.
- Consider the type of flooring you have in any area in which your pet is allowed. If you have hardwood, tile, or other hard flooring, an electric sweeper is certainly a time saver. These handy tools are great for picking up those little fur tumbleweeds you see rolling around. For carpeted areas, a vacuum that specializes in picking up pet hair is an investment that will pay for itself in the amount of fur it extracts from your carpet fibers alone. Some vacuums come equipped with hard flooring tools that are quite effective. It’s also a good idea to wet mop your hard floors at least once a week with a pet-safe cleaner. Drop & Mop Tablets are a fantastic all-purpose floor cleaner that uses no harmful chemicals, and they’re perfectly safe to use around children and pets.
- Owning pets also means you’ll probably encounter an occasional accident on your carpet or flooring, especially if your pets are very young or very old. It’s best to be prepared by keeping the right supplies on hand, and by responding to any messes you find as soon as possible. Start by blotting or vacuuming (if your vacuum is equipped for it) up any excess liquids first. For carpets, we recommend choosing either a CO2-based or enzyme-based cleaner, in order to help neutralize and reduce any residual stains or odors. We’ve found Whoops! Stain Remover to be particularly effective for all sorts of pet, food, and beverage stains, and we also like that it’s pet-safe, kid-safe, and leaves behind no film or residue. For hard surfaces, it’s always a good idea to follow behind any cleaner used with a wet cloth or paper towel as a finishing touch.
- Establish a regular cleaning routine to stay on top of pet-related messes. This includes sweeping or vacuuming floors, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning litter boxes or pet cages frequently.
Keeping the Air Fresh
Maintaining a clean home isn't just about appearances; it's also about the air quality. You can clean as much as you want, but if your home still doesn’t smell clean, then it won’t really feel clean. Pets can introduce allergens and odors into your living space, but there are ways to keep the air fresh and breathable.
- Whenever possible, try opening windows or doors to let in some fresh air, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. That burst of fresh air can really do wonders in helping to remove stagnant odors and circulating clean air throughout your space.
- Make sure to keep your air conditioning system in good working order, and be diligent about replacing those air filters.
- Invest in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to trap pet dander, dust, and other allergens. Adding air purifiers to key locations around the home can help to keep the air in your home fresher, cleaner, AND smelling great.
- Consider using odor-neutralizing products like candles, sprays, or diffusers designed specifically for pet homes. These can help mask any lingering pet smells.
Organize Your Furry Friends’ Area
Our fur babies need dishes and toys just like human babies do! But this doesn’t mean their gear necessarily needs to take over your home. Creating an organized and designated space for your pets not only makes your home cleaner but also keeps your pets happy and comfortable.
- Designate specific areas for your pets, such as a feeding station or a cozy corner for their bed or crate. This helps contain pet messes to a defined space.
- Have a designated spot for pet bowls, preferably in a kitchen or mudroom. Keep a place mat underneath to contain dribbles and crumbs.
- For cats, try to keep litter boxes in an area that doesn’t get too much traffic and isn’t overly frequented by guests.
- Dog leashes and harnesses can be stored in drawers, bins, or on hooks by the exit door for easy access. You can also give your pets their own little toy box to store all those balls, bones, and chew toys.
- Invest in storage solutions to keep pet supplies organized. This includes shelves, bins, or cabinets to store food, toys, leashes, and grooming supplies neatly.