We love our four-legged friends, but things can get messy when you share your home with pets
Whether it’s muddy paw prints inside, dealing with all that hair or something worse, here are easy ways to deal with common pet messes...
1. Muddy paw prints on hardwood
HouzzOn Canada’s West Coast, aka the wet coast, muddy paw prints are a fixture around most homes. But even though it’s tempting to wipe up after Fido while the paw prints are still wet, wait until they’re dry—using a mop will just push around the mud. Once the paw prints are dry, use a vacuum to suck up the dirt. If any spots remain, use a mix of dish soap and hot water to spot clean with a microfiber cloth.
2. Pet hair on upholstery
Sabrina DejardinsIf Fido or Fluffy is a fixture on your living room sofa or bed, the issue of excess pet hair can be a real problem. Short of draping drop cloths over your beloved furniture, the best way to get rid of pet hair on upholstery is to use something moist. Wet a pair of rubber gloves and run your hands over the upholstery surface to attract hair. You can also use a wet microfiber cloth or dish sponge.
3. Get a vacuum designed for pets
Forget Fido being your best friend. If you’ve got a pet that sheds, the new Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute vacuum ($799) will be your soulmate. Cordless, bag-less and the most powerful suction of any cord-free vacuum on the market, this lightweight vacuum is a beast for sucking up pet hair. The V10 converts to a handheld in one click, making it perfect for cleaning upholstery, car interiors and stairs too.
4. Pet smell on sofa upholstery or bedding
Ann LuuAnyone else let their pooch hang out on the bed? Guilty as charged. To remove pet smell from your sofa or bedding, simply sprinkle baking soda on the area and vacuum after 15 minutes. It will neutralize the doggy smell and won’t leave a residue behind.
5. Heavily soiled pet items
From the blankets protecting your car seats to the towels you use to clean off Fido after being outside in the rain, heavily soiled pet items can be tougher to clean than your everyday laundry.
Ditto on pet beds. To get them deodorized and smelling great, add half a cup each of baking soda and vinegar to your laundry load. The sodium bicarbonate in baking soda neutralizes odours by balancing pH levels. Wash the load on hot and use a pre-wash soaking option if your machine allows. Shake the items outside or give them a quick vacuum to remove excess hair before putting the items in. Pet beds with removable covers, like this one from mattress maker Casper ($150), make washing a breeze.
6. Urine on carpet
FlaxMix a solution of half-vinegar and half-hot water and dab on the affected area. After half an hour, use paper towels and old towels to soak up liquid. The smell of vinegar will dissipate once the carpet dries (promise!). The acid in the vinegar acts as a germ killer, stain remover and odour eliminator.
7. Vomit and poop on carpet
The dyes commonly used in pet food can wreak havoc on your carpets when these meals are—ugh—regurgitated onto the floor. Treat these incidents quickly before the stain sets. The best cleaners to deal with “protein-based stains” like dog poop or vomit are ones that are enzyme- or oxygen-based, like OxiClean. You can also spot treat the area with a mixture of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
Stain still not moving? Bring in the big guns with a deep carpet cleaner designed to permanently remove pet messes, like the Little Green ProHeat Pet Portable Deep Cleaner ($149), which uses its “Tough Stain Tool” with powerful suction to spray, scrub and suction away the most stubborn pet messes.
8. Call in reinforcements
Aspen CleanSometimes it can feel like an uphill battle keeping a house clean when you’re a pet owner. Consider hiring a pet-friendly cleaning company to do a one-time deep clean, or seasonal house cleaning, to keep things in line. AspenClean uses pet-friendly and non-toxic organic cleaning products that were just awarded straight A’s in the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Living.