I am a strong supporter of bleach and powder cleaners. Unfortunately, if I do use these cleaners, all living creatures have to vacate the area until it’s safe to return. This isn’t very convenient when you live with dogs and other small beings, like human children, so it’s safer to stick with natural cleaners.
With that in mind, here are a few DIY cleaning solutions that cover all the areas from the tips of your pup’s ears to the darkest carpeted corner of your home.
Natural key ingredients
When mixing your own cleaners, you run into the same ingredients over and over. There’s an easy reason why — they work!
- Vinegar. This liquid’s acidity is what helps break up grease and grime. Be careful when cleaning hardwood, marble, granite and stone. These surfaces may scratch when vinegar is used, especially with a highly concentrated vinegar solution.
- Baking soda. When you get down to its core, baking soda is a very mild salt. Its pH balance is the opposite of acidic, which makes it the yin to vinegar’s yang. Its ability to absorb acidic odors makes it a natural way to combat smells in your home or on your dog and, like my powder cleaner, the light abrasive nature helps dislodge stain particles.
- Hydrogen peroxide. A safer alternative to bleach, hydrogen peroxide’s properties mirror many of its benefits. Known for its antibacterial qualities, it can be used to help kill germs and bacteria. You can also use it to make your whites whiter, but that means being careful and testing first before using on any cloth materials like rugs or furniture. Do not to let your pup ingest this magical liquid, as it is also an effective way to get him to empty his stomach!
Natural house cleaning solutions
Vinegar and Baking Soda for carpet
- Mix up a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar.
- Soak the area, then scrub.
- Generously pour baking soda on the area, and leave on until dry.
- Once it’s dry, vacuum it up.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda for carpet
- Mix ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
- After blotting the spot, pour baking soda over it.
- Slowly pour the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap mixture over the baking soda, then scrub.
- Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then vacuum up.
- Mix 3 cups baking soda with 10 to 20 drops of your favorite dog-safe essential oil.
- Sprinkle over the carpet.
- Leave 15 minutes, then vacuum up.
Dog bed cleaner
If the cover of your dog’s bed can be removed and safely washed, add ½ cup of vinegar to the normal detergent you use (in the fabric softener cup). For daily refreshing, use a 1:1 mix of water and vinegar in a spray bottle to spritz where your pup slumbers.
Plastic toy cleaner
- Soak toys in a mixture of 1:1 water and vinegar for at least 30 minutes.
- Scrub using an old toothbrush.
- Rinse, and let air dry.
Remove lime stains from water bowls
- On the stove, warm enough vinegar to fill your dog’s bowl.
- Pour into your dog’s water bowl, and let sit for an hour, keeping the bowl out of your dog’s reach.
- Scrub inside until stains are gone, then rinse.
Clean up blood
Hydrogen peroxide can help clean up dried blood. It has bleaching properties, so test the area first and rinse with water after.
Thumbnail: Photography ©BilevichOlga | Getty Images.
Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned dogsitter, which keeps her busy being a dog chauffeur, picking up poop and sacrificing her bed. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area. Learn more about them on Facebook at The Active Pack and on Instagram.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!