Dogs and cats make wonderful companions, but the accompanying loose fur and occasional paw prints, odors and stains can make housekeeping a challenge. Beyond frequent vacuuming—using a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter—here are some tips for keeping your pet-inhabited home clean and fresh.
Groom your pet regularly to help control the amount of fur shed indoors. Your veterinarian or pet store can recommend the best kind of brush or comb.
To prevent muddy paw prints, keep a towel by the door and “make it a habit to wipe your pets feet each time you come in from a walk,” says Marta Perrone, housecleaning expert and author of The Professional Housekeeper training guide and DVD.
For dirty paw prints on upholstery, she says, wipe with a wet cloth to remove as much mud as possible. Next, blot with a clean, damp cloth and mild detergent. Pour vinegar onto the cloth and blot again. Finally, dampen the stained area with water to remove suds.
Use an electrostatic mop on hard floors to trap fur. Perrone suggests placing adhesive floor mats at each entrance to catch loose pet hair.
Lint brushes and tape rollers can help remove fur from furniture and clothing. Another way to remove fur from upholstery is to don rubber gloves and run your hands over the fabric, Perrone says.
Soak up housebreaking accidents with a paper towel or a cloth and use an enzyme digester, following directions.
To mask pet odors in the home, boil 2 cups of water on the stovetop and add a cut-up lemon with a little vanilla extract and cinnamon.
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