For millions of dog and cat owners, Fido and Fluffy aren’t just pets – they’re part of the family. But as much as we love our four-legged friends, they sure can make a mess of things: shedding fur, tracking mud and dirt into the house, and occasionally having an accident on that freshly-cleaned carpet. That’s why we’ve put together some simple tips to help make your pet clean-up easier and more effective. Prevention While it’s impossible to stop some pets from shedding, there are a few tricks you can use to keep pet hair from rolling freely across your home like tumbleweeds in a Western movie. Brushing your cat or dog regularly will help to minimize shedding, which makes your job easier. You can also limit the areas where your pets travel, by keeping closet doors closed. This will greatly reduce the time you spend cleaning up after your pet. Hairy Business Regular vacuuming will help the minimize the spread of pet hair and pet odor. For best results, use a vacuum with HEPA filters and motorized brushes on your carpet. You can also use your vacuum hose to clean furniture and pet beds. If pet smells have seeped into your carpet, sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before vacuuming. Don’t forget a pet owner’s best friend: the lint roller! Keep one of these handy to quickly clean up pet hair on clothes and furniture. Oops, I did it again! Speed is your friend when it comes to cleaning up after your pet’s accidents. Start by blotting the affected area with a dry towel (never scrub a wet stain; this will only push the stain deeper into the carpet). Keep changing towels and continue soaking up the stain until the area is dry. For more stubborn stains, mix up a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the stain and let it sit for five minutes, then blot the area dry the area with some clean towels. Finally, cover the area in baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes. The baking soda will soak up any leftover moisture, and will also help neutralize the smell. Vacuum up the baking soda once you’re done. If you have hardwood flooring, linoleum or tile, cleaning up accidents can be a little easier. Just make sure to use an antibacterial product, which will help disinfect the area and neutralize potential odors.
Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting rid of clutter and scrubbing floors. After a winter on lockdown, your home could probably use a good airing out. Spring is a time of rebirth in the natural world, so why not take a page from Mother Nature’s playbook when combatting funky smells? These natural remedies will bring the fresh scent of spring to your home in no time flat. -A chemical wunderkind, baking soda has near endless applications when it comes to combatting household odours. A scoop of baking soda poured down the drain with warm water will quickly neutralize smells coming from your sink or garbage disposal. To de-odorize carpets, sprinkle on a half a cup of baking soda for every square foot of carpet, wait fifteen minutes, then vacuum the carpet. Put baking soda in the fridge to remove food odours. It can be even be used on stinky sneakers! -Tired of buying air fresheners that promise a “fresh” scent but actually smell like chemicals? Consider using herbs and spices instead. Natural lavender species come in a variety of smells which are less overpowering than pure lavender oil. To clear out a smelly kitchen, put some cinnamon sticks in a pot of water and bring to a boil on the stove. Hang bundles of fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, and mint throughout of your home for some natural aromatherapy. -There’s also some solid research to suggest house plants can improve air quality in your home. Back in 1989, NASA tested a number of house plants as part of its clean air study, which researched ways to augment air filtration systems in space stations. Certain plants not only removed carbon dioxide and provide oxygen, they also removed harmful chemicals like benzene (found in petrochemicals) and trichloroethylene (used in industrial solvents) from the surrounding environment. Among the top performers were snake plant, pot mum, peace lily, Boston fern and English Ivy. For best results, the NASA study recommends using 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers in a 1,800-square-foot house. –Coffee grinds can do more than help you stay awake – they can also soak up the stink from vomit, urine and other nasty accidents on clothes and upholstery. Place two or three layers of old dryer sheets over a stinky stain, then sprinkle coffee grinds over the sheets. The odour will be absorbed in the grinds overnight.