cleaning up after pets

3 tips for cleaning up after pets

Cleaning up after pets is the not-so-fun part of sharing your home with a pet.

As we all know, however, the rewards of having a pet in our home (usually) outweigh the less-than-savory clean-ups our four legged family members sometimes require.

These 3 tips for removing pet hair, odors, carpet stains, and cleaning the litter box can help make these dirty jobs quicker and easier.

  1  Cleaning Up After Pets on Furniture and Upholstery

Cat hair is notoriously difficult to remove from clothing as well as upholstery.

My favorite method of getting cat fur off furniture is simply to dampen my hand and run it gently along the surface.

The fur sticks to my hand and I just rinse it off. If you're too squeamish for that method, try rubbing it with a dampened sponge instead.

Still another approach is to vacuum upholstery once a week - or as needed.

A larger version of a lint roller designed for pet hair removal is another easy way to get rid of pet fur.

  2   Removing Pet Stains on Carpet

  • Cat and Dog Urine Removal: This problem requires a three-prong solution. And a lot of time and effort.

1.  Absorb excess liquid with a white rag or paper towels. Blot on a solution of one-quarter teaspoon of mild liquid laundry detergent and one cup warm water. Repeat until there is no more stain transferring to your towel or rag. (Never rub the carpet.)

2.  Blot the spot with a solution of two tablespoons ammonia in one cup water. Rinse with warm water. Repeat and blot dry. Then blot the area again with a solution of one cup white vinegar and two cups water. Rinse again.

3. Cover the area with several layers of paper towels weighed down with a heavy object. (I sometimes just stand on the towels.) Continue changing the paper towels until the carpet is dry.

  • Pet Poop: An even messier problem to remove.

1. Gently scoop up the solids with a spoon or spatula. Take outside.

2.  Blot with a solution of two tablespoons of ammonia in one cup of water. Let soak for several minutes. Blot and repeat until the stain is removed.

3.  Rinse with cold water. 

4.  Blot dry. Blot the damp stain to remove remaining water. If any odor remains, sprinkle baking soda on the spot. Let it sit overnight, then vacuum.

Warning: There is a chance some stains just won't come out. And be careful not to use too much water on the spot. If the urine gets into the pad underneath the carpet, you'll never get it out.

The carpet will look clean, but then the urine will wick back up from the pad. If this happens, patch the carpet (as well as the pad).

  3   Keeping the Litter Box Clean

We swear by the clumping cat litter. Urine clumps so you can scoop it and other solids out of the litter box without changing all the litter.
  • Scoop the box as many times a day as you have cats. One cat: once a day. Three cats: three time a day. You get the idea.
  • At least once a week, change the entire contents of the box. Fill the pan with hot water and a half cup of bleach and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse well and dry. Add fresh litter and your cat is back in business.

Cleaning up after pets is easier when you know exactly how to tackle the tough stuff.

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