With the holiday season upon us, many people will be preparing and cleaning their homes in preparation for an influx of family and friends. However, as you break out the cleaning supplies for your winter deep clean, it is important to keep the safety of your furry friends in mind. Whether you are renting a home in a pet-friendly city like Seattle, Washington, or own your home. The following natural cleaning and pest prevention home remedies are a great alternative to toxic cleaning products.
White vinegar cleaner. Did Fido have an accident on the floor moments before your New Year’s guests were set to arrive? Before you reach for the chemicals, check to see if you have any white vinegar laying around. You can make a highly effective all-purpose cleaner with just a half cup of vinegar and water. Oh, and that same mixture can also unclog drains, and remove soap scum.
Baking Soda, the quick and easy deodorizer. Were you able to clean the carpet but are worried about a pet smell? Happen to have a box of baking soda laying around? Believe it or not this simple, cheap ingredient found in most households for cooking purposes, (or hanging out in your fridge as a deodorizer) can also remove smells from your carpet in minutes. Just sprinkle lightly on the offending area, wait 15 seconds and then vacuum up.
Citrus for pest control. As the weather cools down, you may notice more critters in and around your home. Looking for a way to make sure that pests like mice and spiders aren’t getting in? Most rodents and insects hate strong smells. Although there are many scents that would fall under that category, citrus is a relatively pet-friendly deterrent. Citrus oil can be toxic to cats and dogs when ingested in large amounts, so watch to make sure it doesn’t become a regular snack. Place a few drops of any kind of citrus oil in areas of your home that attract pests. The scent will deter even the most persistent animals and as an added bonus, make your house smell fresh and clean. (Just don’t forget to reapply!)
Olive oil as a furniture polish and wood cleaner. Believe it or not, a simple combination of that trusty white wine vinegar and olive oil can make a highly effective furniture polish. Combine one part vinegar to 3 parts vinegar, locate a soft cloth and polish away. For wood items, switch out the vinegar for lemon juice and follow the same procedure. Just be careful when using it on wood floors, as olive oil can leave a slippery residue.
It is worth noting that there are also plenty of specifically manufactured, pet-safe products, out there, which will achieve similar results. However before you reach for those or the bleach, take a look around for some white vinegar, baking soda and olive oil. Chances are, you already have some great pet-safe cleaning tools in your home. Which, in some cases, may work even better than their noxious alternatives.
About the Author: Hannah Goodman writes about real estate, home improvement, and design for Trulia and other partners.