CLEANING UP AFTER YOUR PET
Let's face it, pets are messy. Thankfully there are tools out there that can make it easier to clean up after your pets!
Spray Cleaning Products
Spray cleaning products are a helpful way to clean up animal messes and disinfect the floor and counter. Clorox, Bissell, and Oreck are brands with pet product lines that we have found to be the most effective in removing animal smells and removing stains. Clorox Urine Remover is very effective in removing cat and dog urine smells quickly.
If you have a dried mess on the floor, spray these products, let it sit for a few minutes and then the mess will be easier to wipe up without scrubbing.
Cleaning stains and pet messes out of carpet can be tricky. We have found that spray carpet cleaners from Oreck, Bissell, and Resolve work well at lifting stains so that they can be removed with a wet cloth or a vacuum after using the product. Carpet shampooers are very helpful if you have messy pets and a lot of carpet. Many carpet shampooers are bulky and heavy. Getting one with a long handheld device can make it easier to clean without pushing the entire machine. Bissell also makes small handheld shampooers that are light and very effective at cleaning pet messes. If your pet tends to make a mess in a specific spot, consider putting down puppy training pads or newspaper to help prevent the mess from getting into the carpet.
Many pets shed a lot meaning a vacuum will be a good friend to have. If vacuuming is tiring or difficult for you, try to find a lightweight one and break the task up to save your energy. Lightweight vacuums do not need to break the bank either. Walmart has lightweight vacuums with handheld options for under $50. We have them at the animal rescue and they work great! Another option if vacuuming is difficult is to invest in an automatic vacuum. Roomba is the most popular brand but there are many robotic vacuums available that work well with pet hair. If you do choose a robotic vacuum, find one that will be easy for you to empty the canister. Consumer Reports put together a list of the best robotic vacuums here: https://www.consumerreports.org/robotic-vacuums/best-robotic-vacuums-of-the-year/
Mops and mop alternatives
If you have tile or hardware floors, you will likely want a mop or mop alternative for cleaning up after your pet. Mops are great if you have a large area to clean up, but they can be difficult to manage especially with a mop bucket. Consider a bucket on wheels to make the task easier for yourself and choose a smaller bucket to avoid it getting to heavy to push/pull. Mop alternative like the Swiffer, can be great for cleaning up after your pet quickly. The Swiffer pads will pick up and clean the mess with a couple pushes of the Swiffer. These types of mops are difficult to use to get really dried on messes; we recommend spraying these messes prior to trying to clean them with any type of mop. Mops similar to the swiffer are nice because they will not get your floor as wet as a typical mop and dry quickly without having to ring-out a mop and try to clean up excess water. Mops like the Swiffer do require you to purchase pads though which can add up.
A steam mop is lightweight like a Swiffer but has machine washable pads. The use of steam to clean the floor also means that the floor will be drier when you are finished and it is more effective at removing tough messes.
If a standard mop or mop alternative if hard for you to use, robotic mops are becoming more effective and popular. We recommend looking at reviews and doing research to see if the robotic mop you are interested in is easy to set-up and clean. Here is a list of some of the common robotic mops and their pros/cons: https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/360156/the-best-robot-mops
If your pets use the furniture, you will likely want to clean if regularly to remove pet hair. Using a furniture cover or covering the furniture with a sheet/blanket will add a barrier between your pet and the furniture that you can easily through into the washing machine to clean and remove hair.
Using the handheld option on a vacuum or buying a small handheld vacuum can also help you quickly remove pet hair. However, this may take some scrubbing to get hair out of the fabric if it has built-up.
Using a pet hair brush is a great tool to get hair out of your furniture, and you can use it while sitting on the couch to save energy. Brushing your furniture will take time but it will also get hair up that may be deeper in the fabric.
Regularly brushing and grooming your pets will also make furniture easier to clean as they will shed hair less.
The spray products about and carpet cleaners are also great tools for removing pet stains from furniture. Clorox wipes are great for quickly cleaning non-fabric based furniture pieces.