20 Genius Hacks to Keep Your Home Spotless Even with Pets: Proven Tips Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

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Maintaining a clean, tidy home helps you feel calmer, healthier, and happier. Many people have a typical housework routine to keep them on track. However, if you have pets, cleaning includes several unique challenges, including lingering pet odors and fur covering everything from floors to furniture. If your furry friends make housecleaning a hassle, use these handy tips to make tidying with pets more manageable.

1. Use A Rubber Glove To Pick Up Pet Hair

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A damp rubber glove makes scooping pet hair off carpet and upholstery a breeze. It’s great for tackling hard-to-reach or awkward spots like carpeted stairs and between sofa cushions and for grabbing pesky hair and fur embedded in heavy-pile rugs. A grooming glove works well, but a basic rubber glove like you wear to wash dishes is all you need.

2. Get The Right Cleaning Tools

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Everything is easier with the right tools. If your pets shed, investing in a robot vacuum and mop is a lifesaver. Schedule your smart cleaners to run as often as necessary to keep pace with heavy shedders. Other essential tools are lint rollers, a rubber squeegee (dampen it to clean hair out of carpet), and reusable fur fighters like the Chom Chom.

3. Keep Your Pet Clean

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Tackle dirt and hair at its source — your pet. Regular grooming is better for your pet’s health and happiness and makes cleaning your house much more manageable. Regular brushing reduces the fur your dog or cat leaves behind on clothes, furniture, and carpet and routine baths help keep dirt and odors at bay.

4. Place A Tray Under Your Pet’s Dishes

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Does your furry friend’s mealtime look more like a food fight than dinner? Place a tray under pet bowls to catch the mess your pal leaves behind when they eat. Choose a tray with raised edges to contain water spills. Use a separate tray beneath your pet’s food dish to return spilled dry food to its container instead of tossing it in the trash.

5. Open The Windows

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Make a habit of opening your windows each morning for about five to ten minutes to improve airflow throughout your home and clear out smells. The fresh air helps remove unpleasant odors, and you also reap the benefits, like a mood boost, saving energy, and better sleep. However, put safety measures in place, like window screens, so curious pets don’t wander.

6. Use Indoor/Outdoor Or Washable Rugs

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There are so many stylish options of rugs these days that are appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. Choose one of these rugs over a traditional indoor-only style to make cleaning easier. Another excellent option is using a washable rug that’s easy to toss in the washing machine when it needs a refresh or your pet has an accident.

7. Take Your Dog Shoe Shopping

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If your dog tolerates things on their feet, get them a set of dog socks or booties for outdoors. Remove the shoes before your dog comes inside so they don’t track a bunch of dirt and muck into the house. Consider getting two pairs to have a backup while the other pair is in the wash. They have cat booties, too, if you can get your feline friend to wear them.

8. Cover Your Pet’s Bed And Lounge Spots

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Choose a washable bed or one with a removable cover for your pet. However, sometimes, your fur pal’s favorite bed is spot-clean only (or they sleep on your bed). Place a washable sheet or blanket over your pet’s favorite lounging areas. It’s a lot easier to wash a sheet than to clean your sofa or duvet.

9. Invest In An Air Purifier

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A quality air purifier helps eliminate dust, allergens, and pollutants from your air, keeping your home healthier and fresher. It also pulls in loose pet hair, which means less hassle for you. Look for a purifier with a HEPA filter and a removable, washable pre-filter that captures hair. No matter which model you choose, clean and maintain it according to the manufacturer’s specs so it does its job well.

10. Wash Your Pet’s Belongings

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Sometimes, the pet mess doesn’t come directly from your pet but their stuff. When was the last time you washed your dog’s leash or cleaned the cat condo? How about the pile of pet toys in the corner with a questionable smell? Put soft toys in a mesh laundry bag and toss them in the washing machine. Clean plastic and rubber toys in the dishwasher along with synthetic or woven leashes and food and water bowls.

11. Use A Damp Cloth To Clean Baseboards And Lower Walls

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Pet hair tends to collect along baseboards and in corners. Foot traffic and air kick up loose hair and fur, moving clumps and tufts across the floor. The hair tends to collect along baseboards and in corners. When you clean, use a damp cloth or dusting mitt to wipe down the baseboards and bottoms of the walls.

12. Brush Your Pet Outside

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Even if you’re super careful to collect the fur as you brush your pet, you inevitably end up with hair everywhere. Brush your dog or cat outside to reduce the hair that ends up on your floors. Note: It’s still wise to get as much of the fur as you can to dispose of properly, but at least it cuts back on the stray pieces in your house.

13. Hang Clothing Higher Up

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If you hang clothing too low, it’s likely to end up with extra texture courtesy of the pet hair collecting on the floor. If you must use a lower clothes rod, choose items that hang several inches from the floor. Also, keep closet doors or curtains closed to limit the hair that gets inside — it doesn’t keep it out 100%, but it helps.

14. Fluff Clothes In The Dryer Before Washing

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Before washing clothes, fluff them in the dryer on no heat to help loosen pet hairs embedded in the fibers. To encourage the process, toss a few wool dryer balls in with the load to help separate and lift items. There are also lint and fur catchers that you can add to the washing machine to tackle especially hairy loads.

15. Neutralize Pet Odors With Vinegar

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Tackle pet odors naturally and simply with white vinegar. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz on upholstery, rugs, and carpet, let dry, then vacuum. Add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture (choose a scent that won’t offend your pet) if you don’t care for the vinegar smell. Spot test items before spraying a large area.

16. Use Coffee Filters To Clean Screens And Other Delicate Surfaces

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Coffee filters are an inexpensive and easy way to clean sensitive electronics, including phones, televisions, laptops, tablets, and monitors. The filters don’t leave behind fibers or scratch surfaces and do a good job holding onto dust and hair without leaving streaks.

17. Line The Litter Box With Trash Bags

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Make emptying your cat’s litter box a snap with two trash bags (choose ones with drawstring-style handles). Turn the bags inside out and put the litter box inside of one. Tie the bag, then slide it (tied-end first) into the other bag and tie it. When it’s time to empty, untie the outer bag, pull it back over the box to contain the litter, and put it straight into the trash.

18. Use Enzyme-Based Cleaners To Stop Recurrent Potty Accidents 

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If your pet is prone to potty accidents, you know they like to return to the same spot. Your pet marks their territory, then recognizes the smell as somewhere they’ve been before. When cleaning pet stains, use an enzyme-based cleaner that eliminates the odor instead of covering it up. Also, avoid ammonia-based cleaners which mimic the smell of dog and cat urine and confuse your pet.

19. Make Natural Deterrents To Keep Pets From Making A Mess

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Prevent your pet from making a mess in the first place by taking a few precautions. For example, if your cat loves to shred toilet paper, put a few drops of lavender on the cardboard tube to make them think twice. Does your dog always find a way into the trash can, even after you bought the one with a lid? Put cinnamon sticks underneath the bag or use a citrus essential oil to keep your pup away.

20. Rotate Your Pet’s Toys

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It’s no secret that the average home has too much clutter, but it isn’t just the people with all the stuff. Pets accumulate a lot, especially toys. Select two or three toys at a time and store the others. Every few weeks rotate the toys to keep pet clutter to a minimum and make it easier to maintain clean toys.