Going Green! Pet-safe cleaning tips

By on March 7, 2014

Animal Planet is always on top of pet issues and in tune with the pulse of the people. Realizing that folks feel compelled to be more “green” these days, the cable network’s Web site has recently released a list of8 Green Pet Care and Cleaning Tips” for you to consume and put into use.

There is a collection of natural, non-toxic items that can be used in cleaning products in your home- Animal Planet calls them “The Fantastic Four.” They are lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and salt. All of these things can be made into household cleaners that are safe for animals and the environment. To read the entire article, click here. Also, you can simply read the list below and live a little greener.

  • If your pet has an “accident,” simply scrub the area with club soda. After, use baking soda to control odors.
  • Once you’ve cleaned up a pet mess, douse the area with a vinegar and water solution. This will help with the smell and tell your pup or kitty that this is not a place to “go” again.
  • Bathe your dog or cat with baking soda- “To dry bathe your dog or cat, sprinkle your pet’s coat with baking soda, then give the coat a good rubdown with your hands. Next, use a gentle brush to spread the baking soda throughout the coat until the baking soda is gone. And since it is nontoxic, there’s no need to worry if your pet takes a liking to its taste.”
  • Baking soda and water makes for a great way to brush your animal’s teeth. Dip a soft toothbrush in a mixture and scrub those pearly whites.
  • Baking soda is also a nice deodorizer. If your animal likes to occupy a certain space and it starts to smell a bit, sprinkle soda in the area and vacuum it up.
  • To clean your litter box, dump the soiled litter, then pour in a half inch of vinegar. Rinse and dry and you’ve got a fresh, new box. The article suggests that pregnant women steer clear, citing the risk of taxoplasmosis.
  • You can create less-harsh-smelling litter by adding baking soda to regular clay litter. It’s safe and will take the odor out of stinky litter. You can also buy litter with baking soda already in it, but why not do it yourself and save some bucks?
  • Soap and water is more enviromentally friendly than commercial shampoos. Use this for you animal’s bath instead of solutions with chemicals.
  • For birds, ferrets and other caged animals, use baking soda and vinegar to control smells. Lemon juice can be used on carpets to clean up small stains. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda along the bottom of cages for a fresh smell, too.
  • When cleaning your fish tank, use a little salt water. It does a great job with hard water marks and will help scrub deep into deposits left over. Rinse before refilling to keep fish safe.
  • Clean fish tank stones with non-diluted vinegar. Remove stones, soak, rinse and replace. If your vinegar mixture bubbles when rocks are dropped in, throw them away as to prevent pH balance form harming fish.

The folks at SparkPeople also have some helpful green cleaning tips. These are safe for you, your pets and the environment, so put them into action as well! Their list can be found here, but check this list to see if you have the proper supplies to clean “green:”

  • Distilled white vinegar (sold in the cooking section of most supermarkets)
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)
  • Liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s brand, found in most natural foods stores)
  • Essential oils (super concentrated natural plant oils found in natural foods stores, usually in the cosmetics section)
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths
  • Newspaper

The Spark folks provide some wonderful tips that can be used in and around your home at the above link, but here’s a list of some common ways to clean various spaces:

  • Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
  • Countertops and bathroom tile: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe.
  • Floors: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.
  • Wood furniture: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive and oil. Apply a small amount to a cloth, and rub onto the furniture in long, even strokes.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda and scrub away! Occasionally disinfect your toilet by scrubbing with borax instead. Wipe the outside of the toilet clean with straight vinegar.
  • Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.
  • Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.
  • Air freshener: Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room. If you have kids, make sure it is out of their reach as essential oils are very strong and could irritate their skin. Lavender is a relaxing scent that is great for bedrooms, and cinnamon, clove, and citrus oils are great for the rest of the house. You can stash a few in the car too—try peppermint, which may help you to stay alert.

Have other “green” cleaning tips for pet owners? It seems that the Animal Planet’s “Fantastic Four” is a great little process to adhere to, but there must be other tips… Share them through our Contact form, on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Our social media links are atop the homepage.

Image credit: ocgoodguys.com

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