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Having lived with dogs all of my life, I wouldn’t want it any other way! Living with dogs comes with some cleaning challenges: nose prints, slobber, muddy paws, doggy smell, and lots of pet hair. However, having dogs isn’t incompatible with having a nice home, so I’m sharing a few of my cleaning tips.
There are hundreds of cleaners in the store, some which are potentially toxic, and many are bad for the environment. Additionally, many of the leading brands test on animals, which is cruel and unnecessary. I am sharing a few of my favorite cleaning tips, and I would love to hear your tips in the comments! I love using these DIY cleaners with Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths because they work and are better for the environment as well as our health.
My mom taught me that if you are organized before you start a task, it saves a lot of time in the long run. As soon as I saw this mint green caddy, I knew it would be perfect for my cleaning needs. I prefer glass containers glass containers to plastic, but if you have toddlers or an overly helpful dog, plastic containers might be a safer choice. My Scotch Brite dishcloths are versatile workhorses, with two different textures, making them perfect for many jobs. One side has powerful non-scratch scrubbing dots, while the other has the standard wiping and drying functions of a dishcloth.
White vinegar diluted with water is an excellent cleaning solution. I usually use a ratio of 2 parts water to one part vinegar, but I know some people use equal parts. You can add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance if you like. This is often touted as an all-purpose cleaner, but the geologist in me says, don’t risk using it on your marble table!
Always label your homemade cleaning supplies!
Sometimes you need a little muscle, and this scouring powder is perfect for cleaning the sink or getting the scum off of a dog bowl.
To make my scouring powder I combine one cup of salt with one cup of baking soda. Shake before using.
This scouring powder is perfect for cleaning off the slimy stuff on dog bowls. Simply add some powder and approximately the same amount of water to make a paste. We found this great bowl from Barkley & Wagz on EtsyBarkley & Wagz on Etsy.
For this job, the scrubbing dots give you the extra oomph you need for scrubbing, but will not scratch. (However, the salt in this formula might scratch delicate surfaces.)
Make sure to rinse thoroughly!
Many DIY air fresheners call for alcohol in the formula, because it will dry quickly in the air. However, alcohol is toxic to dogs, so I mix 1 cup of water with 20-30 drops of essential oils. You can experiment to see what scent combinations you like best. I like to use a blend of orange and lemongrass in the living areas and use lavender in the bedrooms.
My secret trick for getting ready for company is to spray my dishcloth with my homemade air freshener and wipe down the door jambs. That way the first impression is a clean smelling house. I chose a blue bottle to help keep the essential oils away from light.
Dishcloths are great for removing dog hair from furniture. Just get it damp and lightly wipe upholstered furniture, the hair rolls right up.
About Alice G Patterson Photography: Based in Syracuse, New York, Alice is a lifestyle photographer dedicated to helping women succeed in their small business dreams, and she also specializes in dog photography. Alice is taking her pet and commercial photography on the road this year, so be sure to sign up for her email list or send her an inquiry about your business and pet portrait needs.