Pets are essential parts of the family in many Austin homes. We definitely can’t live without them, but we sure could live without the stains and smells they leave behind! Check out these great tips from It’s Cleaning Time, your ATX home cleaning service, to make your pets a little easier to live with.

Kitty litter woes – If you’re tired of the smells from your cat’s litter, not to mention the fact that it gets tracked all over the house, try keeping the litter box in a closed cabinet that your cat can enter from the back. Simply cut a cat-sized hole in the back of the cabinet (near the bottom) and place the piece of furniture a few inches away from the wall so your kitty can get to and through the hole. Then place the litter box inside and close the doors. If this isn’t an option, try a covered litter box to reduce odor and scatter, and place a cat mat in front of the litter box to catch litter before it can be tracked around.

Smelly pick-up bags – If your trash can is smelling a little ripe after you’ve disposed a few doggy-doo pick-up bags, throw in a couple of handfuls of kitty litter to cut through the odor.

Disinfect from drool – This is especially important for pets that are particularly drooly, but all pets chew on toys and need to have their food and water bowls cleaned. Mix up a solution of one tablespoon of bleach or slightly more vinegar per gallon of water and submerge your pets’ bowls and toys for a few minutes. Let them air dry. If your pet dislikes a lingering bleach or vinegar smell or taste, wash the items with mild soap and let them air dry again.

Muddy paw prints – Believe it or not, it’s easier to clean up mud after it’s dry. Let the mud dry (keep pets and humans away from the area to prevent tracking it around further), then vacuum up as much as possible. If any muddy marks remain, mix a little liquid dish soap with warm water and use a clean cloth to blot.

Urine stains on the floor – Nobody wants pet accidents to hang around. For pee stains on tile, make a paste of baking soda and water, rub it into the spot, and then rinse and dry. For stains on carpet, mix one cup of water with 1/8 teaspoon of liquid dish soap and blot over the mess with a clean cloth. Then dab on a mixture of one tablespoon of white vinegar and one cup of water. If you smell a urine spot but can’t see where it is, shine a black light over your carpet.

Urine stains on linens – This one is easy – simply add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into your washing machine, along with your regular detergent. The vinegar will both neutralize the smell of the urine and will discourage your pet from marking that piece of clothing or bedding again.

Feces stains – This one might be the worst mess that can befall clean Austin homes, but don’t panic. Combine one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. Blot this mixture over the stain with a clean cloth until the stain disappears or it won’t lighten anymore. In the case of the latter, use an eyedropper to sprinkle a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and then a drop or two of ammonia over the area, then blot with water.

Pets can make us crazy, but our lives wouldn’t be the same without them. If you need help keeping up with the pet dander around your home or other routine household cleaning chores, get in touch today with It’s Cleaning Time and see how we can make your home neater and your life easier.

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