What do you use to clean your home? It’s easy to pass through the cleaning aisle and toss your go-to cleaner in the cart. You’ve always used it, and it does a good job. But – and this is important – is pet safe cleaning something you consider as well? Is that favourite floor cleaner or all purpose cleaner pet friendly?
Or, have you ever looked at the ingredients in the bottle and wondered “what the heck is that?”
Why Pet Safe Cleaning Matters
More and more studies are confirming that our pets are at a higher health risk than even people from the negative effects of chemicals and fragrances in our home. And when you consider where these cleaners are used, or when, and their close proximity to your furry friend, that’s concerning.
This is especially important since many of us have increased our use of disinfectants around the house to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
These are some of the most common chemicals found in today’s cleaning products – and they’re all harmful to our pets (and us):
- Phenols – typically found in cleaners with the word “sol” in the name
- Amonia – common in floor cleaners, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and multi-surface cleaners
- Phthalates – often used with scented products, like air fresheners or fabric spray
- Formaldehyde – common in general household cleaners
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Perchloroethylene – typically found in rug and carpet shampoos
If your pet breathes in the harsh fumes or ingests these ingredients, the results can range from skin, nose, and eye irritation, to nausea and vomiting, to respiratory issues, among others.
And like always our pets are inevitably our guardians. They keep things happier and healthier for us, and we should do the same for them. It’s not good for us to be exposed to these things either, walk around them, inhale them, touch them, etc.
Thankfully, your pet’s daily exposure to harmful chemicals via cleaning products can be eliminated easily with a few simple ingredients.
Pet Safe Cleaning Recipes
When it comes to pet safe cleaning, these recipes have your whole house covered! You don’t need to worry about using them around your pet or be concerned if your pet accidentally licks the newly washed floor (or drinks out of the toilet)!
1. All Purpose Cleaner
For the bathroom or kitchen (or really any room in the house), you just need 3 ingredients for an effective, pet friendly disinfectant: apple cider vinegar, water, and lemon juice.
Mix one part vinegar and four parts water in a spray bottle. Add some lemon juice to the mix and shake, shake, shake.
This pet safe disinfectant not only works great, it also smells great too.
**NOTE: If you have granite, concrete, or terrazzo countertops, it’s best to stay away from anything acidic, as this can degrade these materials. Instead, consider hot water and a little castile soap!
2. For Those Tough Stains…
When the above just won’t do the trick, you can get a little tougher without adding chemicals to the mix. This is good for cleaning the grout in the shower, baked on stains on the stove top, or giving grease a kick out the door!
In a bowl, stir together:
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Mix it together until it forms a thick paste. Add more vinegar if you need a little more liquid. Use a sponge or rag and scrub those tough spots using a circular motion. Rinse well with warm water.
3. Glass Cleaner
When most of us think about cleaning those grimy windows or dirty mirrors, our minds automatically go to that blue liquid… but this chemical cocktail is just not safe for your pet.
Instead, a simple blend of lemon juice and water will do the trick. Add 5 tablespoons of lemon juice to 2 liters of water and mix well. Pour into a spray bottle, then wipe the surfaces clean with a clean lint-free cloth or old cotton t-shirt.
4. Floor Cleaner
This is a biggie. Think about where your pet spends most of his time, or the fact that his paws come in contact with the floor all day long.
If you’re using a chemical based cleaner, it’s getting onto his fur, into his skin, and on his paws.
For a safe alternative for vinyl or tile flooring, pour 1 cup of vinegar (white or apple cider) and 1 litre of water into your mop bucket, give it a little stir, and mop away.
For hardwood flooring, consider something less acidic, such as castile soap. Mix 4 cups warm water and a few drops of castile soap. And remember, don’t let the water sit for too long on the floor.
You might have noticed we love vinegar – and not just for cleaning! Check this out next!
Other Tips for Pet Friendly Cleaning
Not ready to go 100% natural with your cleaning? That’s ok. There are still ways to reduce your pet’s risk.
- If you use chemical-based products to clean and disinfect, allow them to dry fully before letting your pet near the newly cleaned area.
- When washing your floors, rinse well with warm water after you’ve cleaned with a chemical-based product.
- Make sure to give your pet plenty of space when you’re cleaning. Let them outside, or put them in a different room to keep their exposure to the fumes at a minimum.
- If you use a chemical toilet bowl cleaner, always keep the lid closed!
- Store chemical-based cleaners somewhere your pet can’t get access.
As always, our animals guide us to a happier, healthier life ❤️
Happy (and safe) cleaning!