Experts Share Their Pet-Tested Cleaning Tips

Dog Cleaning with Broom

Fur Begone

Most pet owners spend a lot of time vacuuming up pet hair, and to be sure, a good vacuum is a key weapon in the fight against hair-covered floors and furniture. But did you know that rubber is the natural enemy of pet hair? Yup, it sure is! You can use the same Love Glove you use to de-fur your pets on upholstery and carpeting, or you can just go over hairy areas with a plain old rubber dishwashing glove. You’ll be amazed at how well it works! —Jolie Kerr

Jolie Kerr is the author of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha (Plume). Her weekly cleaning advice column, “Ask a Clean Person,” appears on Deadspin and Jezebel.

Remove Pet Accidents from Carpets


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The unfortunate truth for pet owners is that dog and cat “accidents” aren’t always accidental—if Fido and Kitty are marking their territory, woe to the antique Persian rug that stands in their path. Here’s how to save your rug, and your relationship with your fluffy friend:

• Use a white towel to blot the damp area as soon as possible.

• Apply a solution of one-quarter teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and one cup of warm water with a white towel. Avoid overwetting. Absorb moisture with paper towels, rinse with warm water, and repeat as long as there is a transfer to the towels.

• Next, apply a solution of one cup white vinegar and two cups water with a white towel and blot dry. Stand on the towel to promote absorbance.

• Secure a half-inch layer of paper towels on the area with a heavy object. When thoroughly wetted, replace. Continue to replace until towels no longer absorb moisture.

• Try using an all-natural enzyme-based cleaning product as an alternative method. The enzymes actually digest the stain- and odor-causing proteins in the pet urine.

• Do not use ammonia or other cleaning chemicals with strong odors on the stained spot, as they do not effectively cover the odor and may encourage your pet to reinforce its urine scent mark.

• To discourage a pet from resoiling a previously soiled area, lay a sheet of foil on the spot for a week or two. It will be unappealing for your pet.

Excerpted from Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less Edited by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree (Workman Publishing)