Puppy-Perfect Cleaning Tips

Tricks of the Trade
By Tom McNulty, January 2010, Updated February 2015

Winter’s often-arctic temperatures don’t inspire long walks or afternoons in the park with the dog. Like us, our canine pals spend more time indoors, which—because they’re biological creatures who shed and are prone to the occasional gastrointestinal indiscretion—creates more potential “clean-up ops” for us. Here are some quick tips for dealing with the inevitable.

•Fur on the furniture? Use a piece of terry cloth to brush it to one spot, then pick it up; a slightly dampened sponge or rubber gloves also work well as picker-uppers.

•For stains, stock up on white vinegar or commercial stain- and odor-neutralizing products; those with enzymes or “oxy” in the name work best. Keep some old white or light-colored cotton towels or white paper towels at hand.

•Accidents on carpeting require immediate attention. For fresh urine, blot the spot, apply a pet stain/odor remover spray or a vinegar solution (1/3 cup vinegar to 2/3 cup water), blot again and repeat as needed. For upchuck, remove residue and blot with cotton towels. Apply a detergent solution (1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing detergent mixed with 1 cup water) and blot well. Rinse with plain water, blot and allow to dry. Whatever method you choose, test it out first on an inconspicuous spot, and try not to soak the carpet.

•Place a throw rug on your dog’s favorite resting place to keep the carpet clean, and check out the grime- and water-trapper varieties for the door. Tracked in mud should be scraped up (or allowed to dry and vacuumed up) and any stains treated ASAP. 

Tom McNulty is the author of Clean Like a Man, which is full of guy-friendly housekeeping tips and tricks. Visit cleanlikeaman.com for more.