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10 Handy Cleaning Tips Every Pet Owner Will Appreciate

 Keeping your home clean when you have pets around can be quite challenging, especially if they spend a lot of time indoors and share your furniture. That said, it's not impossible, but in order to maintain a clean and odor-free home, it's going to be necessary to make certain adjustments in your lifestyle and cleaning habits. If your pets wreak havoc in your home and you're tired of the bad smells, scratched furniture, and dirt they cause, try out some of these 10 tried and true tips!

1. Use a lint roller to clean furniture

Pet Cleaning Tips lint roller
Image Source: Laurie Chipps/ Flickr
The majority of cats and dogs shed, and they shed a lot! Obviously, this results in patches of fur scattered all over your home and even your clothing. You're likely already using a lint roller to remove pet hair from your clothing, but why stop there? After all, this handy tool can be used to clean your textiles, furniture, curtains, and any other place your dog or cat is so fond of that it shows.
Alternatively, you can also simply use duct tape wrapped (sticky side out) around a sponge or even a paint roller to create your DIY lint roller at home! This trick works especially well for large areas covered in hair, such as the couch, and is much cheaper than buying several rolls of lint roller. 

2. Line a litter box with a trash bag

Pet Cleaning Tips litter box with a trash bag
Image Source: Reddit
Tired of all the mess it takes to replace the cat's litter box? It can be quite a tedious task, but you can actually cut down on time and clean the litter box without any spills and scooping if you wrap an ordinary garbage bag around the litter box before pouring in the clean litter. Make sure you hide the bag's string underneath the litter box, however, because your cat may want to play with it.
Related Article: 8 Mistakes Cat Owners Make

3. Clean those puppy paws at the entrance

Pet Cleaning Tips dirty dog paws
Most dogs love playing in the dirt and grass, and even a short walk can make the paws and legs of your beloved pet quite dirty. Getting back home, the dog then proceeds spreading all the dirt they've collected on those curious little paws throughout your home, ultimately causing a huge mess with dirty floors, carpets, and furniture. To prevent this from happening, always clean your pet's paws immediately at the entrance.
For this purpose, we recommend storing a little bucket with water and a cloth right next to the entrance and clean the dog's paws immediately when you're back home. It's also advisable to have two mats on either side of the door that will be able to catch any extra dirt and dust.

4. Sprinkle some baking soda on the upholstery to remove odors

Pet Cleaning Tips baking soda
It's inevitable. All pets ultimately find their way on your couch and armchair, no matter how much you try to train them otherwise, even if you buy them the priciest and most luxurious pet beds. This can be good, in part, as this allows you to get cozy and cuddle together in front of the TV or with a good read, but at the same time, it can also pay a toll on the furniture itself.
One of the most common problems is odor, and both cats and dogs do tend to impart some kind of smell onto furniture, especially if they have a favorite spot on the couch. To reduce these odors dramatically, it's best to sprinkle some baking soda on the dry furniture, let it sit for half an hour or so, and then vacuum up the baking soda or whisk away with a dry cloth, and voila, the funky smell is gone in no time!

5. Make the perfect spill-free litter box

Digging around the litter box is a cat's instinct, as felines are elusive creatures that try to hide their scent and any traces of themselves in the wild. This means that you won't be able to train your cat not to dig in the box. But what can you do to prevent any annoying spills that made their way onto the floor?

Well, the easiest way to deal with those is to buy a covered litter box or one with very tall edges, but these can be quite expensive. A much simpler solution is to just make one yourself from any old deep plastic container. Cut a hole in one of the sides to create an entrance for the cat, sand down the edges, fill it up with litter, and you're done! The video above explains how to make a homemade litter box step by step, and offers 3 different types of DIY litter box ideas for you to try.

6. Use corrugated pipes to chew-proof wires

Pet Cleaning Tips corrugated pipes
Both cats and dogs can be attracted to wires, which is an extremely dangerous habit, obviously. Bitter lemon repellant sprays don't always seem to work to train your pet not to chew on cables either. If that's a problem you're all too familiar with, we've got a solution for you! Simply purchase the required length of split flexible plastic conduits and push the wires through the split along the pipe. 
These corrugated pipes are commonly used to protect wires and make installation of electric cables easier, and you can get them at any home center and automotive store. Because of the ridges on the perimeter of these pipes, chewing on them is unpleasant for animals, and so they will leave your cables alone and never touch them again.

7. Cover the couch

Pet Cleaning Tips dog on a couch blanket
Another great way of preventing unpleasant smells on your couch and other furniture are old sheets and blankets. Just throw these on your pet's favorite spot on the couch and switch out for a clean one every week or so. This simple yet effective trick will protect the couch from hair, odors, and even wear and tear.

8. The best way to get rid of litter box odor

Pet Cleaning Tips litter box
Tired of the unpleasant odors emitted by your cat's litter box? To reduce this quite pungent and permeating smell, scoop the litter box every day to keep it clean and make sure the litter box is located in a well-ventilated room. You can also purchase special smell reducing powders you can sprinkle in the litter box itself.
If you want to save some cash, however, you can also use baking soda instead. Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of an empty litter box before filling it up with litter, and then sprinkle a little bit more on top of the litter, too. Baking soda is very good at absorbing smells, and you can even add some essential oils, such as lavender oil, to further conceal the smell.

9. Use rubber gloves to wipe down fur from furniture and curtains

Pet Cleaning Tips vinyl gloves
Here's another clever way to remove hair from fabrics: put on a set of rubber gloves, wet them, and then simply wipe the surface down with the gloves. Any excess hair will quickly be transferred onto the wet gloves. If you don't have any gloves at home, you can alternatively use baby wipes to do the same thing, but we recommend avoiding any antibacterial wipes, as those can have bleaching agents in them which can compromise the fabric.

10. Clip those nails

Pet Cleaning Tips dog paws 
Giving your pet a manicure and pedicure is a necessary practice for their health, but trimming those pet claws more often will also have its benefits for your floor and doors, preventing any scratches in the long run, especially if you have a dog. When it comes to cats, manicures are more optional, as you can achieve similar results with a cat scratching post or mat.
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