Everyone loves a clean house. And with thousands of chemical cleaning products on the market, it’s easily accomplished. But at what cost to our pets? If you’ve been thinking about ditching the toxins and switching to pet-safe, non-toxic, natural cleaning products to keep your home sparkling then this is for you!
What’s The Problem With Chemicals For Pets?
Since Fido spends most of his time close to the ground, let’s focus on the floor. Every time you wash your floor with toxic chemicals and Fido walks across it, he’s exposed to the residues left behind. Even once the cleaner has dried, it can be absorbed through his paw pads and into his bloodstream.
And that’s not all…
Each time your pup eats something off the floor, or licks the floor, he’s ingesting residual cleaners. It’s the same thing with low cabinets that are within your pup’s reach or furniture.
Straight From The Pantry: Natural Cleaning Supplies
Before I share homemade cleaner recipes, let’s talk about some pantry staples that make great cleaning ingredients!
White Distilled Vinegar
This is the King Of The Road of non-toxic, pet safe cleansers. Found in most household pantries, it’s cheap, edible, cleans, and deodorizes.
The reason vinegar is so potent is because of its acetic acid content. With a pH around 3, it has the power to cut through grease, dirt, mineral deposits/stains from hard water, and can kill various forms of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and molds.
White vinegar can be used from floor to ceiling by itself straight out of the bottle, diluted, or in combination with an assortment of natural pet-friendly ingredients. *Warning: It should be noted that vinegar can be too harsh for some surfaces and should not be used on granite or marble. It can cause pitting.
Baking soda is another natural powerful cleaning staple you likely have in the pantry. The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and as its chemical name implies – it’s a salt and has a pH of 9. With a pH of 9, it’s considered alkaline (opposite of an acid).
Baking soda absorbs odors, disinfects, kills molds, dissolves dirt, grease, and grime.
Pop open a box to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh. Sprinkle it straight from the box and use it as you’d use any scouring powder. Or mix it with water to form a paste and use it as a soft scrub.
Lemons and Lemon Juice
The almighty lemon not only makes things smell clean, but it also touts antibacterial and antifungal properties. With a pH of 2, this acid can blast through dirt, grease, and grime. The AKC says, “Combined with vinegar, the boosted acid content is great for tackling lime and calcium deposits and eliminating soap scum.”
A staple in many bathroom cabinets, hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant. It’s effective against various microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, some viruses, and molds. Hydrogen Peroxide is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website as a product that meets the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.
Hydrogen Peroxide can be used right from the bottle. No need to mix anything with it. Does it get any easier than that? Just pop a spray top on to the brown bottle, grab a rag and you’re ready to clean.
Use it in the bathroom in sinks and toilets, in the kitchen on countertops and appliances, as a glass and mirror cleaner, to disinfect garbage cans, and all around the house. Give it a chance to work – spray it on, wait a few minutes, and then wipe.
*Important Note: Hydrogen Peroxide must be kept in a dark bottle or it will break down and become water. If the peroxide isn’t bubbling when you use it, it’s probably no longer active. Toss it and replace the bottle.
*NEVER mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in the same bottle. The combination forms peracetic acid, which is a caustic acid that can be harmful to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Yes, that’s right … plain water!
If you want your main cleaning ingredient to be water – there’s a whole line of products created just for that purpose. It’s a brand called Norwex. I was introduced to them several years ago from a neighbor who was having a Norwex party. They have mops, pads, cleaning cloths, dusting mitts, and the list goes on. All of their microfiber products are from recycled materials and have antibacterial properties built right into the cloths. All you do is add water and clean. Floors, counters, appliances, shower, tub…water!!! Trust me – this stuff works. And for windows — streak-free every time!
Although Amazon does carry some of the Norwex products, I can’t guarantee the authenticity of them since the product line is normally sold through party consultants and home parties. If you want to learn more about this way of cleaning, check out their official site HERE!
DIY Pet-Safe Cleaning Products
- In a spray bottle, mix 1 quart of distilled water with 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar.
- Use on countertops (not granite), tiles, sinks, bathroom fixtures, etc.
- For difficult-to-remove soap scum or hard water stains, increase the mixture to 1 quart of distilled water to 1 cup of distilled white vinegar.
Baking Soda Scrub
- For a simple baking soda scrub, use a 3:1 ratio of baking soda to water.
- Mix it to get a toothpaste-like consistency.
Body Fluid Stains: Urine, Feces, Vomit
This recipe is adapted from furchildpets.com:
- Clean the soiled area by blotting the soil with paper towels until you’ve soaked it all up – then remove the paper towel.
- Liberally apply baking soda over the soiled area.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid to 1/2 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.
- Pour the mixture over the stain and baking soda.
- Give the area a good scrub with a cloth or brush.
- Let sit on the stain for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- For heavy soils, repeat.
Baking Soda to the rescue!
- Sprinkle a liberal amount straight from the box onto the carpet and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- If it’s a urine odor you’re trying to conquer, make sure you’ve thoroughly absorbed, cleaned, and dried the urine accident first. Baking soda doesn’t work by covering up or disguising an odor – it absorbs and neutralizes it!
Floor Cleaner (Tile, Stone, and Vinyl Flooring)
This is to clean, disinfect, and deodorize your tile, stone, and vinyl floors.
- In a bucket, mix 1 gallon of warm tap water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar.
- Mop the floor as usual. No need to rinse.
If you’re not a big fan of the vinegar smell – no worries – it’ll dissipate as soon as it’s dry.
Floor Cleaner – Hardwoods
*Important note: Hardwood floors can become easily damaged if not cleaned according to your manufactures guidelines. Only use this recipe on sealed hardwoods and only after you check the manufacture instructions for cleaning your particular floor.
- Add 1 quart of distilled water and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle.
- Grab your microfiber pad mop.
- Spray and mop just as you would do with your store-bought spray floor products.
Furniture Polish – Olive Oil
Want to put a shine on your wood furniture? Grab a bottle of olive oil from your kitchen cabinet and mix up some non-toxic furniture polish!
- Mix 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
- Add to a spray bottle and then clean!
This mixture is perishable, so store the polish in the refrigerator. It should last up to 2 weeks. However, use the mixture at room temperature – not cold. If you don’t want to refrigerate the mixture – the lemon juice can be replaced with a few drops of lemon essential oil.
Glass And Window Cleaner
This homemade window cleaner recipe comes from Pella Windows And Doors Of North Carolina. After all, who’s better qualified to tell us how to clean windows if not the window people themselves.
- Mix 1 part distilled vinegar to 10 parts warm water in a spray bottle.
- Wipe down the window with a soft, clean, lint-free microfiber cloth or paper towel to remove dust before you spray your solution, then spray the entire surface.
- Use your lint-free towel to rub the vinegar mixture and work it into the dirty spots on your window. Feel free to be generous with the amount of cleaner you apply to the cloth or paper towel, but avoid getting any cleaning solutions on the wood, fiberglass, or vinyl frames, as they may discolor the finish.
- Use a second clean cloth to dry your window as thoroughly as possible. You’ll want to do this quickly after cleaning in order to prevent streaks, so if you have multiple windows to clean, it’s best to do them fully one at a time instead of spraying all of them at once.
- Rinse with clear water if streaks remain after cleaning.
Lemon Glass Cleaning Solution
Clean glass like the pros. This recipe is from merrimaids.com:
- Squeeze about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a spray bottle.
- Add 1 cup of water.
- Shake and spray.
- Wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Drain Cleaner
Recipe by the American Kennel Club – AKC.ORG
- Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in your toilet bowl or down your drain.
- Follow with 1 cup of vinegar and then stand back and enjoy the volcano effect.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes to break down dirt, grime, and odors before following up with a scrub brush.
- For drains, follow with boiling water to rinse away any residual grease that might cause clogs.