Pets are wonderful. They cheer us up when we’re sad, bring us joy when we’re happy and are an overall blast to be around. As amazing as they are, however, they do have a certain reputation when it comes to cleaning. And, it goes without saying that if you keep a pet, no matter how well-trained or well-mannered, a mess will happen – it’s just a matter of time!
A lot of pet owners find themselves struggling to keep up with the additional cleaning needs brought about by their pets. From emergency messes to dirty paw marks and pet hair, the cleaning tasks seem to just keep adding up. And no place in your home is under pet attack as often as your carpets are.
How to clean your carpets with vinegar
A word of caution – The majority of store-bought carpet cleaning solutions for pet owners contain a wide range of dangerous chemicals. These chemicals are hazardous to you, your family, your pet and the environment. A much safer (and even more cost-efficient!) way of going about your carpet cleaning would be to brew up a few solutions of your own, DIY style! For this you would want to make sure that your home is stocked up on:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Clean towels
- Essential Oils of your choice (for the disinfecting effect as well as the smell)
- A Vacuum Cleaner with the appropriate attachments
Keep your cool! Accidents happen
When you find yourself faced with a mess, your first task is to keep your cool. Remember – your pet didn’t mean for the mess to happen, nor did it want to purposefully annoy you. So don’t go shouting at it needlessly and instead focus your energy on taking care of the mess on your carpet.
React quickly! Act with wisdom but act
The entire art of carpet cleaning for pet owners is in the reaction time. You want to grab your (hopefully) already prepared toolkit and rush to the spot post-haste. The longer pet urine or stains stay on your carpet, the more time they have to seep into the fabrics and cause permanent damage. Remove your pet from the room, preferably leaving it with a family member in an adjacent room, or in the bathroom if nobody is around and move on to the next step.
Trusty carpet cleaning tools for pet owners
Different types of pet messes need to be handled differently. Spills and urine should never be rubbed, as this will push them deeper into the fabric of your carpet. Solid messes, on the other hand, should not be tended to with towels or rags, unless you want to have them smeared all over your floor. The only all-purpose tool, excluded from this rule remains your trusty vacuum cleaner – it can deliver the finishing touch after any clean-up and deal with everyday pet hair with ease!
Dealing with wet messes
For handling any sort of wet mess, you can use:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- A spray bottle
- A clean towel, cloth or rag
- Your trusty vacuum cleaner
Mix your water, and vinegar, pouring them into your spray bottle, grab your rag and head over to the spot.
For wet messes, be it urine, vomit or a spill, a towel or rag is your best friend. You want to avoid any sort of rubbing or scrubbing motions and stick to gently pressing it to the surface of your carpet instead. This will allow your towel to absorb the liquid, leaving your carpet relatively dry. Then spray your concoction on the spot. Sprinkle the location with the baking soda and let it stay like that for about 15 minutes. Then, blot it with a clean towel and vacuum it up!
Handling solid messes
For a solid mess, you would get the best results by using:
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- A putty knife
- Your trusty vacuum cleaner
Even though you could technically scoop a solid mess by using a towel, it is not recommended as it can very easily push and smear it onto the carpet, making it much harder to deal with. Instead, you should use a putty knife – simply sink the edge gently into your carpet and scoop the mess into your dustpan.
For dealing with the odour, you can rely on either baking soda or, if you would rather stick with a fancy carpet cleaning solution – your brand odour neutraliser of choice. Then, allow it adequate time to do its job, air-dry the area and scoop up with your vacuum cleaner.
Regular carpet cleaning tips for pet owners – maintain your carpet with grace
Once the emergency is taken care of, you want to ensure that your home remains clean and shiny for as long as possible, right? Well, if you have a pet or two, you would want to consider the following tips, lest you enjoy spending twice as much time on your regular sessions, as you otherwise would.
That’s right! These next five carpet cleaning tips will allow you to shorten your average cleaning session by as much as 50%!
Mind the paws
Considering their size, the paws of your pet can drag a surprising amount of dust, dirt and grime into your home. By keeping those paws clean you can drastically lower the amount of damage, suffered by the carpets in your high-traffic areas. Keeping a clean towel and a spray bottle near your door for quick after-walk clean-ups will do wonders for your carpet situation!
Strategically placed rugs
By putting down rugs around your home you are hitting two birds with one stone (not that anyone would actually want to hit birds). You are not only adding extra bits of comfort to your home, but you are also giving your pet the ability to clean its paws from dirt and dust while moving from room to room. Just make sure to actually clean the rugs regularly as well!
Groom and wash your pets
Even though not all pets share the same love for water and baths, keeping your best friends all clean and tidy will help you greatly reduce the amount of dust and dirt in your home. Furthermore, by ensuring that your dog is properly groomed will limit the amount of pet hair which finds its way into your carpets and upholstery.
The best thing you can do on top of grooming your pets is frequent vacuuming. Don’t wait for when you actually start encountering pet hair to begin. As with all things cleaning, persistence is the key. If you would normally vacuum your home once a week, consider adding a quick mid-week carpet cleaning session.
Treat your carpet to a professional cleaning session
Even the carpets in households with no pets can benefit from a professional’s touch every now and then. And if you own a pet, no matter how much tender loving care you give to your carpet, it will need to get professionally cleaned sooner, rather than later. The general needs of carpets vary, based on fabric and manufacturer, but the carpet cleaning experts agree that you should have your carpet professionally cleaned once every six months, at the very least.