Let me just start this post by saying right upfront: I’m a dork. I know it. I love to clean.
And I love this time of year. After a long, dreary, gray winter, splashes of color start poking out of the ground. Dog walks that were short, rushed, or nonexistent become long and meandering. The dogs have to meander, I think, because after a smell-less winter, spring’s scents are just too darn tempting. And exciting.
I love spring, too, because it feels like such a time for renewal. Windows are flung open to let in fresh air, and that’s what this season is all about. Fresh air. So, of course, I am a huge fan of spring cleaning. Giving the whole house a thorough scrub is one of my favorite parts of the season. So – in addition to filing my taxes. blergh. – I plan on cleaning this weekend. Here are my pet-friendly cleaning tips to get spring cleaning off to a strong start:
- Open your windows. After a long winter with your house sealed against the elements, it’s oh-so-critical to allow in fresh air. It will rejuvenate you and your pets!
- Ditch the harsh cleaning agents. Think how badly bleach and ammonia sting your nose. Imagine how much worse it is for your dog! There are so many eco- and pet-safe cleaners that do a great job that there’s really no need for such harsh chemicals.
- Air out your rugs. Freshen up door mats, area rugs, runners, whatever you can pick up and take outside. Shake them out and then let them air out in the sun. These rugs can be dander traps, and most vacuum cleaners don’t do a stellar job of getting out all that fur that gets embedded into the carpet pad. (Or does that just happen to me??)
- Groom your dogs outside. If you can give them a bath with the hose on a warm day, great! Otherwise, aim for a thorough brushing, especially as most dogs are dropping their winter coats right now. You’ll end up with less fur and dander in your house and a more comfortable pooch, all while soaking up some much needed Vitamin D!
- Wash those windows. It probably depends on the height of your dog, but we have nose prints across every single window of our house because the boys just love to gaze outdoors. Wiping down all those nose prints is sanitary, of course, but it also allows more sunlight to stream in. For a pet-safe (and eco-friendly) cleaner, mix a cup of water with 1/8 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Add a couple squirts of liquid dish soap. Shake and squirt.
- Examine your baseboards. Seriously, if your baseboards are anything like mine, there’s this minuscule ledge – just a couple mm wide – that is apparently the perfect storage spot for pieces of fur and swathes of that dirt/dander mixture that accumulates all winter long. I use the store brand Magic Erasers to get that cleaned up.
Bonus task: Clean all your dog toys! I collect the zillion toys from the yard and all over the house and sort them by hard and soft. Hard toys go in the sink filled with soapy water, soft toys go through wash machine. It’s amazing the new life you can give your toys when they’re back to their original color. The boys seem to think that, all of a sudden, I rushed out and bought them a whole slew of new toys!
Are there any other dog-friendly cleaning tips you could share? Are you even a cleaning fanatic like I am?