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The Savvy Dog Parent’s Guide to Natural Cleaning Supplies

The Savvy Dog Parent’s Guide to Natural Cleaning Supplies

Let’s face it, while we love our pooches they can make housecleaning more of a chore. If you have to use cleaners often, such as a cleaner for your dog’s urine, then you definitely want to make sure they are safe for your family and dog while still effective at actually cleaning. The first step is to invest in a bottle of a natural multi-purpose cleaner; we recommend Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Concentrate. If you have any carpet or upholstery in your home, you’ll also want a carpet-specific cleaner, like Biokleen’s Bac-Out. We recommend Bac-Out for homes with either a lot of carpeting or a lot of accidents (or both), since the cleanser itself doesn’t carry any unpleasant aroma.

For everything else, should build up your natural cleansing kit with baking soda, white vinegar, and Borax. They can be combined in a variety of applications to fight pet mess just as effectively as chemical-heavy commercial cleansers, minus the toxicity.

Multi-Purpose Natural Cleaners

A home is a busy place and safety is a number one concern. Dogs, especially when puppies can find their way into a lot of things. A lot of traditional cleaners contain ingredients that can harm or even kill a dog when ingested. Chemical burns, blindness, and other nasty things can also happen. Going natural is the easiest thing to do and will make it more relaxing in your home because you have one less major thing to deal with. Natural cleaners are often more cost effective and concentrated as well so you have a little extra cash in your pocket.

These cleansers are great for general use and should be your basic staples.

Scout’s Pick

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate – 32 oz – Lavender

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Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi Surface Cleaner is easy to find online or at grocery stores. With a plethora of fabulous scents to choose from you might just start enjoying cleaning a bit more. This 32-ounce concentrate is a bargain. You can buy the cleaner pre-mixed but it is a lot less to buy the concentrate and use your own spray bottle. This cleaner is good for cleaning up where dogs or the cat has spilled food or for deodorizing and cleaning up slobber, feces, and urine after the main mess has been taken up. You can choose from lavender, geranium, basil, rosemary, or lemon verbena scents. Of course, this concentrate also works great for mopping floors, wiping down walls, or any other household cleaning you need to do. You can get hand soaps and other cleaning products from Mrs. Meyer’s in the same scent. The formulas are non-toxic so even if your dog sneaks and drinks a bit out of the toilet or something there is nothing to worry about.

Eco-Me Natural Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner, Herbal Mint, 32 Fluid Ounce

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Eco-Me Floor Cleaner is a great choice for homes with kids and pets. The all natural USA made floor cleaner cuts through tough dirt, grime, grease, and any other mess you have to deal with on your floor. For those times when you come home to find the puppy has made a mess, this is a cleaner you can count on to get rid of the smell and the grime. The 32-ounce size lasts a long time and leaves behind a fresh mint scent. The natural antibacterial properties of the cleaner combined with no harsh or irritating fumes make it a winner for a busy home with pooches and kids.

3 Basic Cleaners Every Natural Home Needs & How To Use

There are some basic natural household items that you can use to clean or combine for extra cleaning power. Here is a list of supplies and what they can offer your home when it comes to cleaning power, as well as exactly how to use them.

NOTE: Check the care instructions for their carpets or upholstery before using any cleaner, natural or otherwise.

Baking Soda

ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, 13.5 Pound

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Baking soda is an excellent natural odor absorber and cleaner. The 13.5 lb bag has a lot of cleaning power tucked into it. When you discover all that you can do with baking soda, you will not want to buy the small size again. Those expensive carpet powders that absorb odor and smell are mostly made of baking soda. To refresh your carpets, sprinkle a little baking soda on them and let it sit for an hour. You can leave it on longer for more odor absorption. If you want fragrance you can always spritz some natural home fragrance on your carpet after vacuuming.

DIY Baking Soda & Salt Scrub

To make an effective paste for scrubbing simply mix together equal parts baking soda, water, and salt. This can be used to scrub pet bowls, sinks, and counter tops.

White Vinegar

Pure 20% Vinegar – Home&Garden 1 Gallon (Packaging May Vary)

Concentrated White Vinegar For Cleaning

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White vinegar is another really cheap cleaning agent that has other uses around the home. It is best to buy this vinegar at your local grocery or variety store due to high shipping costs

If you do choose to order vinegar for cleaning, get the highly concentrated 20% acidity vinegar and dilute it down.

DIY Basic Vinegar Cleanser

To make a simple all purpose cleaner, use 1/4 cup of standard 5-6% acidity vinegar with 1/2 gallon of water. This will cut through grime and has antibacterial benefits. The slight odor of vinegar goes away fast. Spray on messes and wipe or you can even use this to mop with if you have a big mess to deal with. For spot treating just spray on and let sit for a minute or two to loosen debris.

DIY Vinegar Carpet-Stain Remover

Even pretty ground-in carpet stains can be removed or improved a lot by using this simple recipe:

-1 Tbsp Borax
-1 Tbsp Salt
-1/4 cup white vinegar

Combine ingredients in a small container and then put contents on a rag and rub on the stain. Let sit until dry and then vacuum.


20 Mule Team Borax Detergent Booster & Multi-Purpose Household Cleaner, 65 Ounce (Pack of 6)

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Borax is an excellent cleaner for the home that is non-toxic. It is helpful in keeping insects out of areas as well when sprinkled in cracks and crevices. Borax can be used to boost laundry cleaning power during the wash, as well as clean dishes, bathtubs, etc. If you are washing pet bedding, clothing, etc, you can put some in the wash for extra deodorizing. It softens hard water and boosts the capability of your laundry detergent. For grim and dirt on stoves, pet bowls, people dishes, and more, it is a powerhouse of cleaning capability. Borax doesn’t scratch things easily but when in doubt always test a small inconspicuous area before using.

Must-Have Tools

Our pooches are part of the family but there is a good chance they are also one of the messier members. Scout suggests the following tools for cleaning up after your dogs no matter what age they are.

  • Caddy for cleaning supplies
  • Several pro grade spray bottles for mixing cleaners
  • A few soft brushes for scrubbing out tough stains
  • Disposable gloves
  • Rags (Scout suggests saving white cotton shirts that are too worn to wear!)
  • Small bowl for mixing natural pastes

If you have all of the above and the basics to make your cleaners then you are well on your way to being prepared to easily and quickly take on all the messes your puppy can throw at you!

Natural Carpet Cleaners

Carpets and all the messes they seem to attract can be a different ball game entirely. Some of the multi-purpose cleaners may work in a pinch, but if you’ve got carpet you really want to invest in a purpose-built natural carpet cleaner (in addition to regular carpet shampooing). If you own your home and your carpet is nearing the end of its life then you might want to consider a different covering in the future. Pet dander and allergens can cause a lot of health issues for some. Unless you can handle the maintenance of carpet, if you are a lover of fluffy dogs, you may want to choose linoleum, tile, or wood.

If you’re renting, you may want to pass on units with carpeting. This is particularly true if you have a particularly sensitive nose or suffer from severe allergies. A carpeted, pet-friendly unit has likely seen a lot of four-legged traffic.

If carpet just can’t be avoided, or you just love that plush feel between your toes, invest in one of these:

Pet Stain & Odor Miracle – Enzyme Cleaner for Dog and Cat Urine, Feces, Vomit, Drool

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Enzyme cleaners like this one from Sunny & Honey will work on carpets, furniture, and more to break up tough stains from vomit, feces, urine, and drool. The powerful formula has a pleasant Spring Mint scent and it is completely safe to frequently use around pets and kids alike. You definitely save a lot by getting the gallon size. You can even use this in your car for when accidents happen on the road. Odors are quickly eliminated and Sunny & Honey back their product up with a 60-day, no-questions-asked guarantee. You will want to use this for all the big messes that happen around the home. This stuff can even get rid of tough cat odors.

Enzyme Cleaner CONCENTRATE. Safe, All Natural Carpet Cleaning and Laundry Stain Remover & Odor Neutralizer. All In One, All Surface Non-Toxic Cleaner. Concentrate Makes a GALLON (128 oz) Of Product

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This affordable enzyme cleaner may only be 32 fluid ounces but it actually makes a gallon of full strength enzyme cleaner. This proven formula is ready to go to work to break up even the worst dried on puppy messes. Anyone that is raising a young dog or has an older dog that may have some accidents should have some enzyme cleaner on hand. This solution is made in the USA and safe to use whenever you feel the need. The beauty of enzyme cleaners is that they do not add to allergy problems or contribute to the chemical load in the home that everyone is exposed to. This cleaner will be a new favorite around your home.

Scout’s Pick

Biokleen Bac-Out Stain+Odor Remover, 16 Ounces

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The reality of many natural cleansers it that they smell, well, natural. This can sometimes be unpleasant, especially when mixed with the existing odor you’re trying to remove. Biokleen’s Bac-Out solution smells pleasantly (if not puzzlingly) like Coca-Cola, and it is especially great for lifting out set-in urine stains. This is a great choice for homes that need more than just occasional spot treatments, like those with puppies still in potty training, or for families with senior dogs who may be experiencing some incontinence. For this reason, this is our go-to pick for a safe, natural carpet cleaner.

Tips for Going Natural

There are some practices you can implement in your home that can help when it comes to safely cleaning up after pets.

Dilute as directed

Using more cleaner or concentrate than directed can cause problems. No matter what type of cleaner you are using it has a higher chance of being harmful or irritating when used in a stronger concentration. Some dogs really enjoy licking floors especially if some tasty bit of food gets dropped by accident. Too strong of a concentration of cleaner can leave a residue that your pet ingests. Another issue not diluting right can cause is damage to surfaces such as floors and furniture.

Find ways to reduce mess loads

So you have a dog that likes to lay on a mat, no big deal until you see the mess. Mats that catch dirt can be taken outside and beaten out or even hosed off and allowed to dry. This can keep dirt from spreading throughout your house and allow you to use simple cleaners rather than spending money on carpet shampooing or ridding your smooth floors of dirt and debris as frequently. Your home is unique and you can probably think of other ways such as brushing your dog weekly outside.

Putting Together Your Cleaning Kit

As you can see there are a lot of cleaners out there to choose from when you go natural. The golden rule is to always read the labels and follow them on any cleaner you buy. Doing things to reduce the cleaning load in your home can also help out because you can use less of any cleaner if you don’t have to use as much as often. Also, remember that even natural cleaners can irritate skin if it is not protected. All natural does not mean you can throw away the cleaning gloves. Vinegar in particular can burn hands, especially the very concentrated cleaning versions, so make sure you don your gloves before attacking pet messes.

Our tips are a good jumping off point for going natural, but the truth is that vinegar, baking soda, and Borax can be used in a multitude of different ways. If you have a mix that works wonders for your doggie messes, we’d love to hear it!

Continue reading:

Must-Have Cleaning Products for a Dog-Friendly Home

Why Dog Wipes are Better than Baby Wipes for Your Dog

Best Pet Urine Remover