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6 Easy DIY Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

Take squeaky-clean to green with these easy, inexpensive pet-friendly cleaning product recipes. 

BY REBEKAH OLSEN

Pet guardians are going green and taking pet care seriously. However, high-quality food and recyclable toys aren’t the only way you can keep your pet healthy and safe.

Did you know household products ranked in the top 10 of pet toxins for both the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and the Pet Poison Hotline in 2014? Part of the joys responsibilities of pet guardianship is cleaning up after the mess. From drool to hairballs, you work hard to keep your house neat and tidy. But when your cat swaggers across your squeaky-clean kitchen counter, she’s doesn’t just ruin your hard work, she absorbs the toxins on her fur and paws. Those toxins spread to her eyes, mouth and ears when she grooms.

This goes the same for your dog, who probably also has a habit of eating mysterious blobs off the floor—like drops of laundry detergent or bits of dryer sheets. Ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde, perchloroethylene, phenols and phthalates are all toxic to your pets--and they are in many commercial cleaning solutions.

According to Dr. Patrick Machaney in this PetMD article, "Single or repeat exposures may have short and long term negative health implications for our feline and canine friends. Ingestion of or contact with cleaning products can cause a variety of clinical signs in pets, including sneezing, coughing... nasal discharge, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy" and other symptoms.

So, in celebration of National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26), we’ll look at six easy and inexpensive ways to use pet-friendly cleaning products in your home.

The recipes contain similar ingredients, and take less than 10 minutes to whip up. But if you prefer to purchase pet-friendly cleaning products, I also included links to a few of my favorites.

DIY Window Cleaner

What You Need:

2 cups of water

¼ cup of white or cider vinegar

¼ cup of rubbing alcohol (70 percent)

1 tablespoon of cornstarch to reduce streaking

1 to 2 drops of orange or lemon essential oil 

Food coloring (to alert family members it isn’t water)

Spray bottle

How to Use:

First, label your spray bottle “Window Cleaner”. Combine everything in the spray bottle. Shake well to mix (and before use). Spray window and wipe with a cloth.

To Buy:

Convenience and price are important to me. Green Works glass and surface cleaner is a nice alternative. Priced at Target for $2.99, it’s bleach-free, ammonia-free, phosphorus-free and phosphate-free. 

DIY Floor Cleaner

What You Need:

Warm water

Vinegar

5-8 drops of essential oil (lavender or lemon is nice)

Spray bottle

How to Use:

Label spray bottle “Floor Cleaner”. Mix together, spray floor and mop.

To be honest, I don’t have an exact formula to this. The amount of vinegar you use on your floors will depend on the type of floors you have. For our laminate wood floors, we use roughly ¼ cup of vinegar, but usually none at all. Start small and see what works for your home.

Where To Buy:

It’s Target for the win! At $4.99, Method Almond Squirt + Mop Wood Floor cleaner works on real hardwood and laminate floors. It’s non-toxic, non-wax and biodegradable with a homey scent to boot.

DIY Carpet Stain Remover

What You Need:

2 cups of white distilled vinegar

2 cups of lukewarm water

4 tablespoons of baking soda

Spray bottle

How to Use:

White vinegar should win an award for best do-it-aller! Mix the ingredients in a bowl, pour into a (labeled) spray bottle and initiate elbow grease. Blot the stain, then spray the area and let sit for five minutes. Finally, gently rub and blot up with a cloth.

Where to Buy:

Remove stains and prevent future ones? Sold. Rocco and Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator discourages pets’ attraction to stains by eliminating the smell. It’s environmentally friendly and pet safe. It runs $29.99 on their site, but you can find it at other online stores for about $20. We also love the products made by Nature's Miracle, including their "Green Leaf" line!

DIY Kitchen Counter Cleaner

What You Need:

4 tablespoons of baking soda

1 quart of warm water

How to Use:

Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe. What? Like it’s hard?

Where to Buy:

Mrs. Meyer’s is a staple in our household, especially since it has a smell my husband likes. It’s all natural and all purpose. You can buy it at Target or on their website here for $3.99.

DIY Laundry Detergent

What You Need:

½ cup soap flakes or grated plain bar soap

½ cup borax

½ cup washing soda

Mason jar

How to Use:

Combine the ingredients and store in a mason jar. Use ½ to 1 tablespoon per load.

Where to Buy:

I’m hypoallergenic so we’ve always used a natural detergent, but Ecos Pet Laundry detergent is specifically formulated to be used on your pet’s bed and toys. You can buy it here for $6.29.

DIY Dryer Sheets

What You Need:

½ cup of vinegar

8 drops of tea tree essential oil

Mason jar (or other sealable jar)

Cotton cloths (dish towels, linens, t-shirts, etc.)

How to Use:

Cut your cloth into small sections. Mix the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Place the cloths in the mason jar, and then pour the mixture over the cloths. When you’re ready to use, remove a cloth and squeeze out any excess liquid into the jar. Toss the cloth in the dryer.

After the laundry is done, you can put the cloth back into the mason jar to reuse.

Where to Buy:

We found the Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener sheets at Walgreens for $4.99 and decided to give it a shot. It works well, smells nice and is free of dyes or fragrances. Great option for washing/drying your pet’s bed.

What is your favorite pet-friendly cleaning product? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments below.

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