You don’t have to pull out the commercial cleaners to mop up after your four-legged family member – or the two-legged ones, for that matter! Mother Nature has provided all-natural solutions that do the job in a way that’s safer for your family and pets. Below, we’ve provided several recipes for cleaning products that use simple ingredients from your pantry.
Please note that lemon juice or vinegar should not be used on marble, travertine or limestone tabletops, counters or floors, as the acid may damage the surface. In addition, it’s a good idea to check with your flooring or countertop manufacturer and/or test the products on the surface before using to ensure resiliency and colorfastness.
Lemon-Fresh All-Purpose Cleaner
This easy-to-make all-purpose cleaner uses ingredients found in most home pantries. The baking soda cuts through grime like a knife; the lemon juice contains natural enzymes that break down organic matter. You can use this on most household surfaces; unlike some commercial cleaners, you can safely use it around animals.
A clean, empty spray bottle or bucket
3 cups of very hot water
2 tbsp of baking soda
2 tbsp pure lemon juice (fresh squeezed or bottled)
First, pour the water into the bottle or bucket. Next, add the baking soda, making sure it completely dissolves and uniformly distributes throughout the water. Finally, add the lemon juice, again making sure you mix it well. Spray on soiled surfaces and wipe with a clean, damp cloth. When you’re done cleaning, pour any remaining mixture down the drain.
Vinegar Carpet Stain Remover
Pet accidents on carpet can be a nuisance, but you can lift many light, heavy and even ground-in stains with white vinegar. Before pulling out the chemical-laden carpet cleaners, try one of these all-natural recipes that use simple, pet-safe ingredients.
Light Carpet Stains
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
Combine ingredients and mix until salt dissolves. Soak a washrag with the mixture and use it to rub out the stain. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
Heavier Carpet Stains
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp borax
Combine ingredients and mix until salt and borax dissolve. Soak a washrag with the mixture and use it to rub out the stain. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
Tough, Ground-in Stains
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Combine the ingredients and form a thick paste. Rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
Baking Soda Scrub
To keep your dog’s stainless steel, ceramic or plastic food and water bowls clean, use this simple mixture that will scrub away stuck-on food and grime. It can be used to clean up other surfaces, as well, such as cutting boards, dirty spots on laminate floors and crusty countertops.
Combine equal parts of the ingredients to create a thick paste. Apply some to a sponge or washrag and scrub the inside and outside of the dish or bowl using a circular motion. Rinse well with warm water.
Carpet Freshener and Doggy Deodorizer
Baking soda is an easy and all-natural deodorizer that can be used in the home and on the pet. To freshen up carpets or rugs, lightly sprinkle them with baking soda, let it settle in for 15 to 30 minutes, and vacuum up. To freshen up Fido, take a handful or two (depending on your dog’s size) of baking soda and rub it into the dog’s coat. Follow with a thorough brushing.