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9 March 2021


The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide for Pet Parents

9 Tips to Keep Your Home Clean and Odor-Free Spring cleaning is more than just a tradition – it’s a fresh start, especially for pet parents. With all the fur, dander, and mess that pets bring into your home, it’s important to give your living space a deep clean at least once a year. This […]

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9 Tips to Keep Your Home Clean and Odor-Free

Spring cleaning is more than just a tradition – it’s a fresh start, especially for pet parents. With all the fur, dander, and mess that pets bring into your home, it’s important to give your living space a deep clean at least once a year.

This annual ritual goes beyond simply dusting and decluttering. It’s about creating a clean, safe, and comfortable environment for you and your pup. Keep reading for our ultimate spring cleaning guide that will help you tackle dog-related cleaning tasks and leave your home spotless and fresh!

1. Organize and Declutter

Before deep cleaning, make time to declutter and organize your space. This is especially crucial for dog parents, as our pups tend to accumulate a lot of toys, accessories, and other items.

Start by sorting through your pup’s toys, separating the well-loved from the barely touched. Throw away any toys that are broken or old, especially if they have ripped seams, exposed squeakers, or sharp edges, as these can cause serious harm to your dog.

You can donate lightly used toys your dog no longer plays with to a local shelter or rescue organization. Just make sure to call ahead first, as not all shelters accept toy donations.

Next, make sure to tidy up other items like leashes, collars, and grooming supplies. Storage bins or baskets are great for keeping these items organized, accessible, and out of the way.

2. Clean Your Pup’s Toys

Dog toys can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, so it’s vital to keep them clean. Gather the toys you’ve decided to keep and separate them into two piles: hard and soft toys.

For hard toys, a mixture of vinegar and water can be an effective and pet-safe cleaning solution. Soak the toys for about 30 minutes, then scrub them with a brush to remove any stubborn dirt or grime.

For a deeper clean, simply use mild dish soap and warm water, or place toys on the top rack of your dishwasher for a quick and effective cleaning solution. Just make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first to ensure the toys are dishwasher-safe.

Soft toys, on the other hand, require a different approach. Check the care labels first, but most can be washed in the washing machine. Place them in a pillowcase or laundry bag, wash them on a gentle cycle with a pet-safe detergent, and let them air dry. For tougher stains or odors, a bit of baking soda added to the wash can work wonders!

3. Freshen Up Bowls and Mats

Dog bowls and feeding mats are often overlooked during regular cleaning routines, but they can harbor harmful bacteria and germs. That’s why it’s important to wash them after every use and give them a deep clean about once a week.

Start by thoroughly washing the bowls with hot, soapy water. For tougher grime, a paste made from baking soda and water can help scrub away any build-up. Silicone or rubber feeding mats can be washed with mild soap and warm water or placed in the dishwasher for a deeper clean.

This is also an excellent time to inspect bowls and mats for damage. Cracked bowls and torn feeding mats can become breeding grounds for bacteria like E. coli, so replace them if you notice any damage.

4. Get Rid of Old Food, Treats, and Medications

Just like human food, pet food, treats, and medications have expiration dates. So, take some time to check your home for any pet products that have passed their prime.

Start by going through your pup’s food supply. Dry kibble can go stale, and canned food can spoil, so it’s important to check the expiration dates and the condition of the packaging. Even frozen food can expire, so make sure to use it before the recommended expiration date. If anything smells off or looks unusual, it’s better to be safe and throw it away.

Next, turn your attention to treats. Just like food, treats can expire and become unappetizing or even harmful over time. Make sure to check the dates and the condition of the treats. If they’re hard, discolored, or have a bad odor, it’s time to toss them.

You should also check your dog’s medications, supplements, and over-the-counter treatments. Then, get rid of any that are expired or no longer needed. Old medications can lose their potency or even become toxic, so it’s best to dispose of them safely.

By taking these steps, you’ll keep your dog safe and avoid potential health hazards. Plus, this is a great opportunity to take inventory and restock essential items, ensuring your pup is well-cared for throughout the year.

5. Revitalize Your Dog’s Bed

Your dog’s bed can be a haven for dirt, hair, and odors, making regular cleaning a must. Start by vacuuming the bed or giving it a good shake outside to get rid of hair, dirt, and debris.

If the bed’s cover is removable, wash it on a high-heat setting using a pet-safe detergent. Then, put it in the dryer on a high heat setting as well to help get rid of any remaining hair or dander.

After the dryer cycle, let the cover air out in the open, preferably in the sunshine, to achieve that fresh, crisp feel. For the bed’s foam insert, avoid the temptation to toss it in the washing machine, as it’s likely to fall apart. Instead, give it a gentle hand wash in the tub with a splash of laundry detergent, then let it air dry – ideally in sunlight – to help eliminate any lingering odors.

When dealing with a small enough all-in-one bed, the delicate cycle in your washing machine might just do the trick. But if the bed is too big or bulky, consider taking it to the dry cleaners. They can wash it in a large industrial-sized machine.

Sometimes, it’s best to admit defeat and replace the bed altogether. If your pup’s bed is especially stinky, dirty, or just plain worn out, it’s time to invest in a new one. Look for beds with removable covers and easy-to-clean materials for easier maintenance in the future.

For spot cleaning, especially for those pesky minor stains and accidental spills, a specialized tool like the Bissell Little Green Pet Pro is your go-to. This compact yet powerful cleaner is designed with pets in mind, complete with a warm water and pet-safe solution mix that tackles even the toughest of stains.

Using the Little Green Pet Pro is straightforward. Once it’s filled and ready, power it up, apply the water and solution mix to the affected area, and gently work through the stains with the cleaning head. Its built-in vacuum feature then takes over, extracting the excess moisture. Aim to remove as much water as possible to speed up the drying process, leaving the bed to air dry thoroughly before welcoming your pup back to their clean, refreshed bed.

6. Clean and Inspect Collars and Leashes

Collars touch your pup’s skin constantly, so they tend to collect dirt, oils, and odors. Leashes can also get dirty quickly, especially if your dog loves to explore and roll around in the grass.

Start by giving collars and leashes a good soak in a mixture of warm water and pet-safe detergent. Leave them to soak for about 30 minutes, then rub the item against itself to get rid of any remaining grime. When you’re done, let them air dry completely before using them again.

If your dog’s collar or leash is made of leather, avoid soaking it and wipe it down with a damp cloth instead. Then, use a leather conditioner to keep the material soft and supple.

While cleaning, also take the time to inspect your dog’s collar and leash for any signs of wear and tear. Look for frayed edges, tears, or loose hardware that can potentially be hazardous to your pet. If you notice any damage, replace the item as soon as possible to keep your pup safe during walks and playtime.

7. Combat Pet Odors

Sometimes, no matter how much we clean, our homes can still have that lingering pet odor. If you’re dealing with stubborn smells, consider investing in an air purifier that’s specially designed for homes with pets. These purifiers have filters that can capture pet dander, hair, and other allergens to help eliminate unpleasant smells and improve air quality.

The Levoit Core P350 Pet Care Air Purifier is an effective and affordable option that’s designed with pet parents in mind. It has a 3-stage filtration system, including an activated carbon filter to tackle stubborn odors. Plus, it comes with a pet lock and a night mode for quiet operation, making it suitable for any room in your home.

Bathing and brushing your pup regularly can also help reduce pet odors. For a quick fix, you can use a pet-safe fabric refresher spray on carpets, rugs, and furniture to freshen up your home between deep cleanings.

8. Eliminate Stubborn Pet Hair

If your pup sheds a lot, you’ll know the struggle of keeping your living space free of pet hair! But there are a few tricks you can use to cut down on the fur and keep your home looking neat and tidy.

Regular grooming, especially during shedding season, can help reduce the amount of hair your dog leaves around the house. Invest in a quality brush suitable for your dog’s coat type and use it at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

It’s also a good idea to identify the areas where pet hair accumulates the most, like furniture, carpets, and bedding. A rubber squeegee or a dampened rubber glove can be surprisingly effective at gathering pet hair from these surfaces.Lint rollers or tape can be quick fixes for upholstery and clothing, but consider investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner designed for pet hair for more thorough cleaning. The Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum is a top-rated option that comes with a self-cleaning brush roll and strong suction power to effectively remove pet hair from carpets and furniture.

9. Refresh Your Cleaning Supplies

Before spring cleaning begins, check your cleaning products to make sure they’re safe for pets. Strong chemicals can be harmful to animals and often leave behind powerful odors that can trigger allergies. If you have to use them, do it when your pet isn’t around, and open some windows to let fresh air in.

Here are some better choices for pet parents:

  • Steam Mops. A steam mop, like the Light ‘N’ Easy Multifunctional Steam Mop, cleans with just water, making it a safe option around pets. Be careful, though, as the steam can get very hot.
  • Swiffer. The Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet is a versatile tool for picking up pet hair and dust. Choose unscented refills to avoid overwhelming your pet with strong fragrances.
  • Method Cleaning Products: Method’s all-purpose cleaner is a fantastic choice for pet parents. It’s made with non-toxic ingredients and is safe to use around animals. Find your favorite scent here (for spring, we’re digging the Pink Grapefruit).
  • Puracy Multi-Surface Cleaner: Safe for pets and effective on a variety of surfaces, Puracy’s fume-free cleaner is made from natural ingredients, making it a great addition to your cleaning kit.
  • Baking Soda & Vinegar. For a simple, DIY approach, you can’t beat baking soda and vinegar. This classic cleaning mix is effective, safe, and economical for various cleaning tasks.

Always follow the directions on any cleaning product, and remember that even pet-safe products should not be ingested or played with by pets. If your pet does come into contact with cleaning substances, contact your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately for guidance.

Are You Ready for Pet-Friendly Spring Cleaning?

Let’s face it: keeping your home clean and tidy can be challenging when you have dogs. But with these tips, you can make spring cleaning a breeze while keeping your pup safe and happy.

Remember to take your time, use pet-friendly products, and always prioritize your dog’s well-being. With a little bit of effort, you can have a clean and comfortable home for both you and your canine companion. 

So, go ahead and put on some upbeat music, gather your cleaning supplies, and start freshening up your space for the new season! Happy spring cleaning!


The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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