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Cleaning Up After Pets
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It is possible to have and maintain a clean and great-smelling home, even if you’re a pet owner (of one or several). It simply takes efficient grooming and effective cleaning-up.

There are some fabrics that are going to be easier to clean (and may even hide the dirt and fur if there’s no time to clean), said Samantha Lane, operations manager for April Lane’s Home Cleaning (Seattle). Two good options are a leather or microfiber couch (both of these are easier to clean than silk, which stains easily, or velvet, which draws in pet hair). “Anything with a thick weave fabric is going to be good,” Lane added, who also suggested matching the furniture color to the animal color (fur will be less noticeable).

Got embedded hair in the carpet? Marty Becker, a veterinarian at North Idaho Animal Hospital, says to use a balloon or latex glove to rub over the fur: “The static electricity makes it stand up, and then it can be vacuumed up or removed using a sticky tale roller.”

It’s a given that with a fur-bearing animal, there will be pet hair flying around, but the control can be regained with the right type of vacuum; Donna Smallin Kuper, certified house cleaning technician and a small space living expert (www.unclutter.com) says her favorite vaccuum for pet hair is the PowerGlide Deluxe. “I like it because of the turbo tools, and because you can lift off the portable vacuum in order to vacuum stairs or your car.”

Another option is to simply  avoid ‘frequent shredder‘ dogs: Labadors, golden retrievers, pugs and huskiesgo for non-shredders like poodles, Shih Tzus and Pomeranians (this option only applies if you’re currently pet-less).

Cats do not like to use a dirty litter box, Kuper said. Even for one cat, it’s a good idea to scoop the litter daily. If there’s two or more, scooping will need to be done at least twice a day (if they share a box). “If you notice an odor, scoop. If there’s a lingering odor, it’s time to change the litter and clean the box.” Kuper also recommends using Fresh Step Odor Shield with Clump-Lock Odor Technology ($12.99 for a 25-pound bag at http://www.Petco.com).

Dogs and outdoor cats tend to carry dirt and other pollutants in from outside, the Muddy Buddy Paw Mat can be used; (retails for $24.99 at http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com) it’s a microfiber chenille doormat that is made to absorb and contain dirt, mud and water, soaking up to seven times its weight in water and mud.

Additional Info

It’s recommended to wash your pet weekly or every two weeks.

Always cover the bath drain using a drain cover or steel wool pad to prevent pet fur (or hair) from clogging the drain opening.

Make sure pet beds are machine-washable; otherwise, odors will collect there. And the beds should be washed at least once a month, but once a week is better.

Try Febreze Fabric Refresher Pet Odor Eliminator Air Freshener ($9.99 at http://www.Amazon.com).

Source: “Reducing Pet Peeves” by Danielle Braff-Chicago Tribune (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, January 3, 2016

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