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Pets

Cleaning Pet Accessories

September 7, 2023

Pets take up space in our homes and so do their accessories. Toys, beds, litter boxes, cages.. they get DIRTY and can make a clean house not so clean. We’ve already covered how to clean your walls, carpet, furniture and windows in this blog. Now, we’re going to dive in and show y’all the most effective ways to clean your pet’s accessories. 

Safety Pit Stop: It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to cleaning around our pets. 

  1. Whenever we use any cleaning chemical around our pets, we need to be sure that they can’t accidentally ingest it. Keep them out of the room/area while you clean.
  2. Ensure you have ample ventilation and air out the space before bringing your pet back into it.
  3. Always RINSE THOROUGHLY after using any chemical. 
  4. Read your labels. No one wants a sick pet. Keep your four legged friends safe!
  5. Dispose of your cleaning products properly.

Remember: We are cleaners, not veterinarians. While we’ve done our very best to research methods that are safe for your pets, your vet’s advice will always trump ours.

When you buy through our links, we may earn a small commission.

Dogs

Toys and Squeakers

We know your pooch may hate you for a minute if you take away their beloved toys but it’s important that you wash them occasionally. Most toys can go straight into the washing machine! Toss in some powdered tide and start your cycle. Use an extra rinse cycle to remove the excess Tide®. DO NOT use fabric softener or dryer sheets, these products can be toxic. Toys should come out good as new! High heat will melt plastic, so if you have any squeaker toys or toys containing plastic, you should hand wash them with Dawn® dish soap in the sink and let air dry.

Crate

A crate is often your dog’s safe space, meaning they spend lots of time in it getting it dirty and full of hair. To clean it is simple. 

  1. First, pull out any blanket and toss them in the washing machine. 
  2. If there is a bed in there, keep reading below for how to clean it. 
  3. Next bust out your vacuum to suck up any loose hairs and any destroyed toy bits in and around the crate. 
  4. If it has a tray, pull it out. Get a bucket of hot water and Dawn® dish soap and a microfibre cloth. Now wipe down the tray and start wiping each bar. If it’s not a wired crate, wipe the plastic’s interior and exterior. Make sure it’s fully dry and put the tray back in, as well as the bed or blanket. Your pup’s crate should be good as new and ready for them to go snuggle in!

Bed

Dog beds are truly the collector of alllll the dog hair. A horsehair brush attachment is going to be your best friend for keeping up with them. You want to vacuum in one direction then in the other direction. If your dog’s hair is especially hard to pull up, you may want to also invest in a pumice stone. A pumice stone will help lift all the stuck hairs from the fabric, then you can vacuum them up. If your pup’s bed has a removable cover, now is a good time to toss it in the wash. Dry it, zip it back on and your dog bed should be good as new. If you vacuum it regularly, it won’t get so bad in between washes.

Cats

Litter Box Schedule

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is imperative to their health and well being. Cats are very clean creatures by nature, so if they have a space that is the opposite of their own hygiene habits, you may end up with a messy surprise in your home. Your kitty’s litter box should be scooped every day and the litter changed as needed. You’ll need to change it more or less often based on how many cats you have to prevent any harboring of bacteria. When wiping down your litter tray or hut, use Dawn® dish soap and hot water. Rinse it out well. Then to disinfect, use a splash of vinegar and rinse again. Once it’s dry, pour your fresh litter in.

Birds

Bird cages get especially dirty. Lining the tray at the bottom of their cage with newspaper or paper towels makes cleaning up easy, especially if you change it out a few times a week. Most cages have a grate above the tray that gets coated in poop, feathers and stuck on food. The easiest method to clean this is to remove the grate and bring it into the shower/tub. Be cautious not to scratch anything. Grab a scrub brush or a cage saver scrub pad and some hot water and Dawn® dish soap and scrub it clean. Rinse it well before putting it back. Use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe down the bars of the cage. 

When the weather allows, take your bird out of their cage and place them somewhere safe so you can bring your cage outside. Now that you have it outside, scrub it down with some bleach to disinfect it. Use gloves and be careful of your clothes! Then power wash or hose it down well so no bleach remnants are left. 

Make sure you are always careful using any cleaning products near your bird as their respiratory system is extremely sensitive.

Fish 

To make sure your fish friends stay healthy, it’s important to regularly keep their tank clean and free of unwanted bacteria. If you have a proper filter system in your tank, cleaning should be a breeze. All you need to do is get a siphon and suck out an inch or 2 of water every 2 weeks or so depending on the size of your tank. Use the siphon to pick up any filth from the rocks. You can also purchase a cool magnet tool that you put on either side of the glass to clean the algae off the inside without putting your hand in. 

You should also clean the heater and filter pump when you notice they’re dirty. Just hot water and a scrub brush should do the trick. Don’t forget to replace the filter as needed. 

Once you’ve done all the work, fill the tank back up with fresh water and some water conditioner (follow the instructions on the bottle) and your tank should be good as new. If you have any rocks or ornaments in your tank, pull them out occasionally to scrub in the sink with hot water.

Lastly, check your water! Fish health depends on their water quality, so either buy a water test kit or call your local pet shop as most do water tests for free. Just bring in a small bag or Tupperware of your tank water.

Reptiles

It is extremely important to keep your reptile tank disinfected as their health depends on a clean environment. There are several specialty cleaners you can buy, but you can just use good ol’ bleach or Dawn® dish soap (but not mixed together). Make sure when cleaning your reptile tank, you have another enclosure to hold them in so they don’t breathe in any harmful chemicals. 

Start by removing the substrate and any decorations. Grab a sponge and Dawn® dish soap to clean any messes in the tank. Do the same to any logs or fake plants you have. Just ensure you rinse them well and let them dry fully. Once you’ve cleaned the tank and the decorations, dry everything out and mix a 10% bleach, 90% water solution to disinfect everything. Make sure to rinse everything really well one last time with water and let dry FULLY. Once everything is dry, put it all back in and give your scaly friend a bath before putting them back in their clean home.

Small Critters

Does your bunny, guinea pig or hamster’s cage need a good disinfecting? To keep on top of their cages, add them to your cleaning schedule at least every two weeks. The only products you’ll need for this clean are Dawn® dish soap and bleach (again, don’t mix them). Remove any shavings or fabrics from the bottom of the cage. Wash the enclosure with hot soapy water and use a scrub brush to lift everything and really get into the corners. Once you’ve rinsed, grab some diluted bleach and give the cage one more wipe. Rinse again thoroughly and allow to fully dry before you add in clean shaving or your pet’s favorite blanket (make sure to wash it first!). For huts, use Dawn® dish soap and a scrub brush and wash in the sink. Let them dry fully before placing them back in your pet’s home.

Remember, your pet’s health is the first priority, so always talk to your vet to confirm proper care for your furry, feathered or scaled friend. A clean environment makes for a happy pet and a happy you. We hope these tips will help keep your home clean while living with pets!

For a list of our favorite products, click here

– Georgia @GoCleanCo

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