May 1st has arrived, so that means Spring is finally here, right? (Fingers crossed!!) Time for some deep cleaning around the house!  If you have pets, there are a few additional steps you can take to make sure their world gets a deep clean too.  These are our favorite tips for pet households.  

1. Tackle the Pet Fur on the Furniture

Do your pets shed as much as our Labs do? If so, you know all about the struggle to keep your floors free from fur.  And if your dogs are allowed on the furniture, that means you have additional places to clean.  Good news: There’s a great hack to easily remove pet hair from your couch. Use a slightly damp rubber glove. Run a glove-covered hand along your couch cushions and you’ll be amazed at the amount of fur it collects. 

2. Wash Your Dog’s Toys

Dog toys are slobbered on and dragged across the floor, or even outdoors if your dogs play with toys in the yard. With everything their toys are exposed to, they need a thorough cleaning from time-to-time. And it’s a lot easier than you expect.  

Plush Toys: Toss the dirty toys into your washing machine. Use a mild, natural laundry detergent or sprinkle the toys with a little baking soda and a few capfuls of white vinegar. Once the cycle is done, pop them into the dryer. Make sure your dryer is set on the low or no heat setting. You can also air dry the toys, if you prefer.  In case you’re wondering: Yes, the squeakers still work after!

Hard Toys: Most hard rubber and rope toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Place your dog’s hard toys on the top rack and run them through a regular cycle. Just make sure to skip the dish detergent and use natural vinegar instead. The hot water and pressure alone should kill the germs, but the vinegar will add a little extra cleaning power. Once the toys dry, the vinegar smell will go away.

3. Wash Your Dog’s Collar

Have you ever washed your dog’s collar? So many of us think to bathe our dog and wash their clothes (if they wear clothes). But we often overlook cleaning their collars! Here’s what you can do: Put your dog’s collar in a bowl or sink filled with hot water and a few drops of natural pet shampoo. Soak for about 30 minutes, rinse with water, and then hang dry. If there are any stubborn stains, I scrub the collar with an old tooth brush.  

4. Wash Your Pet’s Water Bowl

Does the bottom of your pet’s water bowl ever feel slimy? Well, that slime is called biofilm. It’s a thin film of bacteria that adheres to various surfaces. While biofilm does contain some good bacteria, it also contains bad bacteria. Listeria, E. coli, and legionella are all organisms that call biofilm home. Bad biofilms have been linked to urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder infections, middle-ear infections, and more. But this buildup is easy to avoid: wash your pet’s bowl! Throughout the day, every time you refill your pet’s bowls, wipe it down with a paper towel Biofilm needs to be physically broken up, so just rinsing the bowl won’t get rid of it. Then at the end of the day, wash their bowls in hot water by hand or put them in the dishwasher for a deeper clean.

5. Organize Pet Toys

There’s a place for everything and everything in its place! If your floor is covered with pet toys then it’s time to give those fluffy & squeaky buddies a home of their own: a toy bin. There are so many options to choose from at a variety of stores — wicker baskets, canvas totes, and plastic bins are all great options.  

6. Organize Grooming Supplies

Whether you fully groom your dog at home (like hair clipping) or you just do a few basics (like bathing, brushing, and trimming nails), chances are you have some dog grooming tools and shampoos around your home. So, what do you do with them? It’s time to pick up a few plastic drawer organizers or a cute metal bucket and get organized. 

Please let us know in the comments if you have additional tips to share!