How to keep your home clean when you have pets

As of 2023, 57% (16.2 million) of UK households own a pet, which means that over 16 million households are tasked with protecting their homes from muddy paw prints and the occasional bad odour. And with a total of 34 million domestic animals in these homes1, there are plenty of unique needs that pets bring in order for a home to be properly maintained. Here, Chris Wootton, Managing Director of domestic cleaning brand Poppies, provides his five top tips on what you can do to keep your home spick and span when you have a resident furry friend.

Choose materials wisely

The best way to keep your home clean from pets is by decorating with materials that are easily maintained. If your long-term plans involve having a four-legged friend, consider what can be done around the house to protect it against muddy paws and malted fur. This can be achieved with materials that you can mop, wipe and brush down easily such as hardwood and laminate floors.  As an added bonus, sleek hardwood interiors are very fashionable, meaning you would never have to compromise on style over substance! As well as this, consider perhaps investing in a leather suite. While prone to claw marks, leather is much less likely to suffer with pet hair or fur, and it is a much better material for not holding onto any unwelcoming odours!

Stop dirt at the door

Pets can bring all sorts of things back with them after being outside, and it can be a nightmare trying to chase them down as they trail mud and dirt through the house. The best way to prevent a muddy nightmare? Plan ahead! Always keep a towel and a shallow container of water by the door – especially in the winter. Keeping these few basic cleaning items in easily accessible points of your home will help you get the worst of what they have brought back with them after a walk before they have even stepped through the door.

Use home remedies

Ensure your cleaning routine involves regularly disinfecting the areas of your home that your pet has contact with, including cushions, blankets and beds. Mild soap and detergent generally do the trick, but adding a home-made white vinegar and warm water solution to your cleaning routine is ideal for neutralising odours as well as being a strong anti-bacterial agent. Simply fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half warm water and spray any stains evenly (just take care not to soak the stain). The acidity of the solution is brilliant for soaking up stubborn smells, and what is better, the solution is safe to use on pretty much any surface in the house.

Invest in a lint roller

Malted fur is one of the biggest frustrations for virtually all pet owners. Having a lint (sticky) roller to hand is ideal for quickly removing any build-ups of fur from furniture and clothing. Having a lightweight, low-effort alternative to a vacuum is perfect for helping keep fur and dust at bay. However, vacuuming should always remain top priority for the ‘bigger’ jobs. If you have a pet and carpets, always use an upright hoover – one with a rotary brush (or beater bar) which sweeps or grooms your carpets. These pick up hairs much better than a cylinder vacuum which are better suited to hard floors.

Wash pet areas regularly

Pet bowls are one of the worst areas in the home for build-ups of germs and bacteria with pet toys also commonly being found to carry staph, yeast, and mould2. It is imperative that these areas are deep cleaned regularly in order to minimise the spread of germs and infections. When buying pet products, choose ones that are machine washable or dishwasher safe. Having products that can withstand more rigorous washes not only removes underlying germs but helps keep you and your pets safe from what they may be bringing inside with them.

Chris summarises, “Pets are a part of the family, and you’d never let a member of your family eat from a dirty bowl or sleep in a dirty bed! While each pet is unique, following these five simple steps and integrating them into your own cleaning routine will not only help keep your home spick and span, but will reduce the risk of spreading illness and germs significantly. Alternatively, you could always consider hiring help! Poppies’ cleaners up and down the country are expertly trained to identify the unique cleaning needs your pet brings inside with them, so you never need to worry about missing an area of the home again!”

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1Patricia Gomez, 2023, World Animal Foundation. Pet Ownership Statistics UK.

2NSF, 2021, Clean the Germiest Home Items

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