When it comes to pets, house cleaning poses a serious conundrum.
On the one hand, families with pets need to clean more often and with greater rigor. Beyond all the shedding, fur, and dander, pets track in dirt and mud, their paws and claws can harbor pathogens, and sometimes they roll deliberately in yucky things you definitely don’t want on your furniture, floors, and other household surfaces.
On the other hand, harsh cleaning chemicals can be especially toxic to pets. Compared to their humans, household pets typically have faster metabolisms, smaller lungs, are into sniffing and licking things, and simply lack a consciousness of dangers they wouldn’t normally encounter in the wild.
Google the phrase ‘pet-friendly cleaning’ and you’ll find plenty of advice for do-it-yourself (DIY) cleaning solutions often revolving around such ingredients as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. A big problem is that many such solutions create only an appearance of clean, meaning they don’t properly disinfect (kill germs) or actually remove dirt and grime that builds up and damages your floors and household surfaces over time. What’s more, to create a fragrance of clean, many DIY recipes rely on essential oils, which pets can’t always metabolize, meaning they can build up rapidly to toxic levels, even causing organ failure.
So, how to ensure both a clean home and healthy pets?
Many articles on pet-friendly cleaning simply advise one to choose solutions that are scent-free, biodegradable, and/or derived exclusively from plants. That’s great starting advice, but we’d take it a few steps further. The key to choosing well is to understand that well-designed household cleaners are chemically engineered to bind with and suspend dirt and oils in water and to be rinsed away completely, leaving minimal residues. Cheap or poorly engineered cleaners (even if they claim to be green or pet-friendly), mops, cloths, and sponges with poor absorbency, and nonprofessional cleaning techniques pose the greatest threats to pets because they can cause toxic residues to be left behind on surfaces.
In choosing cleaning solutions, be sure to look past the pet-friendly labeling to the actual science that ensures a solution is designed chemically to clean effectively and to rinse away completely.
A thorough process for rinsing—something our own cleaning PROs are taught in their training—is one of the best ways to ensure home safety and protection from cleaning chemicals for pets and humans. Be sure to read and follow to the letter any usage instructions accompanying pet-friendly cleaners and use PRO tools and techniques for making sure your surfaces are simultaneously clean and free of chemical residues.
Here at MaidPro, our PROs always arrive equipped with solutions and tools that we have selected carefully for the balance they offer between safety and effectiveness. However, our PROs are happy to use any safe alternative cleaning products that our clients leave out with instruction.