SOURCE: Arm & Hammer Pet Care

April 04, 2011 05:00 ET

Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - April 4, 2011) -  (Family Features) Pets add a lot of love and personality to a home -- but they also add plenty that needs cleaning up. From slobbered-on chew toys to pet hair on the sofa, they definitely leave their mark on the home.

Here are some simple tips for keeping things fresh and clean, for you and your pet.

Pet Toys. Wash plastic and rubber toys in a solution of 4 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart warm water. Launder plush toys, or give them a dry shower by sprinkling on some baking soda, then brushing off after 15 minutes.

Collars, Harnesses and Leashes. If they are cloth or nylon, you can either hand wash them with a little dishwashing soap and water, or toss them into a nylon bag (or even a pillow case) and run them through the washing machine. Leather can be wiped down with a damp cloth, then rubbed with a little saddle soap. While you're cleaning them, check for worn areas -- you may need to replace them.

Bedding. Vacuum bedding and crate pads thoroughly. Most should be washable (or have removable, washable fabric covers), so launder them along with any pet blankets. You can keep pet bedding smelling fresh in between washings by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, waiting 15 minutes, then vacuuming it up.

Outdoor Shelters. If your pet has a dog house, crate or some other outdoor hangout, be sure to give that a good cleaning, too. Sweep or rake out leaves and other detritus. If it can be disassembled, take it apart, scrub it down with a non-ammonia based cleaner, then hose it down, let it dry, and put it back together.

Removing Pet Hair. Shedding is the bane of many pet owners' existence. Regular floor vacuuming is a must to keep it under control. For getting pet hair off of furniture, there are several things you can try: lint rollers; swiping a damp rubber glove over surfaces; using a squeegee with a rubber edge; or trying hand-held vacuums or attachments specially designed for picking up fur.

Reducing Litter Box Odor. Litter boxes can bring the worst of smells to the house. Whenever you replace the litter, be sure to clean the litter box itself. Use a non-ammonia based cleaner. Also, consider using a different litter to help control odors better, such as Arm & Hammer Double Duty Advanced Odor Control Clumping Litter. It's specially designed to eliminate both urine and feces odors. A breakthrough formula uses powerful moisture-activated baking soda crystals boosted with feces odor neutralizers to destroy urine and feces odors on contact. To learn more and get money-saving coupons, visit www.armhammer.com.

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