Clean Pet, Happy Home

With pets around, accidents will happen, so be prepared. We’re giving you some of our best simple tricks for cleaning up behind cats and dogs.
Amy Bickers Mercer

The Carpet and Rug Institute offers guidelines for treating urine stains with common household supplies you probably already have in the cabinet.

How To Tackle Stains

  • Try to treat the site before it dries. Blot the damp area with plain white paper towels.
  • Mix 1/4 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent with 1 cup lukewarm water in a spray bottle; apply to stain.
  • Use a paper towel to absorb the moisture, and rinse with warm water. Rinse and blot until you've removed as much of the urine as possible.
  • Mix a solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water, and apply to area. Blot dry.
  • Place a thick layer of paper towels on the area and weigh them down with a heavy object. Change out the paper towels until the spot is dry.

Mud Matters
On wet days, place a thick towel in front of the door before your pet comes in. This will help clean their feet so they don't track mud or dirt onto rugs or carpeting. For extra-dirty paws, keep a box of baby wipes on hand.

Tell Us More
Give us some of your favorite pet care and cleaning tips. Visit community.southernliving.com, and post a comment on “Our Lovely Pets” section of our message boards.

Kitty Litter Hideaway
Even the most ardent cat lover doesn't love the litter box. At a New Orleans home, we found a fun idea for hiding this necessary eyesore while still leaving it accessible to your feline friend. A cat-shaped hole is cut out of a lower cabinet door in the storage area off the kitchen. It's a great way to keep the box off-limits to curious dogs or small children. Just because your litter box is out of sight, don't let it slip out of mind. Clean it daily. Otherwise, your naturally neat cat will bypass the messy box and find somewhere else to go. Yikes!