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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to clean your home the safe, healthy, green way for the health of your dog!

It's spring, finally! The sun is streaming through the windows, you're ready to open them up and get the fresh air in the house so you can hear the birds singing their spring songs, and take in the all the wonderful smells that nature has to offer.

You know what else this time of year brings? It brings on spring cleaning!

How do you clean your home safely and with the health of your dog in mind? 

We're here to help.

First and foremost ditch (and safely dispose of) all those chemical cleaners and go natural for the health of your dog!

Many of the chemical based cleaners on the market can have dangerous consequences for you, your dog and the environment. The chemical based drain, window, furniture, floor, carpet, laundry, dish washing products and more are reeking havoc on our health, not only from the exposure to the air our dog's breath when we use them, but the poisonous residue that they leave that may potentially be ingested by our dogs as they lick and are exposed to surfaces.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, 'cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.' Read more...

Why not turn to 'green' cleaning for your health, the health of your dog and the environment?

Every spring Mum takes a day to do a very thorough cleaning of our cabin. She gets out the vacuum, and our healthy, all natural and safe cleaning kit and goes to work!

What's in our healthy spring cleaning kit?
  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • Glycerin bar soap
  • Liquid Castile soap
  • Tea tree and Lavender essential oils (only for surfaces not frequented by dogs and kitties)
  • Old towels
  • Swiffer dry mop
  • Squeegee
  • Vacuum
What does she do with all of these? Here are our steps for getting your home super clean this Spring without harmful chemical cleaners.

Vacuum - Get out your vacuum and thoroughly sweep all your floors, rugs, carpets, knickknacks, books and more. Move your couch and bed and sweep underneath, getting all the dust bunnies and fur balls out from under. If you have larger area rugs, take them outside and beat them with a broom, let them hang outside in the fresh air, and spot clean if needed. For smaller rugs wash them in your washer utilizing an environmentally friendly laundry soap.

Carpets - if your carpets are really dirty and need major help, get out your steam cleaner (or rent one from your local store) and go to work utilizing plain tap water or for dirtier carpets utilize a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water in the steam cleaner’s reservoir and go to work!

If you have greasy, spot stains you can pretreat with a good environmentally friendly dish (or castile) soap and water, or utilize a small dab of paste of your laundry detergent. Whatever you do avoid those carpet cleaning service companies that utilize chemicals to clean your carpets!

Floors - We have an old Swiffer Sweeper that we utilize often for our floors. But you don't need to purchase the expensive refill cloths. We just add an old cotton wash cloth dry to the Sweeper to get up the bits of dust, dirt and leaves that the dogs bring in. And we'll use the cotton wash cloth wet to mop our hardwood floors utilizing our hardwood floor cleaner (recipe below).

Windows - Keeping windows clean and free of dog nose art is always a challenge. We utilize our window cleaning recipe in a spray bottle and either squeege if possible or wipe down with an old cotton towel.

Bathrooms - Sinks, counters and toilet bowls always need a good cleaning. We utilize our homemade toilet bowl cleaner with great results, and keep a spray bottle of water and vinegar all purpose cleaner to keep our sinks, counters and bathtubs clean and free of germs.

Kitchen - Wipe down all kitchen surfaces utilizing our all purpose cleaning recipe including counters, appliances, cabinets and more. Utilize a good baking soda paste to scrub down the kitchen sink, then add more baking soda and white vinegar to keep your drain clean and clog free.

Here are our green and healthy cleaning recipes:

Carpet Cleaner - for your steam cleaning machine or for spot cleaning. For your steam cleaner utilize 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar (spot check for color fastness). For heavier, dirtier and greasy spots, dab with a mix of environmentally friendly dish (or castile) soap and water, or a dab of water and your homemade laundry soap.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner - mix together 3/4 cup baking soda, 3/4 cup white vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oils (the essential oils add antibacterial properties). For tougher rings, scrub with baking soda.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner - clean your wood (any type) floors with a solution of one-quarter cup of white vinegar (about 2 liquid ounces) mixed in a recycled spray bottle with about 30 ounces of warm water.

Window Glass Cleaner - 1/2 water and vinegar in a spray bottle cleans mirrors, glass and windows. Tip: spray and use a squeegee for sparkling windows.

Drain Cleaner - Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, then 1/2 cup vinegar into drain, wait five minutes and follow with boiling water. For tougher clogs use a drain snake.

All-purpose Cleaner (spray) - White vinegar, water, biodegradable soap - Add a 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar solution to a spray bottle and add a spoonful of castile soap.

Laundry soap recipe courtesy of My Healthy Green Family - Finely grate 1 bar of pure, unscented glycerine soap, add 1 c. washing soda, 1/2 c. baking soda, 1/2 c. citric acid and 1/4 c. coarse salt, store in an airtight container and add 1-2 tbsp to machine for clean, safe laundry.

With all of these tips you can feel confident that no matter where your dog lies, or wherever they lick, they will stay safe and healthy!

Feel free to add your cleaning routine or recipes in the comments and share with all of our RAGD readers!

Happy Cleaning!

Photo courtesy of Flying Tugboat Studios.


  1. Thanks for the information. I have been trying to learn more about being green.

  2. I appreciate the advice. I find myself worrying as much about my pets now as I do my kids.

  3. Great tips! I love being green and it's great to see it in relation to keeping your dog healthy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looking for ways to keep my bestfriend around for a long time. Thanks for info. Great post :)


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