8 Pet Safe Floor Cleaners and DIY Solutions
Calling all fur parents: Keep them safe from harmful chemicals with these pet safe floor cleaners.
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What Are Pet-Safe Floor Cleaners?
Prancy paws, fuzzy bellies and even drooly tongues are constantly frolicking, slinking and scurrying through our homes. Later, when they start licking and grooming, dogs and cats can be in real danger if they’ve stepped in something toxic. Pet-safe floor cleaners can help ensure the residues they pick up during their day won’t hurt them.
“Often these products are also more environmentally friendly because they contain natural ingredients or avoid the use of harsh chemicals that can be caustic or irritative or even toxic in certain amounts,” says Rebecca Greenstein, a veterinary medical advisor for Rover.
Common ingredients to avoid include:
- Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol);
- Bleach (chlorine);
- Hydrogen peroxide;
- Formaldehyde (AKA formalin, methanol, methylene oxide);
- Glycol ethers;
- Phthalates (artificial fragrances);
- Glycol ether benzoic acid;
- Quaternary ammonium compounds;
Using Pet Safe Floor Cleaners
When using pet-safe floor cleaners, you still need to be careful. “When it comes to pets, nothing is ever ‘totally safe!’ ” Greenstein says. “We can’t always trust that our curious pets won’t try to ingest large amounts by accident, which can lead to anything from simple irritation to GI upset to more serious issues depending on the amount in question.”
Also, keep in mind some commercial cleaning products containing toxic ingredients are not considered dangerous as long as they are used as directed. “Even at our vet clinic, we often need to use strong disinfectants or even bleach, but diluted,” she says.
Regardless of what cleaner you’re using, take these steps:
- Keep pets out of the room you’re cleaning until the floors are dry,
- Don’t leave disinfectants unattended. Store them in a secure location,
- Consider rinsing floors with water after cleaning,
- If you suspect ingestion, call ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 and get your pet to a vet immediately.
Still, there are lots of floor cleaners sold with pets in mind that contain none of the ingredients on the list above. Read on for our top picks, including two DIY pet floor cleaner recipes.
EcoMe Floor Cleaner
EcoMe Floor Cleaner is a multi-surface formula made from natural plant extracts and essential botanicals. It works on stone, sealed wood, vinyl, linoleum, laminate and other sealed surfaces.
All EcoMe products are made in the U.S. with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The bottles are PBA free, and what’s inside is vegan, Leaping Bunny (cruelty-free) certified and EWG.org rated. It comes in four scents, including a fragrance-free option.
Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner is a safe, versatile cleaner from a company with a kind heart. It’s an all-around workhorse for floors, counters, tables, glass, marble, sinks, chrome, toys and any other non-porous surface.
Made in the U.S., it’s formulated from renewable, biodegradable organic plants and water. It’s hypoallergenic, vegan and certified cruelty-free. Two best friends from Austin, Texas own the company, and they support local artists with the original hand-drawn artwork on the bottle.
Bean & Lily Floor Cleaner
Safe cleaning with a twist. Bean & Lilly Floor Cleaner offers a pH of 6 to 8, which they say is easier on surfaces and your skin than typical acidic solutions. Use it on hard surfaces like wood, stone, ceramic, laminate, vinyl, rubber and cork floors, all while enjoying the cedar and cypress aroma.
Their products are cruelty-free and their motto is “Do The Job. Do No Harm.” That’s for surfaces, people, pets and the planet. Particularly cool: Bean & Lily are the co-founder’s two dogs.
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Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner
A good old-fashioned vinegar cleaner, Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner is named after the founder’s good old-fashioned grandmother. Aunt Fannie’s is a no-nonsense, nontoxic floor cleaner with essential oils to leave a clean scent. It’s cruelty-free certified, EWG.org rated for safety and contains only plant-based ingredients.
The company’s philosophy is to work with nature’s rhythms and powers. That’s just like its namesake, “a woman with enough life force and common sense to set this whole world straight,” according to the company.
Puracy Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo
For carpets, Puracy Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo is a winner for safely getting rid of dirt, odors and other furry funk. Use it on carpets, rugs, upholstery and any other washable fabric.
Its plant-based enzymes are low-foaming and it can be used with a carpet cleaning machine or by hand. It features clinical grade, natural biodegradable ingredients that are hypoallergenic, vegan and certified cruelty-free. It comes in 4x concentrate to reduce plastic and shipping waste, and stands up fine to less-healthy petroleum-based chemicals.
Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
What’s nice about Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner? It’s value and availability in brick-and-mortar stores. It works well, too. Use it on hardwood, tile, marble, bamboo, vinyl, laminate and other sealed floors.
The ingredients are plant-based, and the scents come from essential oils and botanical extracts. It’s certified cruelty-free, vegan and biodegradable. The brand was made famous on Shark Tank and later bought by Bissell.
Vinegar Homemade Pet Floor Cleaner
A quick note about DIY cleaners: While they’re good for many occasions, Greenstein says they may not be robust enough for serious disinfecting tasks.
“Many pet parasites and harmful germs are surprisingly hearty in the environment and may not be destroyed by more gentle formulations,” she says. “If you’re trying to disinfect your home from a particular pet pathogen, talk to your vet about the right product and protocol to make sure you’re keeping everyone safe!”
Now, on to the simplest DIY cleaner:
- 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar;
- One gallon warm water.
Mix them in a bucket and make sure the floor is swept before mopping.
If you want to get a little fancy, or if the vinegar smell disagrees with you:
- Add a few drops of essential oil. Once the vinegar evaporates, the fresh scent of the oil will remain.
- For particularly grimy jobs, add a few drops of natural dish soap.
- Some people also like to add a quarter cup of baking soda to the mix. If you do that, go over the floor a second time with fresh water for a better shine.
Homemade Pet Floor Cleaner for Wood Floors
In a bucket, mix:
- One gallon hot water;
- 3/4-cup olive oil;
- 1/2-cup lemon juice.
Mop and let it air dry. The olive oil polishes the wood and the lemon juice cleans the floor.
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