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8 Pet Safe Floor Cleaners and DIY Solutions

Calling all fur parents: Keep them safe from harmful chemicals with these pet safe floor cleaners.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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a dog on the floor with floor cleaning supplies inside-studio/Getty Images

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);
  • Ammonia;
  • Hydrogen peroxide;
  • Formaldehyde (AKA formalin, methanol, methylene oxide);
  • Perchloroethylene;
  • Phenols;
  • Phosphates;
  • Glycol ethers;
  • Phthalates (artificial fragrances);
  • Glycol ether benzoic acid;
  • Ethanol;
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds;
  • Sulfates;
  • Triclosan.

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.

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Eco Me Floor Cleaner Via Amazon.com

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.

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Puracy Natural Surface Cleaner Via Amazon.com

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.

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Bean And Lily Floor CleanerVia Amazon.com

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 Fannies Floor CleanerVia Amazon.com

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.

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Puracy Natural Carpet And Floor Cleaner Via Amazon.com

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.

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Better Life Floor CleanerVia Amazon.com

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.

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zero waste eco friendly cleaning concept. wooden brushes, lemon, baking soda, vinegarOlgaMiltsova/Getty Images

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:

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.
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Eco-friendly natural cleaners on wooden tableQwart/Getty Images

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.

All prices and links were current as of publication.

Karuna Eberl
Karuna writes about wildlife, nature, history and travel for magazines, newspapers and websites including National Geographic, National Parks, Discovery Channel, Atlas Obscura and the High Country News. She's also produced a number of independent films and directed the documentary The Guerrero Project, about the search for a sunken slave ship. She and her husband, Steve, wrote an award-winning guidebook to the Florida Keys and are currently completely renovating an abandoned house in a ghost town. She holds a B.A. in journalism and geology from the University of Montana. Member of OWAA, SATW.

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