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5 All-Natural Pet-Safe Cleaning Products to Make Your Home Shine

small brown dog laying on a green carpet while a person wearing jeans and pink socks vacuums it

As a pet owner, we only want the best for our pets. We go to great lengths to prioritize their health and well-being. Switching to natural pet-safe cleaning products will allow you to keep your home looking clean and fresh while also keeping your pup safe. The best part? You likely have most (if not all) of these products in your pantry already!

Commercial cleaning products are full of many chemicals and potentially toxic ingredients.

These everyday cleaners can cause serious harm if ingested by your pup.

Consider, for a moment, your dog’s daily activities. They sleep on our clothes and bedding, roll on the floor, chew on their toys and clean themselves by licking their coats.

They may even enjoy a tasty morsel that fell on the floor, licking the floor in the process.

Each of these activities could expose your dog to the harmful chemicals in your cleaning products both internally and externally.

This is an even bigger concern if you live with a dog that experiences allergies or sensitivities (like our girl Daviana).

All it takes to set her skin off is a change in laundry detergent…

Good news! There are many great all-natural pet-safe cleaning products that will leave your home looking and smelling fresh.

You may be surprised to learn that many of these products are waiting for you on your pantry shelves.

DIY pet-safe cleaning products are a great solution to free your home from dirt and grime, remove stubborn stains and clean up those muddy puppy prints.

Ditch those chemical-filled cleaning products and go natural with these options…

Related: ‘6 Phone Numbers Every Pet Owner Should Have On Hand

Check Out These All-Natural Pet-Safe Cleaning Products

Vinegar

Vinegar is a great natural disinfectant with anti-fungal properties. This means that it is also effective in tackling mold and mildew.

While your pup may not be a fan of the strong scent (you may not be either) it will air out, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.

This is usually the first natural cleaning product that people incorporate into their cleaning routines due to the fact that it is incredibly versatile, with many different uses in your home.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle for an effective all-purpose cleaner for counter tops, porcelain sinks and cleaning up messy spills. This can also be combined in a bucket and used as an effective floor cleaner.

If you are really opposed to the smell of vinegar, consider adding lemon juice. This will also help to strengthen the solution for stuck on grime.

Window Cleaner: Use 50/50 vinegar and warm water to clean your windows, mirrors, and other shiny surfaces. Use a newspaper to wipe the area clean and prevent streaks.

Stain Remover: If you’re battling a stain in your carpet or on your couch, vinegar may be the solution! Mix ½ cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt, allowing the salt to fully dissolve. Rub this solution onto the stain using a wet rag and watch the stain disappear.

Baking Soda

Most people associate baking soda with, well, baking… But it is also highly effective at eliminating odors in your home.

In addition to battling nasty odors, it can be used as a mild abrasive when scrubbing countertops and sinks as well as cutting through grease and grime.  

Carpet Deodorizer: Simply sprinkle baking soda onto your carpets allowing it to sit for at least 15 minutes to absorb any odors before vacuuming it up. The longer it sits, the better! This also works to refresh your couches and mattresses.

Abrasive Cleaner: Combine equal parts baking soda, salt, and hot water to create a mild appraise that will help to cut through grime on your sinks and countertops.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: What’s the secret to a clean toilet bowl without worrying about your pet ingesting harmful chemicals if they choose to take a drink? Pour half a cup of baking soda into the bowl followed by 1 cup of vinegar.

Allow it to sit for approximately 10 minutes as the reaction between the two substances works to break down dirt and grime. Scrub with a toilet brush before flushing it all away.

Lemon Juice

The citric acid found in lemon juice has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, helping to remove germs and bacteria from your home.

It can be added to any of the above listed vinegar cleaners to boost their effectiveness.

Used on its own, it will help you to get rid of coffee and tea stains (all coffee drinkers have had to face this inconvenience at least once).

Window Cleaner: Really not a fan of the smell of vinegar? Mix 5 tablespoons of lemon juice into 2 liters of water for another pet-safe window cleaning option.

Bathroom Cleaner: Combine 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water and the juice of 1 lemon. This powerful cleaner will cut through soap scum and calcium deposits, leaving your bathroom sparkling.

tortoiseshell cat on a wooden floor, chasing a mop being used by someone wearing jeans and white sneakers

Hydrogen Peroxide

An oxygen-based antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide is often kept on hand for first aid purposes. However, it’s also a great option for removing tough stains.

It can also be used to help break down pet odors such as urine, vomit, and feces.

While it works similar to a bleach, it breaks down into nothing but water and oxygen, leaving behind no harmful residues.

NOTE: While hydrogen peroxide is considered a safe natural cleaner, it can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Avoid leaving it out where your pet could ingest it.

Stain Remover: Are you battling a tough stain? Create a paste by mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. Apply it to the stain with an old toothbrush, allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing. When you’re finished, clean it up with a damp cloth.

Borax

Also known as sodium tetraborate, Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used as an effective cleaning product for generations.

It should be noted that this is arguably the most controversial item on the list.

While the FDA allows for the product for cleaning purposes, it has been banned as a food additive. In other areas, the product has been banned.

NOTE: In its powdered form (which is how it is sold), it is a respiratory and skin irritant in large doses. It should be used in a ventilated area and stored in a safe area to avoid contact irritation if your pet were to come in contact.

Laundry Stain Remover: It likely comes as no shock that bleach is highly toxic for your pet. Swap it out and use Borax instead. It will whiten your clothes and leave them smelling fresh while avoiding unnecessary chemicals.

Deep Carpet Stain Remover: If you’re looking to take your carpet stain removal to the next level, consider adding Borax to the mix. Create a solution with ½ cup of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Borax and 2 tablespoons of salt, mixing it until everything is dissolved.

Soak a rag in the solution, using it to scrub away those deep, stubborn stains.

Flea Killer: If you are trying to rid fleas from your home, borax is a great option. Sprinkle the powder onto your floors and furniture and allow it to sit for 24-48 hours. During this time, do not allow your pet to have access to the area. Vacuum thoroughly to remove borax and dead fleas.

This should NOT be used directly on your pets.

Related: ‘10+ Dog Toy Storage Ideas to Complement Any Décor

Pet Poisoning from Household Cleaners

Many of the chemicals found in commercially available cleaning products can cause serious harm to our pets including liver and kidney damage, anemia, skin irritation, breathing problems and more.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7% of all calls to their poison control line are due to exposure to household items, including cleaning products.

Take the time to read over the ingredients of the cleaning products that you use at home carefully.

Some of the most dangerous ingredients are:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Phenols
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Perchloroethylene

Note: This is not an inclusive list, just an example of some of the more common hazards. Do your research to ensure that you are fully aware of the products that you are using.

If you are still using commercial products, there are steps that you can take to keep our pet safe:

#1 – Keep your pet out of the room when cleaning with dangerous chemicals when possible. Allow surfaces to dry fully before allowing your pet access to the area.  

#2 – If you do need to leave in the middle of cleaning (to answer the door or pick up the phone, for example), make sure you pick up any cleaning products or buckets of water and put them up where your pet can’t reach them. ALWAYS clean up buckets, mops, rags and other cleaning supplies immediately after finishing your cleaning.

#3 – Make sure that all chemicals are stored in a secure space such as a locked cupboard or a shelf that they can’t reach. Remember, some pets are great climbers, especially when we’re not watching!

#4 – Consider rinsing surfaces like floors with water after cleaning, removing any residue.

#5 – Read ALL labels before using products. If a product says that it needs to be diluted, pay careful attention and follow directions. The stronger the product, the more toxic it will be if your pet is exposed.

If you believe that your pet may have been poisoned, seek IMMEDIATE medical attention. Call your local emergency veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

A light brown and white dog being brushed by a woman wearing jeans and a checkered shirt, while the dog is laying on a green carpet. The carpet is being vacuumed by someone wearing a blue shirt and black pants. With the text '5 DIY Pet-Safe Cleaning Products' in the corner.

Share these simple DIY pet-safe cleaning products with your friends and family to help them make the switch today.

As they say, knowledge is power!

Do you have any go-to pet-safe cleaning products that you swear by? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!  

About Author

Britt is a digital/social media marketer and the owner of The Social Alternative. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending her time with her ‘pack’ which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs Daviana and Indiana and their 2 cats Pippen and Jinx. A proud pet mom, she shares all her pet-related tips, tricks and funny pet antics on Shed Happens.

84 Comments

  • Ella Penman
    December 11, 2020 at 3:40 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m always looking for new ideas for my puppy so these were really great!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Kay | Blowing Bubbles With Mama
    December 11, 2020 at 5:02 am

    Some great cleaning tips here. I’ve tried vinegar but not lemon. Interested to try. Definitely sharing this post with friends!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:40 pm

      The bonus to using lemon is that it leaves such a nice, fresh smell.

      Reply
  • Julia
    December 11, 2020 at 5:15 am

    These are all great cleaning tips! I feel like knowing what’s in the products is not only good for your pets but also the environment too as whatever ends up washed away will definitely be kinder to the environment than synthetic chemicals! I’ve used baking soda before to clean stubborn mug stains but will definitely have to try vinegar and lemon juice! Great post x

    bumblingalong.co.uk

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      Right? That’s definitely a good point to consider. Plus there is our own health and well-being to think about.

      Reply
  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)
    December 11, 2020 at 8:45 am

    It is amazing to me that so many people have all of (or most) these items in the pantry or under the sink and don’t realize how great they are for cleaning! We make our own laundry soap, so the borax and baking soda are essentials. I’m a huge fan of knowing what goes into the things I’m using at home.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      I’m honestly surprised that there aren’t more people questioning their cleaning products!

      Reply
  • Denise
    December 11, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Bookmarking this! Even if I don’t have pets at home, I think it’s still important that we lessen our usage of toxic cleaning products, and to reduce expenses on cleaning products too! Didn’t know isopropyl alcohol is on the watchlist of harmful chemicals to pets.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      I love that it happens to also benefit our budget! Often we spend more to choose the healthy route, but not when it comes to cleaning products.

      Reply
  • LuLu B
    December 11, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    I have found myself using natural and non-toxic cleaning products more and more, especially vinegar. I don’t have any pets at the moment, but I would definitely be concerned about their health and well-being when it comes to keeping things clean.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      I think it’s also important to acknowledge how all of the chemicals in commercial cleaners can impact our own health as well! Even if you don’t have pets, it’s still worth the consideration.

      Reply
  • Samantha
    December 11, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Oh some great tips and tricks for cleaning! I’d much rather use all natural than commercial as I know exactly what’s going into it. I’ll definitely be using these tips next time!

    Samantha | https://samanthajblogs.co.uk

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Exactly! There are too many unknowns (and chemicals) in most commercial cleaners.

      Reply
  • Elizabeth Williams
    December 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Really informative and helpful post. Don’t think many people think about how household cleaners could effect pets. I am a big fan of vinegar and lemon juice.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      It’s amazing how effective vinegar and lemon juice are in terms of cleaning, isn’t it?

      Reply
  • Mommy Sigrid
    December 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t have pets. But with cleaning, I do use natural products that are safe for the whole family. So
    Even if I have pets, they will be safe, too.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 11, 2020 at 8:54 pm

      That’s the best part about going all-natural, it’s safe for everyone!

      Reply
  • Michelle & The Paw Pack
    December 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Great post! These are for sure my ‘go-to’ cleaning products, as I like to protect my pets, human family members, and the environment as much as possible. I have to admit I don’t often use lemon, but the others I’m very familiar with. I use vinegar most often, funny because I actually hate the way it smells. Luckily, like you mentioned, it doesn’t smell so bad once it dries. I’ll have to try adding some lemon!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Adding just a little lemon is a GREAT way to enjoy the benefits of vinegar without being overwhelmed by the scent.

      Reply
  • Jana Rade
    December 12, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Great list of pet-friendly cleaners. I mostly make due with vinegar and baking soda. At one time, we also used enzyme-based dog-friendly cleaner. That was the only thing that truly worked great on stains.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 10:00 am

      We used to use an enzyme-based cleaner quite often when I was volunteering at a cat shelter. There were often stubborn stains that we needed to tackle, and it never failed us.

      Reply
  • Ruth Epstein
    December 12, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    I have no chemicals in my house, I learned from my Mom that vinegar or apple cider vinegar is a good cleaning product and have been doing it as long as I can remember plus with Layla or any other pet I know they are safe.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 9:59 am

      The idea of exposing my pets unintentionally to chemicals through commercial cleaners has scared me off using any around our house. It’s just safer to stick with natural options like vinegar.

      Reply
  • Kamira
    December 12, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    This list is great and I’ve used some of these items to clean my oven and laundry too. Vinegar is great for getting rid of stubborn odors in clothes and also great for neutralizing pet urine accidents on carpet. Lemon juice mixed with baking soda and a touch of salt makes for a pretty good oven cleaner too.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 9:56 am

      The way vinegar neutralizes odour has been a HUGE win in our house! lol

      Reply
  • Marjorie @ Dash Kitten
    December 13, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Lemon Juice is one thing people overlook so often but is is fantastic. I did NOT know that it was good for tea and coffee stains – lesson learned!!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

      I learned the tea/coffee trick shortly after we rescued Indy. He has a habit of jumping into our laps whenever he wants attention, even if we have a coffee in hand. I can’t count how many tea/coffee spills I have had to clean since he joined the family lol

      Reply
  • Rebecca Sanchez
    December 14, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Perfect timing on this post! We are doing a deep cleaning next week and I’ve been researching cleaning products. It seems that vinegar is the go to for so many things – we are definitely going with it. We also plan to use hydrogen peroxide to clean all the nooks and crannies of our faucets. Thank you and will share!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 14, 2020 at 9:35 am

      We use vinegar religiously around here. It never seems to fail me! Goes to show that sometimes, the simple solutions are the best ones!

      Reply
  • Clarissa Cabbage
    December 14, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Wow this is super helpful Britt! I think I may have to give some of the vinegar and lemon juice recipes a go. I didn’t know they had antifungal properties, that’s pretty cool! I also haven’t tried baking soda on the carpet, but now I’ll definitely have to. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 15, 2020 at 8:10 am

      I love that I get such good results from something natural. It goes to show that we can have a nice, clean house without risking the health of our pets.

      Reply
  • Lyosha
    December 17, 2020 at 3:17 am

    baking soda and lemon juice are my favorite: they work great and are totally safe.

    Reply
    • Britt
      December 19, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Right? They are SO effective without having to introduce unnecessary chemicals into your home.

      Reply
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