Choosing Cleaning Essentials for Pet Homes

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re an Official Apartment Guide Pet Blogger, bringing you handy information about great ways to use your space…especially when that space is shared with a four-legged buddy.

The Apartment Guide blog itself provides a lot of great DIY info on decor, moving and more. We took the challenge recently to explore one of these articles and implement in our own home. We selected a very handy article titled “17 Cleaning Essentials for Your Apartment.” It includes a useful list of must-have products for keeping your place sparkling…but we decided to create a list for our own home. It will help us to simplify shopping for cleaning products that are both home and hound friendly!

With a nod to Apartment Guide, here’s OUR list of 17 Cleaning Essential for Your PET Apartment (with a reason why we opted for these choices in our fur-filled domicile):


  • White vinegar – While Apartment Guide’s article recommends selecting an all-purpose grease cleaner, for pet households we’d especially recommend going basic with just plain old (cheap) white vinegar! Dilute the vinegar with water (half and half for most cleaning jobs, full strength vinegar if it’s particularly greasy). This mixture is great for cleaning countertops, stoves, doors, windows, and more…and it won’t hurt Fido.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar is such a great, low cost cleaning product that we couldn’t just give it one place on our list so we’ve added apple cider vinegar, too! We use apple cider vinegar, diluted with water, to mop our floors and we add it to the rinse water when washing our pet bedding, too. It deters fleas naturally (and it doesn’t smell as much like a pickle jar as white vinegar!)
  • Olive oil and lemon wood cleaner – Polish your furniture with a simple homemade wood cleaner; just combine a cup of olive oil with half a cup of lemon juice.
  • Baking soda  – Inexpensive baking soda is a must-have; it can clean grout and serve as a carpet deodorizer.
  • Dishwashing liquid – Apartment Guide’s article recommends a drop of dishwashing liquid in a cup of water to create a quick spot cleaner and we concur! Dawn is an especially animal-friendly brand if it gets on Fido’s paws.
  • Corn starch – Like baking soda, corn starch can freshen your carpet; it can also absorb grease stains, be made into a paste to clean silver, and used as a dry shampoo for a waterless dog bath!


  • Broom and dustpan – We have not one but two brooms!
  • Black light – OK, accidents happen…and sometimes we know there’s dog or cat urine and we just can’t pinpoint where. With an inexpensive black light, you’ll be able to turn off the lights, flick on the blacklight, and the urine spot will glow. Really.
  • Rags and/or paper towels. Whether it’s the occasional accident, a hairball, or vomit, pet messes happen. Be ready with a disposable rag or paper towel for the worst of the messes.
  • Plastic bags – Keep all your small plastic bags for a second life as poop bags (or handy use along with the aforementioned rags and paper towels for cleaning up a mess inside your home.)
  • Toilet brush and cover – Select a toilet brush and a protective cover to keep that brush away from your pets.
  • Microfiber sweeper – Pet hair has magical properties that allows it to travel beneath all furniture, out of reach of the vacuum. Be ready with a handy microfiber sweeper.
  • Vacuum cleaner – We are vacuum fiends in our home, not just to pick up the pet hair but also to reduce fleas. Purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter to help filter out pet allergens, too.
  • Old toothbrush – Old toothbrushes (or extras you get at the dentist, if you have an electric toothbrush) are great for cleaning. They’re also super handy for cleaning out pet fountains!
  • Cotton swabs – Clean pet fountains, stuffable dog toys, and more with these inexpensive swabs.
  • Microfiber duster – If you have a cat (or, like us, four!) in your home, microfiber dusters are the way to go; a feather duster is just one big cat toy if you make that selection!
  • Rubber gloves – Rubber gloves aren’t just useful for protecting your hands from cleaning products; they’re also a great way to remove pet hair from upholstery! Put on a rubber glove, wet it, then wipe down the upholstery. The pet hair will roll right up!

What are your must-have cleaning products for your pet household?

Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for making the most of a space for you and your pet on If you’re ready for a whole new space or are looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect pet-friendly apartment community.

Disclosure: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. have partnered with bloggers like me as Official Apartment Guide Bloggers. As part of this program, I have received compensation. They have not told me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.