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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

Deep Cleaning 101 for Pet Owners – What Every Pet Household Should Know

When the weather warms and spring rolls in, many of us get the urge to roll up our sleeves, don a pair of rubber gloves, grab the cleaning supplies and get to work cleaning those hard-to-reach places we ignore the rest of the year. The messes pet owners have to contend with come spring — shedding, muddy paw prints on furniture and ground-in dirt in carpets and rugs — require extra effort and to make every nook and cranny gleam.

Why Should Pet Owners Deep Clean?

Pets track more than dirt and hair into our homes. Dust, pollens and dust-mite levels are considerably higher in homes with animals and, together with pet dander, are the primary causes of indoor allergies and asthmatic reactions.

Most Americans think vacuuming is enough to remove dirt from their carpets, but the unfortunate truth is that even regular vacuuming can leave deep-seated dirt and stains behind. Deep cleaning furniture and carpets loosens and eliminates most of the harmful dirt and ground-in grit and, especially for pet owners, is essential to reducing allergen levels inside the home.

Deep cleaning machines shoot a high pressure spray of hot water and cleaning formula deep into the base your carpet to loosen most embedded grime and then immediately extract the solution to ensure rapid drying. For maximum effectiveness in overall cleaning, look for a full-sized upright deep cleaner with a built-in heater like BISSELL’s ProHeat 2X Select Pet®. For treating smaller stains or problem areas, try a portable deep cleaner like BISSELL’s handsfree SpotBot® Pet. Deep cleaning on a regular basis will promote a healthier home environment for you and your furry loved ones!

When Is It Time to Deep Clean?

To help homeowners expose the hidden filth in their carpets, BISSELL recently introduced the White Sock Test as an easy, at-home assessment of carpet cleanliness.

The test lets you use items found in any home – a white sock and water – to figure out when it’s time to clean your carpets. To take the test, twist your foot into a high-traffic carpeted area with a damp, clean white sock for 30 seconds.

Afterward, the dirt in your carpet will be dramatically revealed on the bottom of the sock. If you regularly deep clean, your white sock will stay cleaner, and if not, you’ll have the dirty sock as your motivation to get started!

How Do You Keep It Clean?

Keep your deep cleaning efforts fresh and your four-legged friends happy with these simple springtime tips:

  • Avoid a pawprint-smudged floor by teaching your pet to stand at the door so you can wipe down his paws and any fur that may be caked in mud. Use a soft, damp cloth — and forget to get between his toes!
  • Pets don't understand why it's okay to roll on the furniture after a bath but not when they’re covered in mud. Put slip covers on any furniture your pets are normally allowed to sleep on. To protect carpets, use floor runners and mats near entryways — they are easier to wash or replace.
  • Pets shed year-round, but it's slightly more obvious in the spring when they shed their winter fur. Brush your pet more often to collect dead hair before it gets stuck on the couch and carpet — or before dust bunnies form a herd rolling across your hard-surfaced floors.
  • Go to a commercial laundromat to wash your pet's bed, or use your home washer if the bed has a removable cover that can stand up to more washings. Always use non-scented detergent, and skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets to avoid irritating your pet's skin — or, better yet, hang it out to dry for extra spring freshness!
Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Lifestyle Expert

April 22, 2011

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