Cleaning hits a little different for pet owners. You've got your typical to-do's (like vacuuming, dusting, decluttering, etc.) on top of pet-specific tasks (bathing, cleaning ears, wiping paws, brushing and grooming, cleaning dog items like dog beds, etc.). And the need for cleaning only intensifies when the weather improves, since dogs often drag in a lot more dirt, debris, mud, odor and more. It can be a little overwhelming, so we put together a list of our most used and loved cleaning items. Here are 25 of our favorite pet cleaners and cleaning products (plus a few options that we haven't tried but have our eyes on and are highly rated).
Pet Hair Removers & Surface Cleaners
For owners of dogs who shed, this is an awesome product. We use it to remove fur from our furniture (it works especially well on our couch!) and boy does it do the trick. Super easy, reusable and affordable. Shop for the Chom Chom here!
In all transparency, we don't have this version (which is the latest) but we do have one we bought back in 2015. It's just now starting to crap out, which shows you just how long these can last! And it's been used a lot since we have a pretty heavy shedder in our house. Ours is lightweight and this version is supposedly the most powerful yet! Shop for the Dyson Animal Vacuum here!
A robot vacuum is useful, especially if you have a shedder and should probably vacuum super regularly. It's not as hands-free as they like to advertise - you have to make sure to pick up electrical cords, chargers, blankets with fringe and anything else that can get caught in the robot's brushes. You also need to empty it frequently, which is why we probably would've spent the extra money on a self-emptying one if we could go back in time. Still, it's comes in handy a lot.
Shop for this eufy here!
If you want a self-emptying one, eufy also has one though it doesn't have as many reviews as two Shark ones:
This may have "little" in its name, but it's mighty. It was able to revive an off-white shag area rug that was half discolored from our dogs. It's portable and can be used on carpets, rugs, furniture, stair runners and more. It also comes with a couple attachments that can help deep clean and loosen fur. Bonus: every BISSELL purchase supports the BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets!
Shop for this BISSELL Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner here!
Sometimes, our dogs bring the outside in, especially when it's nicer out and they're spending more time outdoors. The Swiffer Wet Jet is a handy tool for cleaning up any dirt, debris and other things that get carried inside. This little device is lightweight, tall enough that it won't hurt your back from hunching over and an easy alternative to mopping.
Shop the Swiffer Wet Jet here!
This is one gadget we have not tried but has always been on my wishlist. It's a lint roller, but for your floors rather than your clothes. It gets great reviews and can be used on all kinds of surfaces. The roller itself is 3.5 inches wide in diameter, which is supposedly 30% larger than other brands. The company also claims that their special tape is 60% more sticky than competitors.
Shop for it here!
We also haven't tried this, but with a 4.1 rating on more than 112,000 reviews, it seems like it might be worth it. It's a rubber broom that attracts fur from all kinds of surfaces - like carpet, hardwood, tile and windows. The handle extends from 36 inches to 60 inches and the bottom includes a squeegee on the backside. The company also says it's easy to clean, just use water and soap if desired to rinse.
Shop for the Furemover From here!
If you prefer a hand vacuum or dust buster, then this might be for you. Our Dyson came with a detachable hand vac, so we haven't needed a separate one. But if the new cordless vacuum we eventually get doesn't have an included hand vac, we'll try this one out since it has 4.6 stars on over 29,000 reviews (almost 30,000). This particular hand vac is equipped with a strong lithium battery for powerful cleaning, as well as multiple attachments for different cleaning needs! Bonus: every BISSELL purchase supports the BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets!
Shop this BISSELL Hand Vacuum here!
Stain & Spot Removers
This has been our go to for stain and odor removers for a while. We started using it when our older dog had anal gland issues and this was the only cleaner that seemed to eliminate the smell as much as possible. We also think it smells pretty good, so we haven't switched yet. Shop for it here!
But once we're out of our Nature's Miracle, we're likely going to try out the Rocco & Roxie Stain And Oder Eliminator (Amazon best seller with a 4.5 rating on more than 102,000 reviews!). We've also had our eyes on the Angry Orange Stain Remover (4.3 stars on more than 23,000).
This product can remove stains in just a short amount of time, which is a big part of its super powers. The company says it dries and shows results in as little as 15 minutes. And we can attest to its quick-working magic! After spraying, you need to agitate the spot with your finger tips then blot with something absorbent - so it's not a spray and leave type of situation. But it's worth it for those tougher stains!
Shop for it here!
For those (possibly frequent) times when your dog gets something on your clothes (say from jumping on you after being in your backyard or garden), this product can instantly remove it. It uses a nontoxic, biodegradable formula that's free from harmful chemicals or dyes - so it's safe for kids and pets! It works on fresh as well as set-in stains and can be used on clothes, upholstery and carpet, toys and more. We can attest to this, even on the toughest stains. It's really not surprisingly that this has become Amazon's #1 best seller in laundry stain removers.
A few warnings: 1) it sort of smells like onions (though doesn't include them, given it's nontoxic to pets) and 2) you must wash the spray after using, either with water or immediately in the laundry (as their instructions say - spray, blot then rinse). Otherwise, it may faintly lighten clothes in the spots you sprayed. Good news though, the product below helped get those light splotches out!
Shop for Miss Mouth's Messy Eater's Stain Remover here!
This is my favorite stain remover for anything that can be tossed in the washing machine. It works on both fresh and deep, set-in stains. And for the latter, you can spray the stain and leave it for up to a week with no altering of fabric (at least in our experience)). Just an overall powerhouse when it comes to stain removing for items that go in the laundry.
Shop for it here!
This was another one of our go-to's for removing stains from carpet, area rugs, couches and other upholstery. The bristles are super useful to break up and lift out stains. Just be careful on some fabrics, as too much force or friction may cause damage. But this was a great product, especially as a precursor to the portable upholstery cleaner! Bonus: every BISSELL purchase supports the BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets!
Shop for it here!
This is truly a must-have for so many situations - for after rainy or muddy potty breaks and walks, if your dog was digging in the garden, if they stepped in something. We have used this on so many occasions to clean our dog's paws and lower legs. Pro tip: add some mild, nontoxic soap or dog shampoo to up the cleaning power and grab a soft toothbrush to get into their nails and between their toes!
Shop the MudBuster here!
For those days you just don't have the time or energy to give your dog a full-blown bath, waterless shampoo can be a life saver. All you have to do is apply some foaming formula and dry them off after. This particular brand was a favorite of ours (we've tried a few different ones). Not only did it work well but it smelled great (not super coconut or lime but we enjoyed the scent - it also comes in a lavender scent). The company says it's pH balanced, made with payment and free of alcohol, parabens and PEG-80. It was created by dog owners who's Goldendoodle had severe allergies and they couldn't find a shampoo that worked for him!
Shop for it here!
Though this product may seem redundant to the previous one, it's actually different and useful in other ways! While it is technically "waterless shampoo," this one is really a dry shampoo - like human ones. Waterless shampoo is actually not necessarily waterless, it just means you don't need water for a bath. This product, on the other hand, is a dry spray that helps freshen fur, absorb oil and control odor. Instead of toweling off after applying, you simply rub it in with your fingers or a brush. Arm & Hammer says this product is pH balanced, hypoallergenic, and free of paragons and sulfates. Unlike most pet dry shampoos, this particular one comes in an aerosol can, which makes it easier to apply (but also sometimes scarier to dogs).
Shop for it here!
Baths increase when the weather gets warmer and it rains more (think about all that extra dirt and mud). There are lots of good dog shampoo options out there, we just found this to be a nice balance of effectiveness, affordability and good scent. Shop for it here!
The more time a dog spends outside, like when it's nice out, the more likely it is that dogs need an increased frequency of ear cleanings. We bought this particular product for when our dogs go in our saltwater pool. It's great for after a swim session, since it specifically calls out its effectiveness for reducing Swimmer's Ear or Otitis Externa. Shop for it here!
For more regular cleaning, this is what we go with, mostly because our older dog doesn't love ear cleanings. He had several ear infections in a short amount of time, so he is quite averse to cleaning. He won't allow us to use a solution, so this is the next best option. Fortunately, it's worked well and he hasn't had an ear issues and his ears have been looking great (according to our vets) for years! Shop for it here!
We also use this product, particularly for quicker application or if our dogs have gone in the pool but their head and ears never got excessively wet. It's a "dry" solution, meaning you don't need to wipe it away. It comes out as a thick-ish liquid turns into a powder that absorbs excess moisture and helps control odor. Shop for it here!
We've had this brush for years and really like it for our shedder. The bristles are made of a fine metal and don't hurt our dog and they retract for easy cleaning. It's been very effective at removing loose fur and hair, in our opinion. Shop for it here!
Another brush we use and it's a classic. It has a whopping 4.7 rating on over 20,000 (almost 21,000!) reviews. It comes in three sizes for small, medium and large dogs as well as two types for long hair and short hair. Shop for it here!
Burt's Bees for Dogs Care Plus+ Natural Hydrating Waterless Shampoo Spray with Coconut Oil (Highly Rated But Have Not Tried)
We tried a second waterless shampoo after the Wahl one was out of stock and don't love it. I found this and, although we haven't tried it, it gets great reviews and is a little better bang for your buck than the Wahl one - so we'll probably try it next! It has a 4.4 rating on over 7,900 reviews. The bottle says it's 98.2% natural ingredients, as it's infused with coconut oil, is pH balanced. It's also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, fragrance, colorants and SLS.
Shop for it here!
Penn-Plax VacGroom Pet Grooming and Shedding Vacuum Attachment Kit (Highly Rated But Have Not Tried)
I've been eyeing a dog grooming vacuum for a little while but haven't gotten the chance to try one out. Our shedder isn't afraid of vacuums, so it could be a great option for more effective and easy grooming. This one gets good reviews (4 stars on over 7,000 reviews) and comes with multiple brush attachments as well as an extension hose. We did buy it, but it wasn't compatible with our one functioning vacuum (so make sure it is for you). Shop for it here!
Since we might need one that is it's own vacuum, I went searching and recently discovered this one with 4.6 stars on over 8,500 reviews. There's no need for compatibility plus it comes with all kinds of attachments, like a regular brush and a deshedding one. It's currently unavailable as of writing this (you can shop for it here, in case it's back!) so here's an available option with several attachments that also gets very good reviews (4.4 stars on over 1,200 reviews): oneisall Dog Hair Vacuum And Dog Grooming Kit.
When you have a dog who sheds, especially during seasonal shedding periods, it can make your drains clog more quickly than they would otherwise. All the fur coming out of their coat has to go somewhere. Usually it's the ground, but lots of can make their way into our sinks too. I've tried natural solutions, but they just don't seem to do the trick (if you have any suggestions for more natural ones that work, please share in the comments! I'm always looking to go more natural and less toxic). So we always end up back with Drano, which is a powerhouse when it comes to unclogging drains. Shop for it here!
Our dogs like to press their noses up against our windows, paw at them to go out (even more often when it's nice out) or come in. All of this leads to smudges, dirt, grime, etc. collecting on the windows. We typically turn to Windex, as we've found it to be the most effective for cleaning windows. But again, if you have a natural solution that works, let us know in the comments! Shop for Windex here!
Dogs can be a bit stinky, especially as the weather gets warmer and rainier (think about that wet dog smell). These odors can transfer to our furniture, which isn't the most pleasant. Fabric sprays can be a great way to cover these smells. We found these Febreze sprays to not only successfully mask and eliminate odors, but also smell really good - especially the ocean scent. It also comes in an air freshener, which I want to try for our dog poop trash can! We currently use a standard Lysol but it doesn't do much to mask smell and I'm wondering if the ocean scent would do more. Will be trying it once we run out of the current Lysol!
Shop the ocean scent + extra strength fabric spray combo here! Or you can try the ocean + mountain scents here! (We have not tried the mountain, but have been wanting to get the other Febreze Air scents since the ocean smells so good.)
And shop for the air freshener here!
These are the bags we currently use in the dog poop trash can outside. They are strong and sturdy with a pleasant but not overwhelming smell. It's not enough to eliminate the smell, especially with rising temperatures, so we've found a few additional solutions that work pretty well (though not 100% and I'm not sure you can ever get rid of dog poop smell in the trash can when it's warm out). See below for these extras and shop for the trash bags we use here!
To help combat the smell of our dog poop trash can, I've been adding essential oil straight into the bag. We're currently using up an old lemongrass one (which works well) but I have a feeling that lemon will work even better. We have this pictured one in waiting and you can shop for it here!
We've also been eyeing the Angry Orange Odor Eliminator (4.3 stars on more than 101,000) to spray into the trash can on top of essential oils and the next product on our list.
25. DIY White Vinegar & Spray Bottles
We also spray white vinegar into the trash bag after every individually bagged poop "deposit" (and the can when we take the bag out for our city's weekly trash collection). This has done so much to combat smell! Again, it doesn't eliminate 100% of odors but not sure anything will. We simply buy the best price per ounce of white vinegar and put it into reusable spray bottles. Plus, this is a more natural and less toxic solution. Can't recommend this enough!
Bonus: if you want, you can put cute labels on the bottle too. We don't but love the look. Shop for labels here!