Many of us are looking at ways to reduce our impact on the environment by using products termed “green,” but some of these cleaning products may be harmful to our cat’s health.
If buying natural household cleaners, they’re generally safe if used as directed on the product label, but for people that make their own cleaning products, there aren’t any warnings or usage instructions.
Often we like cleaning products that are scented, but some essential oils such as orange, lemon or peppermint may cause stomach problems in cats. To minimize problems for your pet, it’s best to keep them out of the area you’re cleaning and be sure not to spray cleaner directly on your pet.
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It’s especially important to monitor the cleaning products you’re using to clean your pet’s bedding and toys. Steer clear of scented products, and beware of items like scented dryer sheets since they may contain detergents that can cause pet’s stomach distress.
Green Cleaning Products For Laundry
Two good unscented laundry detergent options are Method 8X Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear or Seventh Generation Natural 4X Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear. Both of these brands are plant-based, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic.
Dryer Sheets and Alternatives
For those that use dryer sheets, Seventh Generation Fabric Dryer Sheets, Free & Clear are a good option. An alternative to dryer sheets are dryer balls. Natural varieties are made of wool, eliminate static and reduce drying time significantly. If you’re allergic to wool, there are wool-free alternatives that provide many of the same benefits.
If you have a cleaning service regularly come to your home, watch for signs of reaction in your pet after the cleaning staff visits. When you notice a reaction, check to see what cleaners they’re using and offer to provide the products yourself. Cats are especially sensitive to scents and can be miserable for them if the smells of the cleaning products are too strong.
DIY Cleaning Solutions
Commercial cleaning products are expensive, and breathing the fumes isn’t healthy for us or our pets. Two staples, baking soda and white vinegar can be used to clean every room. Here are a couple of examples:
- Unclog drain: Pour 1/2 baking soda, then 1/2 cup of vinegar down the clogged drain. Cover for 20-30 minutes (it will bubble up), then run warm water down drain. If it’s a bad clog, you may need to do this a couple of times to clear the clog.
- Bathroom Cleaner (from Reader’s Digest):
1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl until any lumps are dissolved. Dilute with water, then add vinegar. Pour into squirt bottle and cap. Shake before using.
Both of these are easy, economical and work great, not to mention the benefit of not breathing the strong fumes many drain and bathroom cleaners contain.
Do you have a favorite DIY cleaning solution? Please leave a comment and let us know about it, we’d love to hear from you!