Thursday, June 20, 2013

DoggyStyle: Making Cleaning more Enjoyable

I know a lot of people think dogs cause more messes in the home, but we've realized having pups has actually made us cleaner. Before adopting Miss M, I never had an awareness of cleanliness. And since it was just me, I could keep putting it off. This actually meant I never cleaned. But, having our dogs I've become more aware of hair, dust, and general grime. Since we have to clean up anyway, we've learned more ways to actually enjoy cleaning (if that is possible).

Getting Vacuums that Do all the Work
I used to dread cleaning and vacuuming because our vacuum was so heavy and hard to maneuver. We decided it made sense for us to invest in a good vacuum cleaner to make our weekly cleanings easier. We bought a Dyson DC15 Animal which can get pricey, though we rationalized that many people spend money on a cleaning service, and we would actually be saving money because we would always be doing it ourselves. We found it a bit cheaper by getting a prior model online, though you can also use the infamous Bed Bath and Beyond coupon to get 20% off. The best thing about the vacuum is that it actually makes vacuuming fun. It has a clear canister so you can actually watch the amount of hair you're collecting. It's really motivating because you can actually see your work paying off as it all gets sucked up. It's also really lightweight, easy to maneuver and it has an extra long cord. The attachments are also really easy to use so you can get in the corners.
We also decided to get the Bissell Spotbot Pet Deep Cleaner in case there are any accidents on the carpet. It's really easy because you just fill it up and set it on the stain and it does all the scrubbing for you. The only negative thing we've found is that it makes one circular spot really, really clean, almost like a pet crop circle. Though it does go away after a few vacuumings.

Enjoyable Cleaning Products
Last summer we had my niece and nephew stay with us for a few days, though when my sister came to pick them up they were having a big fight; they were fighting over who would get to clean the kitchen. See, we started using non-toxic Method and Mrs. Meyers sprays which smell so good that my niece and nephew would fight over who got to use which scent. We even ran out of surfaces to clean! We also found it easier to use microfiber cloths, which according to the kids, are more fun to clean with. 

Flowers
Having our dogs gives us a greater awareness of needing to clean, though I realized having flowers in the house makes me want to keep things clean. I always rationalize that it is a waste of money if everything is cluttered and we can't enjoy the flowers. Even Miss M appreciates a good bouquet.

Being Preventative
We found it's much easier to clean because we do take so many preventative measures to keep things from getting too dirty.
We wrote about how to minimize shedding and dog dirt in this post here. 
We also wrote about how we keep all of the pups' gear and toys organized in this post here.

One thing I still haven't figured out is mopping. At least with the tool I'm using, it's been difficult and miserable.
What are some recommendations people have for easily mopping hardwood floors (and how often should you do it?). 
And are there any other tips about making cleaning more enjoyable?

Also:
If you've never seen this, we actually taught Miss M how to clean up after herself
Keeping our dog-home smelling nice
Peonies!

13 comments:

Debra@Peaceabull said...

I use this mop thing...I think it is a Libman, but you can fill a canister with hardwood floor cleaning solution, and spray. The cleaning pad is removable and washable. I'll have to check the brand when I get home.

I used to use a Shark steam cleaner but started worrying that it would harm the finish on the floors.

Lindsay said...

Mopping just stinks, and I don't think there's any way around it!!

Annie & Pauls Mom said...

About 2 years after we got Annie and Paul, I tore up all of the carpeting to reveal our hardwood floors. We are very lucky that they are in such good shape! Honestly I mop about once every 6 months with water and Murphies oil soap. It makes the house smell good. We vacuum weekly to get up most of the dog hair so we don't have to mop that often. Our Dyson works well on hardwood and the linoleum that we have in the kitchen.

Courtney said...

I have a Bona mop that I use for my hardwood and tile floors. You can get one at Lowe's. There are different pads for different functions. There's even a hardwood floor sweeper pad. The bottles of cleaning solution are refillable, so a big refill jug will last you awhile. I highly recommend the Bona mop.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Keep the mop suggestions coming! Do most people use a mop with the long strings or the rectangular one? I've also heard both ways that cleaning with a water solution could harm the hardwood (is this true?). We've been using the method squirt cleaner with a rectangular mop which takes a lot of strength and it takes a really long time.

adventuresofadogmom said...

Cleaning is not one of my favorite things but having two dogs it's needed. We vacuum as often as needed and mop when needed but have never found any products we just love.

After about 10 years our Dyson is starting to get this odd smell that we can't figure out and can't seem to get clean... I wonder if it's a pet thing or if it's just time for a new one?

ohmelvin.com said...

Ok first off 'a pet crop circle' made me snort laugh, at work! My way of tackling mopping (or the need to do it so often) is that I got these mop slippers from Home Goods. You put them on and walk around. I actually got them because every single time Melvin drinks, he drips water for up to a minute in any direction. So with those, i can swoop over and address the drops before they dry to be ugly splotches.

Callie's Mom said...

Last night we became foster parents to a little cairn terrier mix and he dips his whole chin in the water bowl to drink! Going to have to get the mop slippers for him.

Kelly Glew said...

I tend to mop the vinyl kitchen floor with PineSol about twice a year. In between moppings I just use a bleach water spray mixture and a cloth to wipe up spots. I also tend to use Clorox wipes on the baseboards. I usually wipe the hardwood by hand with a cloth and a bucket mixed with water and Gain hardwood cleaner a few times a year. It smells delicious for weeks!! Since getting a dog I for sure clean more. I have heard wonderful things about the brand Method so the next time I run out of cleaner I will definitely try it!

Kelly Glew said...

I tend to mop the vinyl kitchen floor with PineSol about twice a year. In between moppings I just use a bleach water spray mixture and a cloth to wipe up spots. I also tend to use Clorox wipes on the baseboards. I usually wipe the hardwood by hand with a cloth and a bucket mixed with water and Gain hardwood cleaner a few times a year. It smells delicious for weeks!! Since getting a dog I for sure clean more. I have heard wonderful things about the brand Method so the next time I run out of cleaner I will definitely try it!

Lagomorphmom said...

Arrrrgh, hardwood. I have read *extensively* on this issue - if you look at ANY page by a hardwood mfgr, it will tell you that you should never, ever, in your lifetime wet mop AND refrain from damp mopping unless it's your.very.last.resort. Btw, don't ever use wax, swiffer, ammonia, etc. either. One thing you can do, if you use a sprayer, you'll find lots of recipes for water, vinegar and also alcohol (the alcohol helps the water evaporate - the whole deal is not getting water between the boards to swell the lamination).
I am at a loss for myself as I want to replace *old* carpet. Love tile for kitchen but don't want it through out, hate Pergo-like stuff that we inherited elsewhere. We do have friends that got vinyl planking that doesn't look too bad. I do lurve my Shark steam cleaner for linoleum/tile, it's easy on my back. I have used it on the pergo with the 'hairy' mop end, but despite what the Shark people say, know I probably shouldn't so I keep it to a minimum....
Soooo, haven't solved your question, but thought you might find comfort in a similar vent.

Katie Benjamin said...

We rent an old home with old hardwood floors, and we have two dogs. I use a solution of warm water and Murphy's oil soap, and I use one of those sponge mops with the handle that squeezes most of the water out of the sponge. I've been using this method for three years and our floors look great. I just make sure to squeeze out most of the water before I touch the floor with the mop. I probably do this about once every couple of months. In between moppings, I spot clean with a Murphy's spray cleaner and paper towels.

Narayana Nukala said...
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