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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

14 Cleaning Tools Every Pet Owner Needs

Pet messes are just as endless as the love and affection they bring, so we narrowed down the essential cleaning tools every pet owner needs to have on-hand at all times.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Baking soda is your other best friend

You’ll be pleased to know Christine Dimmick, public health advocate for health and wellness and owner of an eco-friendly cleaning company, shares that simple-yet-effective baking soda is one of the best cleaning products to keep on hand when you’ve got pets at home. “Sprinkle it on a fresh stain after picking up any particles and then vacuum them up. Dispose of the vacuum bag after as it will stink,” she advises. Baking soda is also cheap and easy to use and store.

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A robotic vacuum

Well, you don’t need a robot—but it’ll definitely enhance the quality of your day if you’re prone to leaving Fido, Mrs. Meowy-Cute, or any other furry pet at home alone for more than an hour or two at a time. You’ll be able to vacuum up messes as soon as you hear about them or see them on your home security system, which means you’ll eliminate the possibility of caked-on kibbles and other messes that worsen without immediate attention. Plus, we can tell you from experience, that it picks up pet hair like nobody’s business. The Roborock S6 works with Alexa, Google Home, and the corresponding Roborock App to keep your home in tip-top shape—and quietly, a feature Fido will definitely appreciate.

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Lavender flowers

Believe it or not, lavender, one of the best home fragrance options for your bedroom, is also great to keep on-hand for pet owners of all types. Dimmick says it’s an ideal choice for pets prone to shedding, and part of the inspiration behind her Lavender Dryer Sachets from The Good Home Co., “Pet hair tends to smell and the lavender flowers will keep the room smelling fresh without much-added effort or toxicity risk.”

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Keep castile soap on hand

Pet-inclusive homes should keep this natural ingredients-focused soap on your hands, floors, and other areas, too. “Castile soap is a great natural soap that can be used to wash pet areas, floors, and rugs and it is safe and natural, but remember to use unscented if you have cats at home,” says Dimmick. “Essential oils can be toxic to cats as their livers can’t process essential oils.” Try Dr. Natural Unscented Baby Castile Soap to try a mild, fragrance-free version that’s safe for everyone in your home—furballs included.

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Cut down on bath-related messes with smarter gear

Bathing is supposed to be a clean experience, but as any pet owner knows, it’s usually the opposite unless it’s at a pricey professional groomer’s location. Save time, money, and all bathing-related frustrations by investing in a Peerless Sidekick Shower System. It installs on your existing shower arm with no tools needed and instantly transforms your normal bath or shower into a convenient shower wand with pet-specific attachments. We won’t tell if you use it on your bath-reluctant toddlers, too.

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Long-term brilliance

Lots of pets might mean lots of pet-related cleaning expenses, which is why investing in a DIY cleaning appliance like Force of Nature could be the smart financial decision you didn’t know you needed. It uses electricity to convert salt, water, and vinegar into a natural multi-purpose cleaner that’s just as effective as bleach without the toxic chemicals, dyes, and allergens. This hypoallergenic and pet-friendly cleaner is created by electrolyzed water in nine minutes to deodorize, disinfect, and kill 99.9 percent of germs. It’s ideal for floors, countertops, dog beds, chew toys, and more. It’s one of our favorite tech gadgets for pets and their owners, too.

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Protect your favorite fabrics

Muddy paws in all the wrong places can leave messes and stains nobody planned for. Protect your favorite fabrics with Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector, which is conveniently available along with all the leashes, chew toys, and other pet gear you’re already buying from Chewy.

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Got fur? Get this.

Just toss a FurZapper into the washer and dryer with your laundry and let it work its magic on your fur-covered clothes, linens, or whatever else has started to take on your pet’s outermost appearance. This tacky, flexible disc is just sticky enough to gently collect and pull fur, hair, dust, and debris from items as they tumble through the cycles. It’s non-toxic, re-usable, and one of our favorite amazing things made in the USA.

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Trustworthy-stain removal

Not all cleaning products have to be harsh or expensive, but every pet-friendly home needs a safe and effective stain remover on hand at all times. Spray ECOS Pet Stain & Odor Remover on clothes, carpets, or other water-safe surfaces to clear nasty stains and stink with plant-powered enzymes.

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Clean with futuristic steam

It’s no secret that using the power of steam is a popular and effective method of cleaning all the most-used home surfaces. An easy-to-hold steamer like the Sienna Luna Plus Steam Cleaning System combines sonic technology with adjustable steam control and LED lights to clean, sanitize, and kill over 99 percent of bacteria, which is especially important if your pets are known to nibble off questionable surfaces like floors. Add this one to the list of tech gifts every neat freak would love to have.

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Opt for thoughtful design

You can eliminate some of the cat litter messes to begin with by choosing a smarter cat litter box design, like this Litter Genie Cat Litter Box with raised sides so kicks, shuffles, and repositioning don’t send cat potty particles flying into your human spaces. You can use all the time you save cleaning litter to read up on why cats sleep so much, anyway.

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Low-mess litter exists to save your sanity

If you’re investing in a better litter box, the litter going inside can get a cleaner upgrade too. Fresh Step Clean Paws is a 2019 Product of the Year award winner thanks to its low-tracking formula designed to keep cat litter in the box and nowhere else. Larger particles with less stickiness keep your floors clean and your vacuum from being used every time your furball needs to take a bathroom break.

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The most turbo-charged lint roller ever

Big pets can shed much more than little ones, which makes cleaning up pet hair and dander a monumental chore. This Evercare Mega Extra Sticky Lint Roller is a pet owner’s dream with an extendable handle reaching a full 42 inches so even hard-to-reach corners can be their cleanest and fur-free.

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This is some CIA-level stuff

If you’re the biggest gumshoe in the family, you’ll appreciate this Rocco & Roxie UV Urine Detector Flashlight more than anything else. The flashlight’s wavelength is optimized at 395NM to illuminate dried urine, feces and vomit stains on furniture, rugs, hard surfaces, and more. You’ll be able to find every missed drop, for better or worse, and quickly cement your status as the most thorough cleaner of all time. Go you! Now that your house is clean, find out the best ways to deal with pet odor.

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.