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Effective, Pet-Safe Cleaning Products

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    We all love our pets, but invariably they land in the doghouse for wreaking havoc on our carpets, couches, and other home surfaces. Dealing with the mess can be tricky; the ASPCA reports that poisoning from household cleaners is one of the top reasons for emergency phone calls from frantic owners. "There are many effective products that clean and remove odors without putting your pet at risk," says Julia Szabo, columnist for Dogster.com and author of Pretty Pet-Friendly (Wiley). Here are great options that get the job done while keeping your animal out of harm's way.

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  • Greg Scheidemann

    Homemade Pet-Safe Cleaners

    Go the DIY route with two of Julia Szabo's favorite recipes.

    —Combine 1 quart of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of whole cloves. Let sit overnight. Use as often as needed for cleaning hard surfaces—cloves act as a natural antibacterial.

    —Mix 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 2 tablespoons of chemical-free dishwashing liquid (such as Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid). This very foamy concoction is great for washing out a litter box, as well as a tub and tile surfaces. Plus, its bleaching qualities whiten gross grout.

    Originally published in the May 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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