There are moments when, as a pet owner, you will discover that your little doggo left a surprise for you waiting by (or worse, on) that extremely hard to clean couch. Or maybe even on some hardwood floors that will probably absorb that stench if you don’t clean up ASAP.

First, calm down. It’s all right. They make mistakes; everybody has those days. This is where Animal Scene offers a bunch of helpful tips and hacks to cleaning away whatever mess your dear doggy friend has left behind for you to discover.

Your Weapons of Choice

  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Newspapers
  • Baking powder
  • Paper towels
  • Old but clean toothbrushes
  • Clean rags
  • Dishwashing liquids

Orange You Glad?

Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and calamansi make for some pretty good cleaners in the event of accidents on tiles. Spritzing some of the juices where your dog decided its personal toilet would be can get rid of the smell. And even scrubbing the area with the used halves of said fruits can help to get rid of any lingering smells and minor stains.


Often, after a nice walk, you’ll find your dog left a bunch of muddy paw prints in their wake. It’s easier to let the mud dry out and vacuum, sweep, or scoop it up when it’s dry and chunky as opposed to trying to mop it up while it’s still wet. That’ll just make it harder to clean if it spreads. If there are still some spots left over, mix up some dishwashing liquid and some water and dab away at the spots.

Carpet Diem

If you happen to own a carpet as well as a dog, then this should save you some grief in the event of any accidents, solid or otherwise. Or in case you’ve tried all you can, and there are some hard stains and/or unwanted smells that just won’t go away. After the initial cleaning and soaking with paper towels or newspapers, make a vinegar solution of 50% water and 50% white vinegar, and pour that solution onto the stain and use a scrubbing brush to scrub at the urine stain.

In the event you’ve got a feces stain on your hands, just blot at the stain with the solution and rinse and repeat. Scrubbing at it might rub the stain into the carpeting. Let the carpet dry and you should be good to go.

Sofa, So Good

Cleaning upholstery is actually very similar to cleaning carpets. Instead of using warm water, though, be sure to use cold water to prevent any stains from setting. As with cleaning carpets, spot treat the area by scrubbing the area with a mix of 50% cold water and 50% white vinegar. If the upholstery covers you own are machine-washable, do follow up any stain treatment attempted with laundering.

Hide and Seek

In some cases, leather items will get caught in the crossfire of doggy bowel movements. If that is the case and say, a leather bag that was left unattended or even shoes were the poor victims of a mess, a vinegar rinse helps. (Vinegar sure is helpful, ain’t it?) For this, you’ll want to try rinsing off the affected areas with apple cider vinegar by just wiping down the affected areas with it and then letting it dry. Bonus points: the apple cider vinegar helps to mask any lingering smell there may be.

There’s a Stain on my Wood!

In case you happen to have hardwood floors and accidents occur, then don’t worry. As long as you have some baking soda, the ever handy dandy white vinegar, some paper towels and a vacuum cleaner then you are all set. After mopping up any remnants of any liquid or solid mess with paper towels (or newspapers, those are helpful too), pour a generous amount of baking soda over where you had just cleaned up. Leave it overnight and vacuum the remains the following day. With a clean rag, pour some white vinegar (just plain vinegar, no mixing it with anything) over the area and rub it into the floor. No worries, the vinegar won’t ruin the floor.

The Grout, the Bad, and the Ugly

Tiled floors are a norm in most households, and that means having to deal with cleaning it along with making sure there aren’t any stains on the tiles or the grout in case your pet left a mess indoors. The wonderful vinegar mixture solution (equal parts white vinegar and water) comes in handy yet again. This time, you’ll want to cover the area with the mix and let it sit for up to 10 minutes. After mopping up the mixture with a clean sponge or rag, rinse the area with clean water. If there is still a stain, dip a clean and wet toothbrush into some baking soda and gently scrub the stain away.


This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s April 2018 issue.