With a cat, two dogs, and usually a foster dog in my house, I fight a never-ending battle against dust bunnies, hairballs, nose prints on windows, messy water bowls, and house training accidents. Suffice to say that I gave up having a clean house years ago.
The one room, though, that gets my attention almost daily is the bedroom—and it’s not just because of the mess but also human health.
All of my animals sleep in the bedroom—and because my husband has allergies to, of all things, cats, keeping that room as allergen-free as possible is crucial. Plus, studies have shown that cluttered rooms—and one could argue that a dirty room counts—can disrupt sleep.
Allergy experts would no doubt advise me to keep my animals out of the bedroom. Yet neither my husband nor I is willing to do that—so how can we keep that bedroom as free from pet mess as possible? Ahead, cleaning experts weigh in.
How to keep your bedroom clean with pets
1. Give floors the royal treatment
Carpet harbors allergens, dirt, and other germs, which is why it’s best to install hard floors if possible. If you have to stick with carpet, then the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) recommends opting for one with a low pile and steam cleaning it often.
Regardless of which you have, vacuum the floor regularly to pick up pet hair and dander. Invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, says AAFA. Also, consider buying a rug squeegee to lift hair from carpets and rugs, says Petya Holevich, cleaning expert with Fantastic Services in London.
2. Wash your bedding
If you have pets, especially if they sleep in your bed, then you should wash your sheets more frequently (ideally every three to four days) in the hottest water they can withstand. When drying them, toss in a reusable dryer ball to remove pet hair.
What about the duvet? I wash mine every few weeks, namely because it’s a pain to take off. Yet I do use a pet hair removal brush almost daily on the bed.
You can also use a lint roller (create your own by wrapping masking or duct tape around your hand with the sticky side out and patting the surface), dryer sheets, or a damp pair of textured socks or rubber gloves, Holevich says.
3. Lower the static electricity on your bed
Static electricity is no friend to pet hair and dander. “Bedding, particularly during colder, dryer months, is prone to developing a lot of static electricity that will attract pet hair and dander,” says Joshua Bartlett, home improvement specialist and owner and editor-in-chief of I’ll Just Fix It Myself.
To keep your bed static-free, add a humidifier to your room. This will add moisture to the air and lower the static. Because synthetic fabrics are more likely to generate static electricity, choose bedding made from natural fibers like cotton. You can also buy an anti-static spray that can be applied to fabrics.
4. Don’t let the hair fly
When dusting hard surfaces, use a damp cloth to catch the hair. Do the same for floors with a damp mop, Holevich says.
5. Go up the walls
Bet you might never have thought about cleaning your walls, but this is a must. “Pet hair floats and if you have a fan on, hair will spread around,” says Kimberly Gonzalez, cleaning expert and podcaster for Cleaning Business Life.
Use a dry flat mop that you can move up and down the walls to wipe hair at least once a month.
6. Clear the air
Having an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom can help capture pet hair and reduce allergens in the air. You should also vacuum your air vents and change your air filters once a month, Gonzalez says.
To further prevent allergens from spreading through your HVAC system, put a dense filtering material like cheesecloth over bedroom vents, per the AAFA. (Here’s how to improve the air quality of your bedroom.)
7. Don’t forget the fans
Got fans? They need cleaning too. For ceiling fans, place an old pillowcase over the blades. Grab the blades and push the dust into the case, Gonzalez says.
Cover the surface below the fan with a plastic tablecloth to catch falling dust. If you have box fans, then she recommends cleaning them at least twice a year.
Take the front panel and fan part out, place them in a bathtub with warm soapy water, and let them soak. If you don’t have a tub, then place the parts on a towel and spray them down with a natural cleaner.
8. Prioritize your pet’s things
When was the last time you cleaned your pet’s bed? Blanket? Toys? Or even his or her collar? Add these to your list of things to wash regularly.
And whenever you’re vacuuming the bedroom, do your pet’s bed too. (Learn about the
Saatva comfort & luxury, designed just for our furry friends
9. Groom your animals
The AAFA recommends giving your animals a weekly bath to reduce allergens. Yet because some animals may develop skin issues if the baths are too frequent, ask your veterinarian how often your pet can be washed.
Also, brush them daily if possible to remove loose hair. Confession? One of my dogs has body handling issues and hasn’t been bathed or brushed since I adopted him two years ago, and I’ve never bathed my cat.
Instead, I use Leo’s Paw’s Cat Hair Removal Massaging Shell Comb to brush my cat almost daily—and I run my hands through my dog’s coat, which he tolerates, whenever he’s outside to let the fur fly.
Find the perfect pet bed for your furry friend
How do you clean a room with pets?
Start by making sure you have the right equipment, especially a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Then follow the above strategies.
How do I keep my bedroom clean with my cat?
The steps are basically the same as if you had a dog—although I wipe my bed down more frequently. And of course, cats have hairballs, which require immediate cleaning.
How do you clean your whole house when it’s dirty with pets?
The job will feel endless. Yet instead of trying to eliminate all of that from your home, focus on reducing those things as much as possible, Holevich says. Consider easy cleaning solutions too, like putting washable pet coverings on couches and other furniture where hair and dander might cling.
How often should you clean your house with pets?
Consistency is key—and while there aren’t guidelines for how often you should clean your house, doing little things every day like picking up dust bunnies and wiping pet hair off furniture can help. Run your vacuum at least weekly, even daily if necessary.
Does your bedroom have a funky odor? We’ve rounded up the best ways to keep your bedroom smelling fresh.