The Green Person's Guide ~ How To Clean Pet Feaces, Yucky Spills, And Other Mucky Things.

annie May 10, 2008 Home & Garden
There are so many safe and efficient cleaning agents around the home which are suitable for cleaning even the most yucky spills. In this article we'll see that often the best treatments for the worst muck, is a good old-fashioned scrub with agents found around the home. If we want to give it the Green treatment, this is the perfect article for you.

The Green Person's Guide ~ How To Clean Pet Faeces, Yucky Spills and Other Mucky Things.

There are so many safe and efficient cleaning agents around the home which are suitable for cleaning even the most yucky spills. In this article we'll see that often the best treatments for the worst muck, is a good old-fashioned scrub.

1. Cleaning Glue From Garments

The first thing to remember is that heat helps glue to set, so never clean up glue with hot water. Use ice cubes, a cold pack, or frozen peas to freeze the glue. Once this is done, carefully scrape off the glue, then wash garment in biological washing powder according to manufacturers instructions.

Cleaning Glue Off Wooden and Laminated Surfaces

Again, no hot water should be used. Freeze glue as before, then very carefully scrape it off before wiping down with cold water and washing powder. If you have access to WD40, this is also helpful to remove glue. Just apply to the area and leave for a couple of minutes, then carefully wipe off with a cold, damp cloth.

2. Cleaning Pet or Human Vomit Off Carpets

It's a good idea to prepare for this very mucky job before you tackle it.

You'll Need:

  • A wad of paper towels.
  • A pair of gloves and about three plastic bags placed one inside each other so as to create one layered bag.
  • A basin (not used in the kitchen) of cold water, an old sponge, and lastly, bicarbonate of soda (a must in every home).


Lift solid bits with the paper towels and place into bag, then soak up liquid residue with more paper towels. Once this is done, wash the spot with cold water and sponge. Soak up all moisture with kitchen towels and place in bag, then dispose of responsibly. Cover the entire affected area with bicarbonate of soda not only to neutralize the smell, but to absorb any remaining liquid. Leave for at least 90 minutes then vacuum.

3. Cleaning Smelly, Dirty Trainers


For The Inside:

There is a trick to keep trainers or running shoes from beginning to smell in the first place; insert insoles, especially the odourless kind (made of charcoal) into your shoes when they're new and you could have odour-free shoes. Of course you have to remember to change the insoles regularly. If you haven't already done so, it is not too late. To treat older shoes, wrap some bicarbonate of soda in a strip of gauze, insert into shoes and leave overnight. Once this is done, use odour control insoles, look for the odourless ones, as the perfumed varieties smell worse than before when the sweat is mixed in with them.

For The Outside:

Check manufacturers' guidelines before putting them in the washing machine, but this is not a good idea for regular cleaning because constant washing like this damages small parts and the shape of the shoes. If you must put them in a washing machine, make sure that they are enclosed in a washing bag. Ultimately, the safest way to clean trainers is by hand.

For Hand Washing You Will Need:

  • A hand-brush
  • An old toothbrush
  • A washing basin
  • Bio washing powder
  • Warm water
  • Stain remover
  • Small hand towel


Mix a solution of a stain remover like "Vanish" with water and pour into a bottle with a spray top. Shake well before spraying on shoes, then wipe soft plastic bits firmly with the towel. Wash off towel constantly in the bowl of warm soapy water as you proceed. Use the hand-brush to clean larger cloth and canvas parts, remembering to wash brush thoroughly as cleaning progresses.

Use the small toothbrush for small, hard-to-reach areas. Use the spray bottle on very dirty bits, as the stain remover will help to get rid of nasty stains. Brush until satisfied with results. Trainers can return to their former glory after just a few minutes of cleaning. Leave to dry in an airing cupboard, but ideally in the sunshine.

4. Cleaning The Kitchen Bin


The secret to a kitchen bin that doesn't smell is regular cleaning. Simply wash the bin weekly with a basin full of water mixed with a cap full of bleach. Air dry ideally, but if not, dry completely with an old kitchen cloth, (maybe one kept especially for this job). Always use a bin liner and empty it as soon as it's full to avoid nasty spillages around the edge of the bin.

If you prefer not to use bleach, just mix 100ml of white vinegar into a small basin of water (don't forget that if you've just used a piece of lemon, you can add the unusable skin to your solution). This mixture will work just as well for freshness.

5. Cleaning Pet and Human Faeces Off Carpet

Don't worry, the picture isn't of real poo...

You Will Need

  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A basin of warm water with biological washing powder
  • Paper towel
  • Flour or skin powder
  • An old sponge.



First of all remove solids with toilet paper and flush them down the toilet. Blot up all liquid residue and flush that down as well. Now get your basin (used especially for this kind of task) of warm water with the solution of biological washing powder, and a sponge you will discard. Wash down the spot thoroughly with this solution, then completely soak up liquid with a thick wad of paper towel.

Absorb the rest with plain cooking flour or odourless skin powder. Don't use bicarbonate of soda, as this will react badly with the smell. Vacuum, and when it is totally dry, if the area still smells, (it shouldn't) spray something like "Febreze" over the area to neutralize it.

6. Cleaning Emulsion Paint Off Garments

It is very important to act straight away with emulsion paint spills, as this is the key to getting it all off. Absorb as much of it as you can with paper towels then clean with cold, not hot water and washing powder. This is a very simple solution but by far the best way of dealing with emulsion paint. I suppose the same treatment can be used for carpet, but a lot of washing would have to be done to get rid of the spill completely.

Hand wash garment to make sure that all the paint is dissolved, then put it in the washing machine (if it's machine washable), to make sure that all the residue is completely gone.

If the spill is left to dry, this could be very difficult to get out, as paint sets once it's dry. If the garment could be soaked safely, this could be tried for old stains, but it will take several attempts of soaking and washing before the paint finally comes off altogether.

7. Getting Rid of Stale Cooking Odours in the Kitchen

It's annoying having stale smells in your kitchen, even after cleaning down every surface. Some smells, especially those of fish and frying onions, love to hang around to roost for a very long time. In order to get rid of these unpleasant smells, boil a litre of water with 200 ml of white vinegar for 10 minutes.

The particles, as the water boils, will neutralize the odours by landing on the very surfaces which the bad smells landed on in the first place. The tell tale smell of grease, smoke and droplets of stale food, will be neutralized, and a good brisk cleaning will bring everything back as good as new.

8. Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke

Sometimes it can be difficult to get cigarette smells off a particular garment. This is true especially for coats, woollen jackets and cardigans. Because not everyone can afford to dry clean, there is a cheaper yet effective way to go about this.

The Dry Way:

Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on the inside of a pillow case. Place affected garment into the case and leave overnight (if you're inclined, but if in a hurry you could always give it a gentle dry-spin in the washing machine). Shake well and hang out to air. A repeat treatment may be needed for garments severely affected.

The Wet Way:

The thing to do is to make sure that the garment is washed on it's own so that it does not contaminate the whole wash.

Check that the garment is washable, then soak it for about 5 minutes in a bucket of water with 100ml of bicarbonate of soda. After 5 minutes, rub it together gently, squeeze lightly and put in the washing machine, wash (separately) according to care tag, then air-dry naturally.

9. Cleaning Old Stickers Off Surfaces


Stickers can be very mucky and annoying to clean. Many times the price tag is so securely placed on new items, that after you buy them and bring them home, you can't get rid of that unsightly residue of sticker paste which is left after you've removed the price tag.

Pour a solution of half water and half white vinegar in a bowl and rub gently with a sponge until sticker disappears. Other useful things to get rid of stickers are WD40 and nail polish remover. As with all cleaners, check on an inconspicuous spot of the surface/furniture before you apply any mixture which is likely to affect their appearance.

10. Cleaning Up Pet and Human Urine

Those of us who have little children or pets (or both) know how easy it is to get urine on the carpet and other surfaces in the home, especially when potty training time comes around.

Some people have said to use vinegar to clean urine, but if this problem was caused by a pet, he/she will return to this very spot to pee again because the vinegar would not entirely get rid of the smell.

The cleaning process takes a very long time, so first thing to do is to arm yourself with the tools for the job.

You Will Need:

  • Several towels (or clean disposable nappies if you have access to them).
  • 3% strength hydrogen peroxide
  • Biological washing powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda.


Use towels (or nappies) to blot every bit of the urine out of the carpet. Blot until the towels come up completely dry. Now you've gotten rid of the actual urine, put towels in the washing machine.

Now to Work on the Stain

Hydrogen peroxide is the best cleaner to get rid of the stain, but you strictly must never use it ever, if you think in the slightest that it will take the colour out of your carpet. Hydrogen peroxide comes with a warning because of its bleaching properties.

Now, if you've tested an inconspicuous part of the carpet and are satisfied that it wouldn't be bleached, saturate the area with 3% strength peroxide and leave for 5 minutes. After this period, blot completely until dry. Before we get to the final section, let me say that if you think it's safer, just use a biological washing powder with warm water instead of the peroxide, this will work fine as long as you completely wash and blot up all of the pee. (You can use a vacuum instead of blotting if you wish, but you have to make sure that the surface is completely dry).

The last stage is to get rid of the smell completely. Simply sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the spot that is now completely dry, and leave on for 3 hours. Vacuum and viola, pee, stain, and smell are completely gone. Don't forget to wash all those towels separately.


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