Last year, the Animal Poison Control Center observed an increase in their call volume, and about 8.3% of these calls were due to cleaning products and paint, making this category one of the Top Pet Toxins of 2021.
Yes, that’s right.
You can never be too sure about some household items, even the ones that you use to make your home clean, if you are a pet owner.
With that said, you probably are looking at the label of your cleaning products now. Do you use Swiffer?
Wondering if it is safe around your dog?
Or maybe it’s about time to look for an alternative? You will find the answers below.
What is Swiffer and what is their best-selling multi surface cleaner?
Swiffer is an American brand of cleaning products that was introduced by Procter and Gamble in 1999. You can use this line of product for mopping, sweeping, and dusting, plus you can utilize it to clean virtually every home surface.
Their best-sellers include:
The Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Cloth Multi Surface Refills
Swiffer WetJet Multi-Purpose Floor Cleaner Solution
The Swiffer Dusters Surface Refills.
A lot of consumers also rave about:
- The Swiffer Dusters heavy Duty Starter Kit
- Swiffer WetJet Hardwood Floor Spray Mop Starter Kit, The Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Dry and
- Wet Multi Surface Floor Sweeping and Mopping Starter Kit.
What are the active ingredients in Swiffer’s multi surface cleaner?
The Swiffer Wet Jet Solution contains the following ingredients:
· Purified Water
· Ethyl Alcohol
· Alkyl Polyglucoside
· Polypropylene Glycol N-Butyl Ether
· Chlorhexidine Diacetate
· Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride
· Silicone Emulsion
Some of these chemicals are non-toxic, while some are low in toxicity.
What are the most dangerous ingredients used in some cleaners?
Watching the advertisements of the different cleaning products on TV, it could be really tempting to just buy them all. But you must keep in mind that the ability of most of these products to keep your home sparkling clean and germ-free also comes with risks. If you take a closer look at what they contain, you will realize that there may be toxins lurking in your favorite cleaning product.
Here are some of the hidden toxins that may be found in a cleaning solution:
· Sodium Hydroxide
· Quarternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATS)
· Percholoethylene (PERC)
These ingredients can pose health risks not only to your family but also to your pets.
How much water should you use with Swiffer or how diluted should it be?
The Swiffer WetJet Multi-Purpose Floor Cleaner Solution is already pre-mixed, which means that there is no need for you to dilute it. You can readily use it to clean your home.
Will my dog be harmed if it eats Swiffer’s cleaning solution?
We mentioned earlier that the active ingredients of this particular cleaning solution are either non-toxic or have low toxicity levels, so the short answer is, NO. If your dog walks on your freshly cleaned floor and has picked up traces of the cleaner and licked its paws, that’s something that you won’t have to worry about unless it guzzles a bowl of the cleaner. Worst case scenario is your pet would end up with an upset stomach. The best thing that you can do to prevent this from happening is to keep the product away from your dog.
Is it true that Swiffer contains antifreeze?
The rumors about the Swiffer cleaner containing antifreeze are definitely not true. In 2004, the controversial social media post about a dog dying due to liver failure after ingesting the said cleaning product was nothing but a made-up story.
If you look at the ingredients of the product that we listed above, none of them is antifreeze nor “one-molecule away” from antifreeze. In fact, a larger portion of the Swiffer cleaning agent is water. It is quite safe to use around dogs and other pets for that matter as long as it is utilized the right way. You just need to follow the directions.
What are the symptoms of a dog ingesting a cleaning product?
If you notice your dog having trouble breathing, drooling or its mouth is foaming, vomiting, having diarrhea, showing signs of lethargy, having seizures or muscle spasms, collapsing, having abnormal body temperature, having sores, burns, or unusual color in its gums, swelling, or perhaps showing changes in behavior, it was probably exposed to toxins. These are all symptoms that may appear when a dog ingested a cleaning product that contains harsh chemicals.
What should you do if your dog has ingested something toxic?
If you think that your puppy has ingested something toxic, the very first thing that you should do is to stay calm. Sure, things like this could be really worrisome and stressful, but it is essential that you keep your cool so that you can focus on helping your pet.
Whatever it is that your dog has gotten in contact with, you have to keep it away from its reach. Next would be to assess your furry companion. Is it breathing rapidly? Is it vomiting or showing any signs of lethargy? Call your vet immediately. You may be advised to induce vomiting by using hydrogen peroxide. But remember to do this only when recommended by a professional.
Another helpful thing that could do is to bathe your dog if you suspect that the toxin got on his fur. But if the signs are severe, there is no better thing to do than to take the dog to the nearest veterinary clinic.
Does mopping with Swiffer kill dog fleas?
Although there are no studies that support the use of Swiffer’s very own cleaning solution to kill dog fleas, there is still something that you can do. Try making your own solution by mixing baking soda with water. Water and vinegar is an excellent combination as well. You can add lemon juice too.
Using Swiffer’s vacuum cleaner could be of help in getting rid of dog fleas also.
What other multi cleaners are safe with dogs?
Swiffer cleaning solution is safe with dogs in general. But if it so happen that the store runs out of this product, and you need a cleaner really bad, here are other safe options:
· Puracy Surface Cleaner
This product contains hydrogen peroxide, which is quite useful in killing viruses and bacteria on multiple surfaces, including metal, plastic, and gas. It is unscented as well so you can rest assured that it is less likely to cause allergic reactions or respiratory issues.
· Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner
Whatever type of floor you have – be it hardwood, concrete, sealed stone or even tiles – , this pet-friendly floor cleaner would be a good option.
· ECOs Parsley All-Purpose Cleaner
Working across surfaces couldn’t be easier if you utilize this all-purpose cleaner. Aside from it being very safe around pets, it is environmentally friendly too since it is carbon and water-neutral, not to mention that it is manufactured in zero-waste facilities.
· Eco-Me Natural Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
Deep cleans, residue-free, free from harsh chemicals, safe and effective formula – that’s exactly what you can expect when using this multi-surface floor cleaner. It is safe for you and your family, including your beloved pets.
· Better Life Floor Cleaner
This powerful floor cleaner contains plant-based cleaning agents. It does not contain synthetic fragrances either so you can be sure that it won’t hurt your dog.
Are there any natural products that make great dog safe multi surface cleaners?
Although there are many commercial multi-surface cleaners out there that are safe with pets, you also have the option to make your own cleaning solutions at home.
Here are DIY solutions as well as natural products that are dog-safe:
· Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is considered a bleaching agent, but it is mild, plus it is oxygen-based. When peroxide breaks down, it turns into water and oxygen. There are no residual toxins that can potentially harm your dog.
· Lemon Juice
This right here is a very powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. You can mix it with vinegar to boost its acid content, making it more effective in cleaning surfaces.
Vinegar is another excellent cleanser, thanks to its acetic acid content. You can utilize apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar, both of which are safe around dogs since they are edible.
· Baking Soda
When it comes to absorbing and neutralizing odors, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate would be your best bet. You can also use it to scrub your sink and countertops or even your tile floors. Mixing it with vinegar would give you a great cleaner.
Compared to the other multi-surface cleaners on the market, Swiffer products have milder ingredients, making it very safe around dogs. Therefore, if this is your favorite brand and you are a dog owner, there is no need to switch. As long as you use it according to the instructions, you can ensure your pet’s safety and also that of your family.
Bottomline, you should be careful when choosing a cleaning product. Always read the labels and opt for one that contains natural ingredients.
¹ Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr