Helpful Cleaning Tip: Baking Soda and Bleach

Spending money on expensive cleaners to keep cat litter boxes fresh doesn’t make any sense when you can solve the problem with bleach and baking soda.

I have three cats and in the area of the country where I live they don’t go outside much during the winter, so I have to try and keep the litter boxes smelling clean and fresh. The key to doing this is to use baking soda and bleach.

Litter Boxes

I used to go through the same routine. Day after day, I had to scoop and clean the litter boxes to keep them smelling fresh and even then there was still the vague smell of cat urine. As anyone with cats knows, this is a difficult smell to get out of the air once it’s there. I didn’t notice it, but anyone visiting did and it was embarrassing. So, I had to come up with a remedy.

Keeping it Fresh: The Materials

Now, I do three things to keep a fresh smelling house and cat litter box. The steps are relatively simple and the supplies are things you usually have around the house. You will need:

  1. Pine cat litter made from sawdust rather than either reused paper cat litter or clay litters. Clay and paper litters have a tendency to retain the smell of urine regardless of what you do. Some cats take time to get used to pine cat litter, as the feel is different on their feet. You may wish to train them to use it first before you try this method.
  2. Baking soda.
  3. Regular or scented bleach

The Process

First you need to take all of the used cat litter out of the cat box, simply put all of the used cat litter in a plastic bag, tie it off and throw it away.

Once the cat box is empty, take the box to the tub or sink and wash it thoroughly with about a quarter cup of bleach. This will eliminate the odor and also rid the cat box of any germs. DO NOT USE vinegar. Cats do not like the smell of vinegar as it reminds them of urine and they will be less likely to use the box afterward.

Let the cat box dry thoroughly. It is better to let it air dry as this gets rid of some of the bleach smell, but drying it with a towel is fine too. Once the box is dry add about a half inch of pine cat litter to the cat box. Sprinkle a fine layer of baking soda on top of the cat litter in the box and then add another inch or so of pine cat litter.

I would suggest that you stir the cat litter/baking soda mixture a little bit. My cats didn’t take to it right away with just the layers. Once I mixed it together though, they didn’t mind at all.

Fresh Box, Fresh House

No more scooping will be necessary. Now you have a small amount of cat litter that you can get rid of every couple or three days simply by dumping it into a plastic bag and throwing it away. You don’t need to go through the whole cleaning process with bleach every time after the first time, but I would recommend you do it every other time or so.

Now you are well on your way to having a fresher cat box and a fresher house!!!

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Published in: Pets

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