How to Clean Dog Poop

A poodle mix dog looking at a pile of dog poop.

Welcome back to another exciting episode of what’s the most disgusting thing you can write about! Okay, so it’s not the most disgusting thing we could write about (check out How to Clean Vomit), but it ranks up there.

My research here was empirical. I’ve had a dog most of my life (though I am currently in a love/hate relationship with a cat), so I know a little something about cleaning up dog droppings. As further proof that I’m qualified to write this article, I used my wife as a resource. It is important to know that she and her family have been raising sled dogs since time out of memory, so she knows a thing or two about scooping poop.

Cleaning Dog Poop: Hold Your Breath

  1. poop tongsThe poop scoop. There are a number of methods to extract canine feces from the affected area. My parents invested in a pair of plastic salad tongs reserved specifically for this purpose, but really any tongs you don’t want to use to prepare food will do. Also, wrapping your hand in a plastic bag and picking it up your own self can work. If you’re sensitive to textures, I don’t recommend this method. In the long run, it’s a personal preference. If the canine feces is, shall we say, a tad more liquid than solid, paper towels are the way to go. Keep a plastic bag on hand and deposit the soiled towels directly into it when you’re done. I highly suggest wearing latex or rubber gloves when doing this. Dispose of the canine feces either in the garbage or, if you can, the toilet. If you’re using paper towels, try not to flush the towel down with it.
  2. hardwood floorsCleaning dog poop residue from hardwood or tile floors. If you’re just scooping poop outside, you’re done. If not, well . . . here we are then. Okay, after you remove the majority of the canine feces from the affected area, lay down a paper towel to mark the spot so no one will accidentally step on it. If you have disinfecting wipes (Seventh Generation has a good wipe), go ahead and wipe down the affected area with one or two, then dry it off. If not, mix antibacterial soap with water, and apply with a clean rag.
  3. thin carpetCleaning dog poop residue from thin carpet. Once you’ve removed most of the canine feces from the carpet, lay a paper towel to mark the spot and warn unsuspecting victims of the danger. This time, you may wish to use a disinfectant spray (once again, Seventh Generation delivers). Spray the affected area thoroughly. Let a paper towel soak it up for a minute or two, and then press the spray into the paper towel. I recommend standing on it to get that extra, deep clean…the pressure will squeeze any last motes out.
  4. yellow caution signCleaning dog poop residue from thick carpet. Once you’ve removed the bulk of the canine feces from the shag, lay a paper towel to mark the spot. If you have or want to make a “CAUTION: POOP!” sign, indulge yourself. The thin carpet cleaning solution will work as a temporary fix, but you’ll need to shampoo the carpet sooner rather than later. You can have it done professionally (there are many environmentally friendly carpet cleaners out there), or you can do it yourself. There are some Earth friendly carpet shampoos commercially available.
  5. pile of dirty clothesCleaning dog poop residue from clothing. Hey, it happens. Remove the chunky stuff as mentioned above. Let the soiled piece of clothing soak in a mixture of water and hand soap. Take a soft cloth, wet it, and rub it over the soiled area. Once this is done, you can safely throw it into the wash. If you have prewash, go ahead and spray the area, if not, a regular wash should take care of it. I don’t recommend putting anything else in the wash with it, unless you have more clothing that was soiled in a similar fashion. If your clothes are dry clean only, take them immediately to the dry cleaners, and let those poor people deal with it.
  6. close up of dog hairCleaning dog poop residue from hair. I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me. For short hair, remove the chunky bits with a paper towel or rubber gloves. Wash your hands well, then get your butt in the shower and wash your hair thoroughly. For long hair, remove the larger bits with a paper towel or rubber gloves, then comb your fingers through your hair several times before washing your hands. Get into the shower and wash your hair a minimum of twice. Be very thorough. While you’re at it, throw in a conditioner, too. Maybe some product before you blow dry. Or curlers! You could do curlers.

This House is Clean

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Poop is poop, people. Everyone does it, so there’s no use being squeamish about it. Cleaning the stuff is about as straightforward as you can get. Also, if Fido left you a gift on the carpet, he’s trying to tell you something. Maybe he’s not getting enough attention, maybe he’s incontinent, or maybe Timmy’s in the well again. Or maybe—just maybe—he really, really had to poop. In any case it’s not his fault—it’s yours. I told you to fill in that old well, but would you listen? NO! And now Timmy is stuck down there for the tenth time this week!

Clean Dog Poop Naturally

container of seventh generation wipesSeventh Generation Disinfectant Wipes. If you haven’t heard of Seventh Generation, they’re worth checking out. It’s a great company with a great philosophy, and awe-worthy products. The disinfectant wipes are what we have at home and they are amazing. You can clean almost anything with them. They’re almost as versatile as baking soda, but far less tasty. (That last bit was a joke: Don’t eat the wipes . . . or baking soda for that matter. Gross.)

spray bottle of seventh generationSeventh Generation Multi-Surface Cleaner. I like this stuff. It works better than the more caustic and environmentally beastly products. It’s good for the environment, and it honestly smells better than its counterparts. It’s just an all around good product. You can order Seventh Generation Multi-Surface Cleaner at Amazon.

bottle of earth friendly shampooEarth Friendly Carpet Shampoo. It’s in the name, baby! Okay, to be fair, I haven’t personally used this stuff, but based on testimonials I’ve received, this is good stuff. It is all natural, safe to use, and, believe it or not, it cleans your carpets.