When I became a dog mom nine years ago, I was nowhere near prepared for the amount of pee, poop, ticks, and other stuff I would have to clean up. I also naively expected that my dog would never embarrass me by peeing on other people’s floors, much less on my lap in the middle of a crowded Brooklyn subway car. Do not misunderstand me — Uli, my gray poodle, is a good dog. But she is a dog nevertheless, and accidents happen. Which is why soon after I got her my mother bought two bottles of Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover, one for me and “one to keep at grandma’s house” — her words.
For around eight years I used the enzymatic spray whenever Uli or a friend’s dog had an accident. I never purchased another brand because Nature’s Miracle works really well. It’s made using a mix of good bacteria and enzymes that eat any remaining fluids left after you wipe up the majority of your dog’s mess. This level of thoroughness, I came to find out, is especially important when cleaning pee out of textiles because trace amounts of urine and odor can hide in the crevices. If you don’t quickly and fully get rid of every last pee particle, your pet will return to the spot and use it with the gusto of a cartoon dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
Then this winter, at a dinner party, I noticed my friend and host pull out a bottle of Nature’s Miracle to spot treat a linen napkin splattered with her signature veggie Bolognese. Just minutes after explaining that she’s obsessed with the spray and uses it for everything from furniture to sweat stains, the sauce spot on her napkin was gone. After that, I adopted her method of removing and pretreating stains. The stains I have vanquished so far include chocolate from a dip cone on a white tee, coffee splatter, dried blood, and a mystery stain that came with the yellow couch I inherited from my grandmother. In all of these cases, I simply spray a generous amount of Natural’s Miracle on the stain and let it sit — for older stains I’ll reapply. After letting the spray go to work on my couch for several hours I returned to find the stain had completely disappeared, leaving that part of the upholstery immaculate without looking bleached or overworked as can happen with harsher products. Though my list of conquests is still a work in progress (red wine has yet to enter the picture), I have faith it can handle anything I can spill.
More Strat-approved natural stain removers
Bon Ami was recommended by two of the cleaning experts we spoke to for our roundup of the best natural cleaning supplies. Saudia Davis of Best of New York GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning and Cindy DiPrima of CAP Beauty use it as a scrubbing powder when they need something stronger than baking soda. “I use Bon Ami, which has been around forever, and has a very simple ingredient deck,” DiPrima says.
For that same story we spoke to Danny Seo who hosts his own show on NBC called Naturally, Danny Seo. He recommends Mrs. Meyer’s surface spray for its cleaning power and its addictive scent. “It doesn’t just smell amazing, it gets surfaces throughout the whole house really clean. Plus it’s made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, so it’s gentle and won’t irritate skin.”
Abe Navas, the general manager of Emily’s Maids, a natural home-cleaning service in Dallas, says that going green also includes limiting the amount of packaging you use. Navas says, “After you buy the bottle you can restock on refill packs at any time.”