We love our pets, but that doesn't mean we need to love the smells they leave behind. A house or apartment that smells like pets can not only lead to embarrassment, but can also be harder to sell or rent.
Don't worry though, these tips will help you eliminate pet odors and return your home to smelling fresh once again!
Start with the source of the pet odor
As with any odor, the first step should be to remove the source. In the case of pet odors, this means fur, dander, mud, and possibly urine and feces. Even homes that are kept very clean are likely to hide accumulations of pet fur and dander (doesn't it seem to get everwhere??). Start by vacuuming furniture, cushions, and pillows, and then work to the floor being sure to vacuum baseboards, window sills, and under furniture as well. Hot water baseboard heaters, HVAC vents, and radiators can also collect pet fur and dander, so be sure to thoroughly vacuum these areas as well.
Thoroughly clean areas where "accidents" have occurred
While these areas were probably cleaned right away, they can still harbor smells. Use an enzymatic cleaner to thoroughly clean areas where your pet has had accidents, and be sure to allow it to sit (most products recommend 30 minutes) so that it can soak in and effectively neutralize odors. As with any cleaning product, it is always recommended to first test in an inconspicuous area. Please see more tips about Removing Cat Stains and Odors.
Clean the carpets
Carpets can hide a lot of odors, so a thorough cleaning can have a huge impact. For light odors, a dusting of baking soda or powdered shampoo cleaners may do the trick. Sprinkle the baking soda or powdered shampoo over the entire carpet, let sit for at least 30 minutes, then vacuum thoroughly. Multiple applications may be necessary depending on severity.
Stronger odors, or cases where your pet has had an accident on the carpet, may require wet shampooing. Whether using a carpet cleaning service or a rented machine, ensure that the entire carpeted area (including under furniture) is thoroughly cleaned. After the carpet has dried completely, vacuum thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning solution or lingering dander.
Clean the furniture
Furniture, particularly your pet's favorite chair, can hide all sorts of smells. Be sure to check the care instructions for that particular piece of furniture and to test any cleaning products on an inconspicuous area first.
For dry clean only furniture: In cases where the piece of furniture is dry clean only (usually marked with an "X" or "S" on the Care Label), baking soda and powdered shampoos are your best friend. Sprinkle your desired product over the entire unit and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly and repeat as necessary.
For wet clean only furniture: Where wet cleaning is an option, warm water and detergent may be an option. Add a little detergent to a bucket of warm water and use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the furniture. Using a lightly damp cloth, remove any excess, and allow the furniture to air dry.
For leather and leather-like furniture: These items are much more delicate, but odors are also less likely to penetrate deep into the fabric. You can either mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, or select a specialty cleaner for leather or leather-like furniture. Using a damp (not wet) cloth, wipe down the entire piece of furniture and allow to air dry.
For hard furniture: Hard furniture may seem like the easiest to clean, but it may present its own problems. Pet stains, particularly urine and feces, can penetrate the finish and soak into the wood itself. If staining is not visible, a standard detergent or wood cleaner should do (being careful not to remove the finish). Here are some additional tips on How to Remove Stains from Hardwood.
Clean your pet's bed
This may seem like common sense, but it is often overlooked. While most beds are machine-washable, not all are, so be sure to check the care instructions before proceeding. Beds and covers that are machine-washable should be able to run on a regular or gentle cycle and low heat. A little apple cider vinegar added to the cycle can eliminate stubborn odors.
Pet beds that are not machine-washable can be cleaned by dusting with baking soda, allowing to sit for 30 minutes, and vacuuming off.
Clean your pet's toys
Whether it's his favorite bouncy ball or her stuffed rabbit, these things can get smelly! Lucky for all of the pet owners out there, most of these toys are intended to be easy to clean. Fabric toys such as stuffed animals and ropes are generally machine-washable (be sure to check care instructions). Hard toys on the other hand, can be cleaned in the sink with soap and water. While you're pet likely won't be happy about it, they'll have a clean toy in no time!
We hope you found this information helpful. Though our pets add a lot to our lives, odors don't have to be one of them!
As always, should you have any need for our services, please do not hesitate to Contact Us!
"We're Here for You" ®
Interested in older news stories? Please see our Archive.