Few things are worse than returning home to the unpleasant smell of… dog? Cat litter box? Hamster cage? Do not fret. Here, we have a comprehensive guide to eliminating pet odors from your home.
Preventing Pet Odors in Your Carpets and Furniture
Nothing holds a doggy smell like fabric. The best way to keep your carpets and furniture from holding onto Fido’s funk is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are our top prevention tips:
- Never let your wet dog on the carpet or furniture. You know they love to rub down after a bath, but don’t allow them in a carpeted room or on the couch until they’re completely dry. If you’ve come in from a wet walk, dry off with an old towel at the door. Use a blow dryer if you have to.
- Purchase a vacuum with a washable filter and wash the filter after each use. Keep a supply of extra filters, so you always have a clean one handy. Also, vacuum furniture and carpets at least once a week. If possible, remove the cushions from the couch and vacuum underneath and in all crevices.
- Use a slipcover. If your furry friend must lounge on the couch or has claimed the recliner as their own, use a washable slipcover to keep hair and dander off the furniture. Once a week, shake it vigorously outside and wash it in hot water.
Removing Pet Odors from Carpet
If you have a puppy or senior pet, accidents will happen. In that event, it’s essential to remove the waste, and accompanying odor, as soon as possible.
Use paper towels or newspaper to soak up as much of the urine as possible. Step on and apply pressure to the paper to soak up even more. If possible, place an old (but clean) towel under a rug, too. Odors like to linger in carpets, though. Here are a few ways to make sure you thoroughly remove it.
An all-natural odor neutralizer, baking soda helps remove pet odors from carpeting. Sprinkle a liberal amount on the affected area and let it sit overnight to do its magic. Thoroughly vacuum to remove.
Dry carpet cleaner
If you have newer carpet, the manufacturer may discourage using baking soda on it. In that case, consider a dry carpet cleaner. A granular product with a sawdust-like consistency, it works its way into the carpet fibers to absorb spills, odors, and stains. Since it’s dry, you don’t have to stay off the floor, and once it’s done its magic, you vacuum. Host Dry Carpet Cleaner is safe for wool, sisal, and oriental rugs.
Spray odor neutralizers
Once you’ve soaked up as much of the urine as possible, apply a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. A few highly rated options include:
- Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
- Resolve Urine Destroyer
- Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
Get Pet Odors Out of Furniture
If, despite all your preventative measures, you still smell Fifi on the couch, follow these odor-busting steps.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions, wash everything washable, including throw pillows.
- Apply a pet odor neutralizer (see list above).
- Give cushions an airing. Take them outside and let them sit in the sun for the afternoon.
- If all else fails, have your furniture professionally cleaned.
Pro tip: Always clean urine-soaked fabric with cool water. And whatever you do, avoid using steam. The heat sets odors and stains by bonding the proteins in the urine to the fibers in the fabric.
Get an Odor-Free Litter Box
Cats pose a problem all their own, the litter box. If you use the best odor-eliminating litter that money can buy and the smell of cat still greets you at the door, here are a few tips that’ll help:
- Scoop daily. Removing the source of the odor at least once a day is the best way to combat lingering smells.
- Wearing gloves, wash the litter box every week with plain soap and water.
- If the clean box still smells, replace it with a new one.
- Add a layer of baking soda under the litter.
Keep an Odor-Free Rodent Cage
If your furry friend lives in an enclosure, your battle has a unique set of circumstances. These tips are your best defense:
- Choose an enclosure with plenty of ventilation, like a wire cage. The deep, solid walls of an aquarium prevent airflow that keeps urine dry and less smelly.
- Use absorbent litter such as wood shavings or sawdust. And don’t be stingy with it either. The deeper the layer, the happier the critters and the more odor it will absorb.
- Scoop daily. That’s right, just like the cat litter box, the daily removal of soiled litter will keep your hamster’s cage fresher longer. Because rodents tend to use one or two corners of the cage, this isn’t as hard as you think.
- Wash the cage and all toys every week in plain soap and water. Rinse thoroughly as the smell of detergent bothers small pets.
How to Keep Your Whole House Smelling Fresh
Once you have the surfaces covered, you want to do something to keep the air you breathe smelling its freshest. The simplest way to do that is to introduce fresh air. That’s right, open the windows and turn on the fans. But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, here are a few other things to consider:
- Charcoal bag: A natural ingredient, charcoal absorbs odors and odor-causing moisture. Placing a charcoal bag, like the Moso Natural, in each room is the safest way to combat the lingering smell of dog, cat, or rodent.
- Odor neutralizing spray: An odor neutralizer, like Angry Orange Odor Eliminator, does more than mask odor with another scent. Odor neutralizers contain chemical compounds which form a ring around odor-causing molecules, so they can’t activate your olfactory nerves.
- Use an air purifier: An air purifier with a HEPA filter will remove airborne pollutants that cause odors. When set to run continuously, they can purify the air in a room once every hour.
Remember, prevention is key to having a fresh-smelling home. But when accidents occur, you now have the tools to tackle their attendant odors the right way.