Removing Pet Odors

Ideas on how to remove the different types of odor your pet may leave behind.

Whether the odor is in the carpet, furniture, bedding or clothing pet odors are unpleasant and should not be tolerated. If the cause of the odor has recently been lost or removed from the house then eliminating the odor for good will not be a problem. If the pet is still living within the home then it will need to be trained not to get up on the furniture and to defecate and urinate in the appropriate areas. Unless the pet is properly trained permanent removal of the unpleasant pet odors will be impossible.

Three things that you should avoid when trying to remove pet odors are steam cleaners, harsh chemicals and ammonia based cleaners. Using a steam cleaner will permanently set the odor in the carpet or upholstery; because of the heat in the steam, the odor will bind to the fibers. Harsh chemical cleaners could possibly ruin the fabric that you are trying to remove the odor from and it will have no affect on removing the salts left behind from dry urine. Ammonia based cleaners will resemble the smell of pet urine and could possibly encourage the pet to leave behind more odor in its place.

Spraying the house down with apple vinegar or white vinegar will discourage your pet from urinating or spraying in the house and will help in neutralizing any current pet odors. If the pet odor is on clothing or bedding wash it according to the instructions on the article, but include a pound of baking soda mixed in with the usual amount of laundry detergent used for a large load. Line or air dry these articles then wash again as you regularly would, dry them and put them out of the pets reach.

If the pet odor is mainly on the furniture and carpet sprinkle the areas with baking soda and let it sit over night then vacuum. If you have noticed that, the pet odor has affected your vacuum cleaner place a fabric softener sheet by the exhaust vent to help it smell fresh again. If the odor in your carpet is old and has seeped through to the floorboards underneath then you may want to replace the carpet completely. Before laying the new carpet down mop the floor and paint it with a latex primer. Once the paint has dried lay the new carpet down and keep the offending pet out of that room if possible to avoid any future odors from attaching to the new carpet.

If you happen to catch your pet in the process of or shortly after urinating, defecating or vomiting on the carpet immediately scoop up and dispose of as much solid waste material as possible. Place several layers of paper towels and newspapers over the wet area and apply pressure until all of the excess moisture is pulled out of the carpet. When the carpet feels almost dry, spray it with plain water then spray the area with an enzyme product. Enzymatic cleaners can be found online or at a janitorial supply store. You will want to keep the area wet while the enzymes are at work otherwise they will die. Enzymes are bacteria that destroy the odor causing bacteria contained within the pet's urine. Once the area has been cleaned according to the instructions contained on the enzymatic cleaner's container a wet vac can be used to remove all of the excess water left in the carpet. No odor should be left after using this process if the cause of the odor was removed promptly.

If you do not catch your pet urinating right away, you may need to pull up the carpet and wipe up the floor underneath. The back of the carpet should be cleaned as well with an enzyme or oxygen based cleaner to remove the salt left behind after the urine dries. Never let the pet watch you clean up the mess because the pet will think it is a game and continue to use the floor or furniture as its bathroom.

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