Eliminate Pet Odor for Good: A Complete How-To Guide

If you are a pet owner, you are no stranger to that pesky pet smell which can be vomit, dander, feces, or urine. As much as you love your pet, you surely don’t want the pet odors lingering in your home. Keeping the house clean and free of smells is just basic hygiene.

Understanding how to remove pet odors is essential for any homeowner or renter to know. Here are a few tips on removing pet odor, whether it’s a dog or cat.

What Causes Pet Odor?

Your house smelling like a dog or cat’s piss isn’t desirable. Knowing what causes the pet smell can help when you put your head to get rid of the odor for good. 

Pet odors are caused by yeast and bacteria that populate damp and dark areas in your four-legged best friend’s body. Even healthy pets have bacteria on them, but it can be because of health-related issues if it’s an overwhelming smell.

Dogs’ scent is a part of their identity. They put their stinky saliva on everything from the bed to their toys to your neck and face. Moreover, dogs have waxy ear buildup and oily skin, which is a lot of body odor.

Sometimes, these pet odors become intense and transfer onto places in your house, for example, pet urine on carpets, paws on hard floors, and pet toys on the sheets or couch.

Another important thing to understand for pet owners is that they sweat through their hair follicles and paws, making them smell everything they touch. So, you can set boundaries in your house where your pet can and cannot go. 

Pets can also bring smells from the outdoors. Particles of feces or something smelly can cling to their fur from outdoors, which they will bring home.

How to Get Rid of Pet Odor

Wash Pet’s Bed

If your furry friend has a bed or a dedicated place where it enjoys snuggling, that place could be a source of the constant smell in your house. Pet beds carry saliva, dander, hair, dirt, urine, and whatnot. 

You can wash the bed cover and throw it in the washing machine for thorough washing. See how you can clean your pet’s entire bed following the manufacturer’s directions.

Clean Pet Toys and Other Items

Pets have luggage containing things like toys, pillows, collars, and bowls, as further explored in using Swiffer on vinyl plank flooring. You must clean these items now and then. Some items can be washed in the washing machine, and others can be washed by hand, such as bowls and toys. 

To remove pet odors from these items, you can mix baking soda and white vinegar. You can put this mixture in the washing machine or spray it onto non-machine washable items.

Enzymatic Cleaner for Problem Areas

Enzymatic cleaners are a must-have for pet owners, similar to the tools described in cleaning landscape rocks guide. They contain potent enzymes which help get rid of stains. They can be used to clean any surface, including carpets and couches. Enzymatic cleaners can clean urine on carpets and remove the smell. They are perfect for cleaning problematic stains and removing smells that don’t disappear easily.

First, figure out the smell’s source and then use an enzymatic cleanser to clean and remove it.

Bathe Your Pet

Washing and bathing your pet is the best way to keep your pet clean and smell-free. It helps get rid of dander and dirt that hides in your pet’s fur.

It is recommended that you should wash and dry your dog at least once a month. You shouldn’t go longer than three months without bathing your dog.

If you have a cat, you might think that its fur-licking habits are enough to keep it clean, but it’s not quite true, similar to the maintenance needs discussed in hand-scraped vs smooth hardwood floors. Cat’s self-licking still leaves some dirt behind. Cats do not require bathing as much as dogs do, but still, you have to bathe them once in 4-6 weeks. Other factors, like a pet’s health and living conditions, can affect how often you must bathe your pet.

Get An Air Purifier

Air purifiers improve air quality by removing harmful dirt, dust, and debris. Naturally, the air where there is a pet contains small particles with a smell. 

An air purifier is a must-have for pet owners and non-pet owners who want to eliminate the smells from a previous pet-owner renter or homeowner.

There are air purifiers that are specifically designed to get rid of smell-causing pet matter. 

Vacuum Clean Rugs and Couches

Vacuuming regularly keeps your floors and surfaces clean and air quality better, as also mentioned in best vacuums for pet hair. It removes pet hair, dirt, and dander from the rugs, carpets, and hard surfaces. 

To vacuum surfaces well, go over areas from different angles multiple times for the best results. 

Pet owners should choose a vacuum that comes with a HEPA-certified filter. These vacuum cleaners can eliminate up to 99.97% of allergens, including home dirt and bacteria that contribute to smell.

Replace the filter in your vacuum cleaner every 3-6 months to improve its performance.

Use Air Fresheners and Scents Consistently

When it comes to keeping your house clean and smelling great, you cannot ignore air fresheners and scents. Air fresheners and scented candles are designed to eliminate pet odor, such as Febreze: Fabric Pet Odor Eliminators. 

You can also use other odor-neutralizing sprays. Keeping essential oil diffusers and scented candles in the room where your pet spends most of its time helps too.

Steam Cleaning Rugs and Carpets

Steam cleaning removes dirt, dust, and pet stains from hard-to-clean surfaces such as carpets and rugs. If you don’t do steam cleaning yourself, you can get it done by a company specializing in it.

Sometimes when you steam clean your carpets with chemicals, the change of carpet odor may confuse your pet, and it will mark territory all over again. You can prevent it by using chemicals with smells that are familiar to your dog or try scent-free options.

Mop Hard Floors

Hard floors may look smooth, but they collect dirt, dust, pet hair, and other undesirable particles. Regularly sweeping the floors with a simple mop or Swiffer is crucial.

Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet products make the job a lot easier. They can reach those hard-to-get places where a pet’s hair might get stuck. Their specially designed fibers lock dust mite matter, dog dander, and other allergens to clean the area.

Mopping sanitizes your floors and cleans dust and dirt brought from outside with pet’s paws and shoes.

Allow Ventilation and Fresh Air Flow in Rooms

Closed doors and windows can trap the smells inside your home, making them intense over time. If you open the windows, it allows the flow of fresh air in the rooms, which dilutes and takes away the pet’s odor.

If you are going out, you can leave some windows open with a window screen, so you don’t come home to the stench and stuffed air.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Pet Clean

Remove Pet Odors With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a universal odor eliminator. If you can’t figure out where the dog smell is coming from, putting baking soda close by helps reduce it while you find the source and clean it properly.

To clean pet stains and urine spots for a thorough cleaning, you can prepare a spray solution by mixing baking soda and white vinegar. This solution works best on the surfaces and fabrics such as carpets, curtains, dog beds, etc.

You can put a pinch of apple cider vinegar in the laundry detergent when washing linens, bedding, slipcovers, duvets, or towels.

Citrus & Hydrogen Peroxide

Citrus and hydrogen peroxide is an all-purpose cleansers. Using a cloth, you can use this solution to clean pet items, toys, litter boxes, and other stuff.

To prepare the solution add 2 cups of water, ¼ lemon juice, and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide cleans deeply as needed, and the lemon ingredient adds a great citrus scent.

Clean Pet’s Paws Before it Enters the Home

Pets bring a lot more than dirt from outside into your house. If you have a dog, cleaning their paws when they enter the home from the outside is a great practice. This will remove dirt, sweat, and other unwanted stuff from their paws.

One of the best tools to clean a pet’s paws is Dexmas Mudbuster. It is a great reliable helper for cleaning your dog’s paws.

Use UV Blacklight to Spot Stained Areas

UV blacklight can help you find stains that cannot be seen in normal light.

To find stains with UV blacklight, turn off the lights in the house and block sunlight from windows and doors, and then shine the UV blacklight on the floors, furniture, countertops, and other areas to find the stains. 

Urine stains will glow green or yellow in black light. Once you have spotted the stains, you can scour them using one of the above solutions.

Cleaning Furniture

Clean upholstered furniture covers in the laundry and removes curious mystery stains using baking soda solution. If your furniture doesn’t have removable covers, you can dust hair and dander off with a soft-bristled brush and then wipe it with a damp cloth.

If you have leather furniture, you can wipe it with a solution of vinegar and water but make sure you do not oversaturate the fabric.

Hire Cleaning Experts

Cleaning professionals are well aware of the details and problems of cleaning homes.

They have specialized tools for different cleaning jobs, and they work to make your home squeaky clean and smell great.

Cleaning Cat Vomit

Cat vomit is never pleasant, but it is best to clean cat puke immediately as it can leave a stain if you don’t clean it soon.

Use a spoon, dry paper towel, or knife to clean the puke from the carpet. When cleaning it, be careful not to press it into the carpet. To remove the stain, spray the area with water and clean it with a dry paper towel.

You can use an enzyme-based cleaner following the product’s instructions to break down the proteins that can leave a permanent mark on the fabric.

Removing the Smell of Cat Pee

Cat pee is concentrated, due to which it is super stinky. Urine is acidic but becomes alkaline, and ammonium salts create residue. This means it gets stinkier if it is left to sit longer.

An enzymatic solution is a great way to remove the cat pee smell. Consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to clean older spots from the carpets.

Cleaning Dried Dog Urine

A wet vac works best to clean dried dog pee. It is an essential tool for every pet owner. First, saturate the stain using a wet vac and suck up the dirty water to clean dried dogs’ pee. Then neutralize the dog odor with any pet odor neutralizer following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Avoid using vinegar or ammonia to remove pet odor. Though vinegar and ammonia have natural cleaning capabilities, they will confuse your pet and entice it to mark the area.

Cleaning Wet Dog Urine

Wet dog pee is dealt with different removal techniques than the ones with dry pee. These techniques can also be used for removing cat pee.

First, place dry paper towels over the pee to soak it up, then cover it with a clean towel. If the pet has peed on the rug, you can start by placing a towel under the urine spot. Use an old rag and press it into the spot to absorb as much liquid as possible.

Once the paper towels have soaked the pee, rinse it with hot water and then use a wet vac or towels to soak up the area. When the stain gets dry, vacuum to clean it. 

For added freshness, sprinkle baking soda, leave it for 15-20 minutes, and vacuum it.