You love your pets, but they definitely pose a challenge, especially when it comes to managing pet odors. Here’s a pet-owner’s handy guide to making those smells disappear.
Keep your pet clean. Make sure dogs are washed and groomed regularly. Don’t let their natural body odor build up. Cats groom themselves, but both cats and dogs should be brushed regularly to minimize shedding. Don’t forget to clean your dog’s ears and teeth, which will also prevent unpleasant odors.
Keep pet bedding clean. Wash pet bedding on a weekly basis. Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the wash to neutralize embedded odors.
Clean carpet and upholstery. Besides bedding, carpet is the most common place for pet odors to infiltrate, followed by fabric upholstery. Vacuum both frequently and have them professionally cleaned multiple times per year. Sprinkle baking soda on carpet prior to vacuuming to absorb odors. For best results, spread evenly with a carpet rake, then vacuum several hours later.
When choosing carpet and area rugs, short pile is better for keeping clean. Slip covers on furniture protect the upholstery and can be washed regularly.
When accidents occur, it is vital to treat them quickly. Use an enzyme-based cleaner and follow directions closely. When having carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned, alert workers to previously soiled areas for treatment.
Don’t forget to steam clean draperies periodically as well, since they absorb smells from the air in the room.
Cat litter boxes. Managing odors with a cat litter box is crucial. Cat waste, especially urine, has a noxious odor caused by naturally occurring ammonia. Make sure the box is large enough and clean the droppings daily. Routinely change the entire contents.
Other tips. Open the windows and air the house out. Keep your heating and air conditioning filters changed faithfully since they, too, will absorb and hold odors. Wash food and water bowls daily.
When selling your home. With pets in the home, a professional cleaning is worth the investment. Hire a carpet and upholstery cleaner as well.
While it’s likely impractical to board your pets for an indeterminate period of time, consider asking a friend or relative to keep them during the first few weeks when showings are most frequent. Pet bedding, toys and litter boxes should also be removed.