Pets bring fun and love to your home, but unfortunately, they bring a lot of bad odors, too. Litter box odors, urine, and doggie body odor are some of the strong smells that can take over your house if you don't work to keep them under control. Here are a few things you can do to keep your home smelling clean.
Eliminate Rather Than Mask Odors
Scented air fresheners cover up pet odors, but they don't eliminate them. In fact, the mixture of urine and flowery air freshener can make your home smell worse than ever. Plus, if you don't get rid of the source of the urine smell, your dog or cat may continue to use the same space to urinate in the future. Therefore, when you buy products to make your home smell better, be sure to purchase odor eliminators or odor neutralizers rather than scented sprays.
You can even make your own odor neutralizing spray with vinegar and baking soda. Pour one tablespoon of vinegar into an empty spray bottle and add one teaspoon of baking soda. The mixture will fizz for a bit. Once the fizzing stops, fill the spray bottle with water, and you'll have an odor eliminating spray you can use on your carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics. Baking soda is an effective odor neutralizer, and you can use it in your cat's litter box and around your dog's bedding as well.
Use An Enzyme Cleaner
The best way to get rid of urine odor is with an enzyme cleaner. The enzymes break apart the proteins in urine. Other cleansers may clean up the stain, but the proteins and odor can linger. Even if you can't smell it, your pet probably can. The first step is to blot up the urine so the floor or carpet is dry. Then clean the area with the enzyme product according to instructions on the label. You may need to let the cleaner work on carpet for several minutes before you blot it up.
If you're not sure if your pet urinates on the floor while you're away, buy a black light at a pet store and turn it on when your house lights are off. All the old urine stains will glow, making them easy to find. If you've used other chemical cleaners on your carpet in the past, you may have to clean your carpet before you use an enzyme cleaner. That's because the enzymes will attack the old cleaning solution and not be able to reach the urine proteins.
If you clean your carpet yourself, rent a water extraction machine and use it with only water. Don't use a steam cleaner, as this will bind the urine to the carpet fibers. If the black light test reveals a lot of old urine stains, the best option may be to hire a professional carpet cleaner to get rid of the old stains that are harboring odors.
Wash Bedding And Toys Regularly
If your dog or cat has a favorite place to sleep, such as a pet bed, then you should wash it often to get rid of pet body odor. You may need an additional wash when your pet comes indoors wet, since wet dogs have a strong odor. In addition, wash your dog's toys, too, since tennis balls and other fabric-covered toys retain saliva saturated with bad breath odors.
If you allow your pets to lounge on the couch and other furniture, you may want to cover it with a protective slipcover that keeps dander, odors, and pet messes from seeping into the upholstery. When guests come over, you can remove the slipcovers, and the furniture underneath will be clean and fresh.
It's easier to keep pet odor under control if you clean up messes as soon as they happen and keep your floor and pet bedding clean. Urine in particular can cause big problems if your dog or cat makes messes often enough for urine to seep deep into hardware flooring or saturate the carpet down to the pad. You might actually have to replace part of your flooring if that happens.
Still struggling with pet odors? Contact a professional cleaning team, like that at Chem Dry Springfield.