Home & Garden
The 10 easiest ways to get rid of pet odours
How do I get rid of pet odours in my house?As much as we love our four-legged friends, if you’re a pet owner, you are likely no stranger to the smells that come with having a furry roommate. It may be dander, vomit, urine or faeces, but regardless of where the smell originates, you definitely don’t want any sort of smells lingering in your home. Whether it’s dog odour or cat wee, we have a few tips about the art of pet odour removal.
How to clean cat vomit
It’s not pleasant, but it’s a good thing if you discover cat puke right away. Dry puke can be cleaned too, but since any cat vomit has a tendency to stain, the faster you act, the better. Remove as much vomit as you can with a dry paper towel, spoon or knife, being careful not to press the vomit further into the carpet. Spray the area with water and blot using a dry paper towel. Rotate the towel so you’re always using a dry spot – you will need to use a few to get the job done. Spray an enzyme-based cleaner on the spot to break down the proteins that cause permanent damage, always following the product’s instructions.
How to clean dry dog wee
Wondering how to get rid of that dog wee smell is an age-old question. A wet vac is an inexpensive and essential tool that will come in handy for many pet removal odours. For dried dog wee, Michelle Schenker, founder of CanineJournal.com, says to saturate the stain with a wet vac and suck up the dirty water. Next, apply a pet odour neutraliser and follow the instructions on the bottle. If your efforts don’t do the trick, try an advanced stain remover. But whatever you do, don’t use vinegar or ammonia for pet odour removal. While vinegar boosts natural cleaning abilities, the Humane Society says using vinegar and ammonia may entice your pet to mark the area.
How to clean wet dog wee
According to Schenker, wet and dry dog wee are two different beasts that require two different removal techniques. (This method works for cat wee too, and is Humane Society-approved!) Place paper towels over the urine to soak it up, then cover the paper towels with a clean towel. If it’s a rug, place a towel under the urine spot too. Press firmly into the spot with an old rag or something you don’t mind getting urine on to absorb as much liquid as possible. If the paper towels and towels are soaked, repeat the process. Once the urine has been soaked up, rinse with cool water and soak up the area again with towels or a wet vac. When the spot is dry, vacuum. Sprinkle on bi-carb soda and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes for added freshness, then vacuum again.
How to remove the smell of cat wee
Dry cat wee is super stinky because it’s concentrated. “Cats are very good at conserving water, so they don’t always drink a lot, and they often eat dry food, so they don’t get a lot of moisture through the food,” says vet Mariah Covey. Male cats that aren’t neutered also have strong smelling urine, Dr Covey says. To remove the smell, try an enzymatic solution, and follow the instructions on the bottle. For older spots, you may want to hire a professional carpet cleaner for this stubborn pet odour removal. “Urine is acidic, but it becomes alkaline and ammonium salts form in the residue it creates,” says Jeremy Strickland, general manager of Randy’s Carpet Care. “Urine spots are like icebergs – what you see on the surface may only be minor, but the urine probably saturated the padding and possibly the subfloor.” Therefore, the longer it sits, the stinkier it gets.
How to remove the smell of a kitty litter box
Whether you have a regular or self-cleaning litter box, the easiest solution is to scoop the poop and wee immediately, but unless you plan on standing guard over the litter box, that’s not likely to happen. To help minimise odours, sprinkle bi-carb soda over the litter instead of buying scented litter, as highly scented litter can be off-putting to cats, according to the Humane Society. Cats generally prefer a fine-grain litter, as it feels softer on their paws. Once a month, toss the litter and wipe down the litter box with an enzyme pet odour eliminator. Refrain from using bleach, as cats are highly sensitive to the strong odour and may refuse to use the litter box. Keep things smelling fresh continuously with an air purifier.
How to clean the pet bed
Unless you have a non-shedding pet, fur is probably covering most of the dog bed, and that’s one of the culprits for the stink. When your cat or dog perspires, the scent is emitted through their fur, so it’s essential to vacuum it up before laundering. (Animal hair sticks to wet clothing and the inside of your washing machine.) The Humane Society recommends adding half a kilo of bi-carb soda to your regular detergent for pet odour removal. Air dry if possible to avoid shrinkage. If the bed still smells, wash it again with an enzymatic cleaner to break down pet-waste odours.
How to get dog smell out of the sofa
Those snuggle times on the sofa with your fur baby are the highlight of your day, but every so often that funky smell is too strong to dismiss. Like with pet bed clean-up, you’ll need to vacuum the furniture first. Next, sprinkle the area with bi-carb soda. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then vacuum again.
How to get the smell out of the travel crate
Whether it’s mesh or plastic, your pet’s crate can develop a pungent odour. Sometimes the culprit is a dirty liner that needs a scrub down, but it could also stem from a nervous car ride to the vet. Even if your dog or cat doesn’t puke, when they’re nervous, they can release the contents from their anal sacs. Panting and sweating also contribute to odour built up in a small space like a carrier. To clean, toss any liners and blankets in the wash. Wipe down plastic carriers with an enzyme cleaner. Place soft carriers in the bathtub with warm water and the recommended amount of enzyme all-purpose cleaner, then air dry.
How to use home-made cleaning spray
This recipe for pet cleaner is easy to make with ingredients you probably have in your cupboard. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in 2 cups of warm water. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of detergent, and 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, then mix well and funnel into a spray bottle.
Always remove as much of the stain as possible first, then spray with water and blot with a dry paper towel. Next, saturate the stain with the cleaner. Sprinkle with bi-carb soda, and vacuum when the spot is dry. Since this formula has vinegar in it, it is a pet-odour removal more suited for messes not containing urine.
How to remove the pet smell from the air
So you’ve cleaned all the pet odours and used all the pet odour eliminators, but there’s still a hint of eau de pooch? What’s left in the pet odour removal arsenal? Try an ozone generator to neutralise the odours. “An air purifier uses fans to pull air into it and runs it through a filter to ‘scrub’ it before sending it back out,” Strickland says. “But an ozone generator uses an internal fan to push air out. The air coming out of it contains an extra oxygen molecule, creating O3, or ozone, which neutralises the air on soft surfaces.”
This takes care of the surfaces you can’t easily clean, like blinds, curtains and upholstery. And, unlike with an air purifier, you only have to run it for a few hours, intermittently.
This article originally appeared on Reader's Digest.