How to Eliminate Pet Odors in Your Home

a yellow lab puppy laying next to a wet stain on a gray carpetIt’s said that a dog is man’s best friend. However, there are also problems that can be caused by man’s best friend. Whether someone is house training a new dog or trying to look after a dog that is aging, pet stains and odors can show up at any time. Stains also seem to appear when you least expect them. If someone neglects a pet stain or doesn’t clean up an odor properly, it can lead to serious damage to not only your comfort but also the home itself.

For this reason, everyone who owns or takes care of a dog needs to know how to eliminate pet stains and odors. This starts with understanding some of the common sources of pet odors and where they come from.

Common Sources of Pet Odors

There are a few common sources of pet odors that everyone needs to know about. If you have a dog or grew up around one, you’re likely already familiar with these common sources.

Dog Fur and Dander

Dog fur and dander can actually have a very strong odor. The reason why people say that pets have “fur” instead of “hair” is that fur sheds on a regular basis while hair does not. When dogs shed their fur, it sticks to furniture, carpets, cars, and anywhere else that the dog has been.

a hand holding shed fur from a dogFur not only keeps dogs warm but also protects them from various substances and pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. When dogs shed their fur, it shows up all over the house and still has these substances and bacteria attached. This can lead to a strong odor that is often described as musty. While you may get used to the odor after a while, other people will not. Furthermore, pet fur can be hard to clean up if not handled quickly.

Dog Urine

Of course, another common source of pet odors is dog urine. Urine has a distinct, nitrogenous smell that is said to get worse over time. As a liquid, urine can absorb into furniture, carpets, upholstery, and other important property in seconds. As its sets, it emits its smell and you can often detect it from across the house. Pet urine has an obnoxious smell, and the quicker you clean up the dog urine, the easier it will be to remove. Let your dog out to urinate frequently to prevent urine smells from permeating your house.

These are only a few of the common sources of pet odor. Pet excrement, saliva, and vomit can also create a strong odor that can be a challenge to clean up. For those who are looking to eliminate pet odors that have popped up in carpeted areas, upholstery, and other locations, there are a few important tips that everyone should abide by.

Eliminate Odors in Carpeted Areas and Upholstery

When you are looking to eliminate pet odors, there are a few different strategies to consider. First, you need to figure out whether or not the stain is new or set. A stain that has already set in place is going to require a different cleaning method than one that is fresh. If the stain still looks wet, it is a new stain. If the stain is dry, it’s an old one. Once the age of the stain has been determined, it is time to clean it up.

New Stains

If the stain is wet, it is a new, fresh stain. If the stain is wet, then start by placing multiple paper towels on top of the urine. The paper towels are used to absorb the urine that might still be sitting on top of the carpet. After this, cover the paper towels with a clean towel. If the stain is present on top of a rug, place a towel underneath the urine spot as well. Some urine might soak through to the other side. Use an old rag to press down on top of the paper towel stack. Standing on top of the rags and paper towels is also a good way to draw up the extra moisture. This will help the towels absorb as much urine as possible. Do not be afraid to rinse or wring out the paper towels and repeat the process.

Once as much urine has been absorbed as possible, rinse the spot with cool water. Then, soak up the area with a wet vac or something similar. Once the spot has dried, take some baking soda and allow it to sit on top of the area for half an hour or so. Then, vacuum up the baking soda. Baking soda is great at absorbing odors and will add a sense of freshness.

Stains That Have Set

someone using a sponge and soap to remove a stain from carpetingIf the stain has already set, this changing the cleaning method. First, saturate the dry spot using a wet vac—this is an important tool for handling pet odors. Then, use the wet vac to soak up the dirty water. Once this has been done, take a pet odor neutralizer and use this to get rid of the odor. Sometimes, this won’t be enough to do the trick, and in this case, it is time to reach for an advanced stain remover.

Unfortunately, a stain that has set can be challenging to remove. You might be tempted to eliminate the odor by blasting it with ammonia, but tath can be a bad idea. Ammonia might encourage the pet to come back and repeat the deed in an effort to mark the territory.

Wash and Air Out Fabrics and Upholsteries

If the dog has stained fabrics and upholsteries, there is a different approach for you to take. Fabrics and upholsteries are made of a different material than carpets, so you need a different approach for them.

First, get some hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent. Mix 10 ounces of the hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of the baking soda, and a couple of drops of dish detergent until the baking soda has completley dissolved. Once this is done, pour the entire mixture into a spray bottle and spray the stained fabric or upholstery, then allow the cleaner to set in place or about an hour. If the stain is not gone, then spray the mixture again and repeat the process.

Once the stain has been removed using the cleaner, use a damp cloth to rinse the cleaning solution from the fabric and a dry cloth to blot the area dry. This is key because the residue from the detergent will actually attract dirt over time because detergent naturally attracts dirt in order to remove it. Hydrogen peroxide can actually bleach the furniture if left in place.

Unfortunately, some stains may not be removed even using this intense method. In this case, take the fabric or upholstery to the professionals for help.

Eliminate Paint and Wood Damage

Some of the major risks that come from pet odors and stains actually come in the form of property damage. While most people are familiar with the unsightly stains and odors that can be left on carpets, fabrics, and upholsteries, pet urine and odors can actually damage paint and wood. Odors and urine have a powerful pH that can damage paint, causing it to peel and crack. Even wood can be damaged by pet urine, stains, and other odors. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent this damage from happening.

You can paint with odor-blocking paints that have been designed to prevent this very damage from happening. Odor-blocking paints work by sealing the wood in a protective layer. The paint has been engineered to deflect the damage that can be done by pet urine and other odors, and they are used to protect the wood from harm. They won’t even crack or peel, even under extreme stress.

Many pet owners have already invested in the protection of an odor-blocking paint. This paint can actually prevent severe damage from taking place, saving homeowners time and money on expensive repairs. If you are thinking about home improvements, you should consider investing in odor-blocking paints, particularly if you have multiple pets.

How to Clean Pet Odors With Natural Remedies

a pot with baking soda next toa  sponge, a glass of water, and a pair of rubber glovesWhile powerful pet odor and stain cleaners will get the job done, you might be concerned about the damage these cleaning agents can do on their own. For example, hydrogen peroxide can actually bleach fabric and upholstery if it is left in place for too long, and detergents can attract dirt that will create a stain on its own. These substances even have a strong smell that might irritate people who suffer from allergies. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can be used to remove pet odors as well.

Baking soda does a terrific job of removing odors, as proven by how many people leave baking soda in the refrigerator where it will absorb the odors that mix from leftover food and ingredients that might otherwise ruin someone’s appetite. If there is a powerful pet odor, take a bowl and pour in a few inches of baking soda. Then, let the baking soda sit in the room for a few days. While this doesn’t work instantly, it is still very effective and can suck an odor right out of the room.

Sometimes, this isn’t enough. In this case, take the baking soda and mix it with some vinegar. The substance should have the consistency of toothpaste. Then, take the slurry and use a soft brush that will not damage the fabric or carpet. Use the combination of baking soda and vinegar to scrub the area, and the stain should eventually disappear and the odor will go right along with it.

Then, use a damp cloth to soak up the slurry, and follow this with a dry cloth to complete the process. Baking soda and vinegar make for a great combination that can eliminate pet odors and stains using a natural process.

How to Prevent Future Incidents From Happening

In order to prevent future incidents from happening, it is important to properly train the dog. This starts with understanding how the dog views the environment: the dog doesn’t know the difference and is simply looking for a suitable place to use the bathroom. This might be the floor, the carpet, or outside.

In the beginning, it’s important to understand that accidents will happen. Try to make sure the accidents happen in an area that is easy to clean up by closing off carpeted areas that will stain easily. Also, use a crate to control the dog at night or while you’re gone from the house.

If the dog is caught using the bathroom inside the house, this is where the real training is going to happen. If you catch your dog in the middle of an accident, use a loud command to interrupt the bathroom process and take them outside immediately. This type of cause and effect is going to ingrain the proper behavior into the mind of the dog, and they will learn to only use the bathroom outside.

a golden retriever puppy sniffing outside in the grassIn addition, it is important for every dog owner to know just how long a dog can hold their bladder. Remember that a young puppy is only going to be able to last for about two hours before elimination is necessary, and you should never ask a dog to hold his or her bladder for an unreasonable amount of time. This is simply not realistic, and accidents are more likely to happen the longer you make your dog wait.

Try to avoid harsh punishments for accidents in the house. A dog should never feel like he or she is “bad.” Instead, the goal of house-training is to reinforce appropriate actions. Harsh punishments will only harm the dog’s self-esteem and their happy temperament will disappear in exchange.

Another thing to keep in mind is to never use dog pee pads when trying to teach a dog to do their business outside. While it might be tempting to put pee pads down in order to protect the floors, this actually teaches the dog that it’s okay to do their business in the house. Some pee pads even use pheromones that attract dogs to them and make them want to use the pee pads.

Old dogs can also be prone to accidents more often than younger dogs. As a dog gets older, they can lose control over their bladder. To help prevent this, you can give your dog cranberry supplements to help them stay in control and have fewer accidents in the house. These supplements are like any other vitamin for dogs and can be given to them once a day in a chewable tablet form.

Preventing and Removing Pet Odors and Stains

It is important for you to take steps to try to prevent pet odors and stains from happening in the first place. This is always better than spending time and money removing stains that have already been put in place. However, it is always better to be prepared. Make sure to understand the differences in the cleaning methods and when each is used. Also, do not be afraid to rely on the professionals to help train dogs not to leave stains across the house. Of course, professionals can also help remove those particularly tough stains. The next time a pet odor or stain is encountered at home, give these methods a try!