Pets are truly people’s best friends; snuggly, cuddly and therapeutic. They are a part of the family. Regardless of the type of pet, one thing they have in common: they smell.
Pet owners quickly become “nose blind” to the odors our pets omit. Unfortunately, smell isn’t contained to the animal, it can quickly spread throughout our home, carpets, floors, walls, furniture and curtains - anything that can absorb odors.
While a little “wet dog” smell might not be a big deal to you, it can be a real turn-off to a potential buyer if you are trying to sell your home. If you are thinking about listing your house or you just want to get rid of unwanted pet odors here are some ways of neutralizing those odors.
Air Out Your House
Many homes lack good ventilation and just circulate contaminated air. Depending on the type of pet you own, simply opening the windows and allowing fresh air to flow through is enough to help alleviate any lingering smells.
For items that can be removed from the home, like bedding, and blankets, take them outside and leave them for several hours. The sunlight and fresh air will help neutralize and remove odors that might be stuck in the fabric.
Wash, Clean and Scrub, Everything
Get ready to give your house a deep clean, which means cleaning and scrubbing everything. Yes, everything. Start with the floors and work your way up. Use a mop or get on your hands and knees and scrub the floors, baseboards and walls where your pets may have left their mark or had an accident. Make sure to use an appropriate cleaner for the surface and has odor-neutralizing capabilities.
Wash all fabrics such as removable couch cushions, slipcovers, pillows, blankets, curtains and washable area rugs. And don’t forget any pet beds or blankets! If you have items that cannot be put in the washing machine take them to be professionally steamed, dry cleaned or laundered.
For larger upholstered items such as couches, chairs and ottomans consider renting a carpet shampoo/steamer with an upholstery attachment for a deep clean. Lastly, use a cloth to wipe down furniture, picture frames, light fixtures and ceiling fans in your home as pet dander can float through the air and settle on anything.
Vacuum Floors And Carpets
Odor-causing bacteria and pet dander have a way of embedding themselves in carpets, furniture and fabric—even the cracks in your hardwood floors are the perfect “traps” for dander, dust and pet fur. Vacuuming can help!
To capture and neutralize any smells coming from your carpets or upholstered items simply sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit for several hours before giving the area a thorough vacuum. Keep those smells at bay by vacuuming regularly, two to three times per week, depending on how much your pet sheds.
Shampoo/Steam Clean Your Carpets
When it comes to life with pets, accidents happen and are often hard to avoid. Oopsies can leave carpeted areas in your home smelly and stained. Purchasing or renting a shampoo/steam cleaner from your local grocer or hardware store is always a wise investment as it’s the most effective way to remove odors, stains and bacteria.
If your pet is constantly having accidents or frequently marking in the same spot you might want to pull back the carpet and underpad to see if it has reached the subfloor. In this case, it might be wise to replace both.
Replace Pee Pads And Clean Litter
Not only are used pee pads and dirty kitty litter unsightly to see while viewing a home, they tend to have a very offensive odor, especially when they aren’t tended to regularly.
Be sure to remove and replace used pee pads immediately after each use and clean all litter boxes daily. Right before a scheduled showing, replace the kitty litter entirely and place it in an inconspicuous, but still accessible spot, this should help minimize any odors from the box.
Change Your Air Filters
Heating, ventilation and air conditioner filters are often the last thing homeowners think about replacing when trying to free their homes from offensive pet odors. If your filter is old and clogged, you’re not doing yourself any favours by recirculating that smelly air throughout your home. Pick a filter with odor-eliminating technology and install it as soon as possible.
Purify The Air
If you have several pets, or even just one, you might consider purchasing a portable air purifier. These powerful little towers can be toted around from room-to-room and are used to purify the air, in most cases, capturing more than 99% of dust, pollen, smoke, odor, mold spores and pet dander. The best part about this investment is you can use it in your new house and get a jumpstart on keeping your home pet odor-free.
Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint
Did you know pet dander sticks to everything? This means any porous surface, like your walls, is susceptible to odors. If the smell in your home is particularly pungent, sealing and painting the walls might be an option. Use a sealer/primer to cover the area before applying your chosen colour. Not only will this seal and cover the smells, it will help stage your home’s interior when it’s time to list.
Fragrance Is Your Friend
Have a last minute showing and not enough time for a deep clean? Try using strategically placed fragrances like diffusers, wallflowers, potpourri or scented candles as they can help mask offending odors until you have time to fully address the problem. Just be aware, there’s a fine line when using synthetic fragrance in your home, too much can be a bad thing, so don’t go overboard.
Keep Your House And Pets Clean
Consider giving your pet frequent baths or take them to be professionally groomed to reduce bacteria and yeast that might be embedded in their fur. Use wet wipes or a towel to wipe their feet when they come in from outside. Brush them weekly with a high-quality brush, to capture the shedding undercoat fur. Depending on your pet’s demeanor you may wish to keep them in a crate or confined to one room while you’re away to keep them off clean furniture. Or, if you have the option to have your pet stay at a friend’s house while your house is listed, take it!
Remember, potential buyers use all their senses when touring a home, so it’s just as important to have a good smelling home as it is a good looking one!