Pets are part of the family. But unlike the rest of us, they don’t pick up after themselves. From litterbox aromas to wet-dog scent on your couch, our furry friends can bring with them some less-than-lovely pet odours. How to remove the smell of pets from your home? We’ll show you.
Published Jul 2, 2020, Updated Apr 8, 2022
The easiest way to get pungent pet smells out of your home? Cut them off before they can set in. Maintain a regular bath schedule for your furry friend. This will vary depending on your pet’s fur, skin and specific needs.
For a natural way to keep your pup clean, try making your own pet shampoo using uncooked oatmeal.
However, keep in mind that animals like cats and rabbits should not be bathed. Unless your cat has gotten legitimately dirty, you’re best wiping them down with a wet cloth, and then a dry cloth. Bunnies shouldn’t be bathed under any circumstance as they can go into shock and die. Again, use the wet-cloth-dry-cloth method.
Similarly, a lot of unpleasant pet scents are spread through your animals’ fur, which they shed constantly. Brushing your pet’s fur regularly reducing the spread of pet smells around the house. plus, it keeps excess hair contained, cutting down on cleaning. For more, watch as the Property Brothers offer up pet-friendly renovation tips.
Front Door Etiquette
Many pet odours can be traced back to what your animals bring in from the outdoors. Keep a cleaning solution, like a pack of wet wipes or towels, at the front door. This will remind you to wipe muddy, dirty paws after a long walk or backyard playtime.
Clean the Litter Box
The litterbox is often the main villain when it comes to unpleasant cat smells in the home. To cut down on the scent, start by assessing your litter-box hygiene. Scooping the box daily will do wonders for minimizing the nasty smells. But it’s also important to totally empty, scrub and wash the litter box (with soap and water) every month. If the box is clean but still smells foul, you can also try mixing a bit of baking soda in the with litter to help deodorize and absorb the odours.
Find the Right Spot
Another way to reduce litter box-induced cat smells in the home is to consider where you keep your feline’s litter box — placing it in a well-ventilated area is a good way to help keep smells from accumulating.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
More than just for litterboxes, baking soda is a useful natural deodorizer for other areas of your home that are suffering from unpleasant pet smells. For example, refresh rugs and other soft surfaces by sprinkling baking soda on them and then letting it sit overnight. In the morning, vacuum up the baking soda for a refreshed look and smell.
Wipe up the Messes
Little puddles on the floor can lead to big, bad smells in a room. Be sure to wipe them up as soon as you see them. Expediency is the most important thing.
To clean and refresh the area, white vinegar is a good non-toxic solution. Mix white vinegar with lemon juice and water to tackle small spills.
Consider Enzyme Cleaners
For more pungent pet scents on your home’s surfaces, pick up a cleaning product that utilizes enzymes. Enzyme cleaners release beneficial bacteria that can effectively “eat” odour-casing matter on surfaces, neutralizing the offending smell. TIP: Enzyme-based cleaners are the best at removing the stubborn smell of urine, making them one of the best bathroom cleaners.
Whether you can see visible fur or not, if you have a pet, it’s important to vacuum your carpets, floors and furniture regularly. Vacuuming sucks up pet hair and dander to help ensure pet odours are at a minimum.
Remove the Covers
Dogs and cats love to snuggle up on your comfy furniture, which means couches and other cozy seats tend to be prime targets for offending scents. If you can, remove the covers for your couch, chair cushions and other furniture and wash them as often as possible to cut down on odours. If you don’t have furniture with removable covers now, it’s a good idea to consider your pets the next time you’re shopping for new home items.
Deep Clean the Furniture
If you can’t remove the covers on your pet-scented furnishings, you can also do a periodic deep clean using an upholstery cleaning machine. You can buy or rent a machine, or consider hiring a professional to come in and steam clean your carpets and furniture.
Make Throw Pillows Your Friend
Of course, removing all the cushion covers or deep-cleaning your home’s upholstered surfaces isn’t always realistic for a weekly clean. Thankfully, there is an easier way to reduce pet scents on your furniture: Throw pillows and blankets. Your pets will love to cuddle up on cozy pillows and blankets, spending less time in contact with the surface of your furniture. Each week, you can easily throw pillow covers and blankets in the washing machine to keep scents away.
Wash the Sheets
Similarly, if you pet likes to snuggle up on your bed, it’s important to wash your bedding at least once a week. Make sure to use a laundry detergent that is pet friendly, of course. To make it easier to maintain a clean bed, opt for a duvet with a removable cover. You can throw the cover in the washing machine with your sheets for a regular refresh.
Tackle the Toys
Dirt, spit and slobber: Dog and cat toys are like little collections of pet odour. Soak hard toys in a sink or bucket of hot water with 2-3 cups of white vinegar added. Rinse off once water has cooled. If they’re particularly dirty, give them a scrub with a kitchen sponge and some dish soap, and then rinse off. For durable soft toys, you can try throwing them in the washing machine (use the gentle cycle and either no detergent or a mild, fragrance-free, pet-safe detergent). For not-so-durable soft toys, give them a brief soak in hot water and vinegar, roughly 20 minutes, and then scrub gently by hand with some mild soap.
Slobbery bowls are a big source of unpleasant pet smells, so keep them clean for a sweeter-smelling home. Dog and cat food bowls should be washed after every use (just like your own bowls). Just like for humans, it’s a good idea to have multiple dedicated dishes for each pet. To make cleaning them easier, purchase dishwsher-safe items that you can toss in with your own load of dishware. Stubborn food stuck to the bowl? Try this clever all-natural olive oil trick to remote pet food residue.
Air Things Out
Good air flow goes a long way towards sweeping out pet odours. If you can, occasionally open all the windows in your house to air things out (be careful to ensure your indoor cats don’t accidentally get out). If your home has an air filtration system, be sure to regularly replace the filters on time (make calendar events in your phone to help you remember) and have home air ducts cleaned.