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A Guide to Eliminating Pet Odor in Your Home


Your best friend might also be a smelly friend . . . if your best friend is a pet, that is. For as much as we love them, our pets are typically responsible for some of the worst smells in the house. Let’s look at some ways of eliminating pet odor and keeping it under control in your home.

Clean the Pet Bed

How often do you wash your own sheets? Now compare that to how often you wash your pet’s bed; there is probably a big difference. The fabric in those cushions can fester with pet smells that can spread throughout a room. So it’s best if you regularly clean your dog bed with at least a vacuum and pet-safe spray.

If the cover is removable, you can throw it in the wash for good measure. Baking soda is great for helping to eliminate odor, so when you wash any of your pet’s bed, toss in a cup of baking soda along with some mild detergent. Added bonus: dry the bed for at least 20 minutes with a dryer sheet, it will help trap any excess dog or cat hairs, before letting it air dry the rest of the way.

If it doesn’t have a removable cover, you may or may not be able to wash it. If you’re unable to get your pet’s current bed clean, consider buying a new one and read the care instructions to ensure the new bed is washable (or has a washable cover).

Wash Other Pet Items

You also need to regularly clean any other pet items to prevent them from smelling. If you have a terrarium, birdcage, or aquarium, you’ll need to make sure you’re switching out water and cleaning up messes. It also helps if you throw plush pet toys you have laying around in the washer.

Maintaining a pet can feel like a full-time job, so if you’re slack on your caretaking responsibilities, that can often be the root cause of the odor. If you regularly clean up your pet’s habitats and items, that will go a long way to reducing any unwanted smell.

Vacuum With Baking Soda

A quick trick for dealing with pet odor caused by dander is to sprinkle baking soda on any rug, floor, or fabric surface, letting it sit a good half hour before you vacuum it. If you already know about the advantages of leaving baking soda in your refrigerator, then you’re aware that baking soda is an excellent DIY air freshener.

You can also try using a small amount of baking soda sprinkled on dog beds or cat trees to freshen them up and remove odors. It’s also great to freshen up the litter box. Some litter already contains a bit of baking soda, if yours doesn’t, just sprinkle a small amount into your cat’s litter box right before you add the litter.

Mix Vinegar With Water

If your pet has an accident you need to first get it up immediately. If you can’t get a smell out of a particular area or item following an accident, then you might try a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. This potent mixture should help take care of any remaining odors in your furniture and carpet; just apply it with a spray bottle after testing an inconspicuous area first!

You can also make a paste with 1:1 vinegar and baking soda to coat an area that needs help. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it up (and once it’s dry sprinkle a little more baking soda and then vacuum it up). Still looking for more advice? See these tips for getting dog urine out of carpet.

Consider Essential Oils

You can also try to combat the smell with the use of essential oils. You can introduce the oils into the air by evaporating them or applying them to the problem area. The natural air fresheners in the essential oils can be a big help in eliminating the smell. Still, you should just be careful that your pet doesn’t directly digest it because it can be toxic if they consume it at a high enough level!

Besides essential oils, Febreze plugins with a fresh, odor eliminating scent like Gain or Lavender are great for keeping your house smelling like you don’t have a pet. And Arm & Hammer (the company that makes baking soda) makes pet deodorizing soy candles in Fresh Breeze and Lavender scents, too.

Now that you’re armed with a few ideas for eliminating pet odor in your home, you can defend your house against any unwanted bad smells from your furry (or feathered, or finned) best friend.


About Author

Kate Romeo is a writer living in the greater Chicagoland area with a passion for animals. When she's not writing you will likely find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or cuddling on the sofa with her pets, likely watching a movie she's already seen 100 times.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means we earn a commission for sales referred from links on our site. We're also Amazon Associates, so we may earn from those qualifying purchases, too. Learn more!