You love your pet, but you don’t like its smell. Dogs and cats shower us with affection, but their scents tend to linger. Strong animal odors can also eat into your pet’s fees and security deposit when it’s time to move. Don’t settle for those putrid scents, however. Our simple tips can teach you how to get rid of pet odors in an apartment.
Clean up accidents when they happen
We would all prefer our pets to use their litter box or go out, but sometimes accidents do happen. When they do, start cleaning immediately. Procrastination only gives the smell time to set in. It also encourages your pet to continue to notice the places he considers his “territory”.
Put a thick layer of paper towels over any urine stains. Cover it with a layer of newspaper, then stand on the mess for about a minute. The pressure should lift the pee in your paper diapers. Check where your pet peed and look for moisture. It should be relatively dry. If not, repeat the process until it is. Use clean, cool water to rinse the urine that has been soaked, then blot the area with a paper towel or old bath towel.
If the mess is number two, don’t worry. Pick up the solid pieces of toilet paper and rinse them. Remove the excess with absorbent paper. Prepare a cleaning solution from equal parts white vinegar and non-bleach dish soap. Spray on the offending site, then blot with absorbent paper. Repeat until the poo stain is gone. Cover generously with baking soda and let sit for 10 minutes. Keep your pet away, as the baking soda can make them sick. Vacuum the baking soda, then apply an enzymatic cleaner to remove any lingering traces. The same method should also work for vomit.
These same techniques will also work on urine, garbage, and vomit odors that you find later if, for example,
your new apartment smells like a dog or a cat, but they may not be as effective. Tackle odors as soon as you discover them, even if surfaces are dry, to easily remove odors.
Use black light to identify problem areas
Many accidents happen when you’re not looking, but a black light can tell you where to clean. If your apartment smells like dog pee or cat pee, turn off the lights and shine the black light around. The stained areas will shine brightly. Use string to mark these areas so you can clean them up once you turn your lights back on. Your mixture of vinegar and dish soap can come in handy here. Commercial pet cleaners are also useful in removing old stains and the odors that accompany them. Read reviews online to find the most effective pet cleansers.
Clean the items your pet uses
Many tenants focus their efforts on the floors, forgetting that the smell of dogs and cats in an apartment can cling to any surface their pets use frequently. For the perfect result, make sure all the items your pet uses are cleaned before they start to smell. Blankets, pillow cases, and many soft pet toys can survive a wash. You may want to have a professional clean your sofa every year if your pet spends time lazing on it.
Scrub the walls
Walls are another often overlooked source of animal odors, but cats and dogs can urinate on these surfaces. Get rid of cat smell in an apartment, and dog smell too, by spraying your walls with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Then rub them with a damp sponge. Rub some baking soda on the walls to neutralize the smell, then brush it off after a few minutes. If the smell persists, ask your landlord if you can paint the apartment with an odor and stain repellant paint.
Add one or more air purifiers
Air purifiers purify the air in your apartment by trapping contaminants, including those that produce bad pet odors. Look for an air purifier with a quality HEPA filter, as companies design these units with pet owners in mind. The number of air purifiers you will need will depend on the size of your apartment and the number of rooms your pet has access to. Many people buy a separate filter for each room their pet spends a lot of time in.
Ventilate your apartment
Closed windows and lack of air circulation often trap animal odors inside your apartment. Airing your apartment can temporarily dissipate animal odors, or even make them disappear permanently. When you are at home and the weather is fine, open your apartment windows. As an added bonus, an open window also lets in sunlight, which can neutralize odors. Turn on the ceiling fan to let air circulate throughout your rental. If it’s cold or raining outside, close the windows but run your air conditioner to circulate air. Remember to regularly clean or replace your air conditioner air filter to make sure your system is operating efficiently.
Call a professional carpet cleaner
Professional carpet cleaners can extract odor particles from carpets and leave your apartment smelling fresh. Their services are a great option for end-of-lease cleanups when you’re trying to get your full deposit back. Ask the professionals about their methods before committing, as the heat from the steam cleaners will fix any odors and stains.
Bathe your pet regularly
While pet odors cling to floors and accessories, they also linger on pets. Regular baths can keep your pet cool in your apartment. If you have a relaxed pet, you should be able to bathe it yourself. Many apartment buildings have pet washers to make this task easier. If yours hates baths, make an appointment with a professional cleaner who is used to arguing over reluctant dogs and cats.
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