Pets are awesome! Whether you have a dog or a cat, they can bring so much joy, companionship, and fun to our lives, but they can also be a bit messy. Having a cat or dog in our homes means that we need to add a little extra work to our normal house cleaning routines if we want to keep our house from having a pet odor.
If you want a few easy ways to keep your home from smelling fresh and keep your home from smelling like your pets, check out these 5 easy steps!
> Step 1: Vacuum Regularly
For most homes vacuuming once a week is adequate, but if you have a dog or cat in the house, especially ones that shed a lot once a week won’t be enough. We recommend vacuuming a minimum of three times a week. Try creating a routine of vacuuming on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Better yet, teach your kids how to vacuum and add it to their chore list.
Using the right vacuum is a key part of vacuuming. Make sure your vacuum has an adjustable height beater bar and uses a HEPA filter to keep the dust being sucked up from going back into the home. Make sure you are cleaning and servicing your vacuum on a regular basis to keep it working its best!
> Step 2: Cleanup Pet Messes As Soon As They Happen
As much as we like to think our pets are perfect and they never have accidents in the house, its only a matter of time until they do. When your dog or cat has an accident cleaning up the mess as quickly as possible is really important.
If the accident happens on a hard surface such as ceramic tile, concrete or vinyl flooring, simply wipe up the mess and then clean the area with a disinfectant product such as Lysol. You may consider spraying an air freshener to quickly remove any remaining odor.
If they have an accident on carpet or upholstery, you will need to do a little more work to cleanup the mess. You will still want to remove it as quickly as possible, but you will need to remove liquids in a different manner. To remove the liquid, use a clean towel and apply consistent pressure to the area which will cause it to go from the carpet or upholstery into the towel. This is known as blotting and is the first step for cleaning up all liquid spills.
Once you have removed as much of the liquid as possible, use a carpet/upholstery safe product and clean the area. Work from the outside of the spot to the center and gently clean the area. Avoid spreading it to other areas by avoiding a hard scrubbing motion.
Once the area has been cleaned you may need to use an air freshener.
PRO TIP: If the liquid portion of the mess gets deep into the carpet or furniture, get a clean white towel damp, place it directly over the area and the place a backing sheet on the towel followed by books on top of the cooking sheet. This will help anything remaining in the carpet to wick out of the fibers and into the towel. Trust us it works!!!
> Step 3: Use A High-Quality Furnace Filter
One of the biggest sources for pet odors in the home is the fur and pet dander floating in the air and landing on the surfaces of your home. Using a high-quality air filter will remove the particulate from the air and will provide not only better indoor air quality but will also help remove the pet odor.
When choosing a furnace filter, look for a filter with a higher MERV rating, ideally one with a MERV rating between MERV 9 and MERV 12. A filter with a MERV rating in this range will capture more allergens including pet dander than a filter with a lower MERV rating.
Just like its important to clean and maintain your vacuum, you will need to change your furnace filter every 2 months to keep it working.
> Step 4: Clean Your Pets Bedding
If your dog (or Cat) has a bed it sleeps on you will want to clean it on a regular basis to keep it smelling fresh. Some people recommend cleaning it as often as weekly but that’s not always practical, so we suggest a minimum of once a month.
Make sure to follow the manufacturers cleaning recommendations when washing the bedding and make sure it is completely dry before your pet uses it again.
If its time to get a new dog or cat bed, check out the new ones with anti-microbial properties. There are quite a few options on the market so be sure to do your research before buying.
> Step 5: Professional Cleaning Services
Sometimes our homes get to the point where they need the professionals to come in and do a thorough cleaning to remove the pet odors. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it gets to this point and honestly, a once a year deep cleaning by the professionals should be part of your home maintenance plan.
Some areas where professional cleaning may be needed include carpet cleaning, furniture cleaning, and air duct cleaning. All of these services are relatively inexpensive and can do wonders for making your home smell fresh again.
If you need help finding a reputable cleaner in your area, go to iicrc.org or NADCA.com to find certified cleaners in your area.
Hopefully these cleaning tips will help keep your house looking and smelling fresh, but if you have a situation that needs additional work feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We are always happy to help!