It's a wonderful feeling to be greeted by your pet when you arrive home, but occasionally, something foul may greet you instead. Pets have accidents, it's part of pet ownership, and the odor can linger long after the accident is forgotten. Removing pet odors can be a trying task, but you may have exactly what you need right in your cabinets.
The basics of pet odor are pretty simple. The ammonia crystals in pet urine, especially cat urine, can penetrate the air for a long time after the accident has occurred. If kitty smells the spot she's marked, she's likely to return. Dogs react the same way, so it's important to react quickly. Unless you're working on a set-in stain, the work begins before you assemble your cleaning products. Soak up as much of the urine as possible using paper towels, and pressure from something heavy, such as yourself. Repeat the process until the spot is only slightly damp. Once you remove as much of the urine as possible, it's time to tackle the odor.
When it comes to removing pet odors, two highly regarded household helpers are baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Baking soda alone can remove set in odors, and adding hydrogen peroxide can help break down the urine crystals that are the source of the smell associated with pet accidents.
A Winning Combination
The combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide offers the neutralizing and deodorizing properties necessary to combat offensive urine odors.
Follow these steps to make an odor-fighting paste.
- Sprinkle the affected area liberally with baking soda.
- Combine 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with a couple drops of dishwashing liquid.
- Place the mixture in a bowl or spray bottle.
- Add the liquid mixture to the baking soda by pouring slowly or spraying from the bottle.
Be sure to test the peroxide mixture before you use it. If you're using it on carpet or upholstery, do a colorfast test in an area that won't be visible, in case the results are damaging. Once you have added the liquid to the mixture, rub it into the affected area with a gentle brush or soft rag. Continue scrubbing with a wet rag until the mixture is removed. If you'd rather not use a paste, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl or spray bottle, and spray the entire mixture onto the affected area. For added deodorizing, consider adding an essential oil to the mixture. Use only a drop, and do a colorfast test on your fabric.
The Lingering Odor
For lingering odors from previous accidents, especially when you're unsure of the exact scene of the crime, you can use baking soda alone to tackle the odor. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on your carpet and allow it to set for an extended period of time, overnight if possible. Keep pets out of the room, so they don't walk in and possibly consume large quantities of the product. Vacuum the carpet once the baking soda has been allowed to set. Repeat if necessary.