Spring Cleaning Tips for When Your House Smells Like Pets
Have pets? It’s likely your house smells like pets. While we love our furry family members, none of us love the variety of funky pet smells and debris that can creep into every room of the house. Getting the animal smell out of the house can be challenging to figure out, and it’s not as simple as just opening the windows (although it helps). If you really want to get the animal smell out of the house, a good spring cleaning and regular maintenance will do the trick! Owned by cats? We’ve included ways to make cat litter smell better for everyone.
How to Get Pet Odors Out of Your House
- Clean up all hard floor surfaces: We can limit the ways we bring the outside into our homes, but pets can’t leave their shoes outside. Pets, kids, and even some adults have a real talent for tracking things in, especially dirt or mud. Some pets just love to roll in smelly stuff, the grass, dirt, or mud. Sweep or mop high traffic hard floors daily, and clean up potentially smelly messes or potty accident sites as they happen. Give the floors a once over with a non-toxic, pet-safe floor cleaner or a Swiffer dry mop daily.
- Light Spring Clean Tip: Begin by sweeping gently so you don’t kick up dirt and dander into the air. Mop up any remaining loose debris like pet hair, dander, and outside dirt tracked inside after potty breaks or playtime outdoors.
- Deep Spring Clean Tip: Start scrubbing. Scrub the bare floors, baseboards, and walls. Focus especially where pets have marked with a vinegar and water solution or an antibacterial, odor-neutralizing pet-friendly product. Some folks like to consider using a 1 part bleach to 9 parts water solution on cement floors or walls – just make sure to keep your pets at a safe distance from ALL harsh or and unsafe chemicals.
- Clean curtains, upholstery, fans & fabric shades. Things should be looking and smelling better by this step. But your mission to get the animal smell out of the house isn’t done yet. Animal odors, dust, dander, and other stains gradually work into curtains and upholstery, especially around the bottom edges where pets may leave markers. Don’t forget fabric window blinds, fabric lampshades, and fan blades.
- Light Spring Clean Tip: Grab a pet-friendly odor neutralizer spray for fabrics and go to town! Use a pet-friendly spot cleaner with odor or enzymatic neutralizer on the upholstery to remove any stains.
- Deep Spring Clean Tip: Wash or dry-clean any drapes or window coverings. For fabrics that cannot be laundered, try a steam cleaner or vacuum, and steam-clean any upholstered furniture to try to remove any smells. Wash pet bedding using a pet-friendly detergent and dry well. Be sure to check corners and seams for buried treats or hidden fabric tears before popping them into the washer. It happens. Repair or replace worn-out bedding for fresh new ones.
- Vacuum up pet hair, dirt, and dander: If you have pets who shed, managing the hair and loose fur is a daily struggle, especially if they’re allowed on the furniture. We’ve all seen the videos; pets will often ignore all the rules when you’re not home.
- Deep Spring Clean Tip: Vacuum pet hair, dirt, and dander wherever it might be hiding. In the cushions of your couch (sometimes you’ll find hidden toys or treats). Vacuum under and behind furniture, plus any cracks and crevices in any spot your pet likes to hang out. Don’t forget the patio door tracks where dirt, hair, and dander can accumulate.
- Shampoo carpets and throw rugs. Many pet owners appreciate the convenience of a portable carpet cleaner for cleaning up pet accidents, but if you really want to get the animal smell out of the house, hire professionals who use cleaning methods and special solutions that are safe for pets.
- Clean toys, bowls, collars, leashes, and pet bedding: All of these items hold on to odor and bacteria, so you need to wash and launder them regularly to keep pet odor out of the house. Pet beds are gathering places for dirt, dander, and other nasties that smell. Food and water bowls along with some toys can run through the dishwasher.
- Get rid of cat odors. Ways to make cat litter smell better range from the habit of scooping daily to remove waste (and temptation for poo-eating dogs) to fancy automatic litter boxes with all the bells and whistles, so you get none of the smells. Unfortunately, the hi-tech versions of the litter box can be expensive but oh, so worth it if it’s in your budget. Speaking of budgets, start by making sure you have at least one box per cat in a well-ventilated area. Wash thoroughly once a month, or each time you change the litter. Add some baking soda to the bottom of the box before refilling. Replace the litter boxes each year.
- Schedule a grooming appointment for your pet. You’ll want a shower after all the spring pet cleaning! Why not bathe the dog, too? Book a grooming appointment or send them off for spa day while you’re spring cleaning. Your pet will come home squeaky clean and smelling great.