While there is no doubt our furry friends bring a lot of happiness, fun, and excitement into our lives, there is one thing every pet owner wishes they could do without: smelly accidents that stink up the whole house—starting with your favorite rug.
Pungent odors and unsightly stains certainly come with the territory of having four-legged family members, and while it can be frustrating to walk into a room and be greeted by that distinct aroma, all is not lost.
Of course, nothing beats the convenience of tossing your rugs into the wash right after a major pet accident. But if you don’t have a washable rug yet (it’s never too late to get one!), here are some tips on how to get rid of pet odor from your rugs and carpets.
Clean New Stains Before the Rug Dries
Your first instinct may be to run as far away from the stench as possible, but you’ll want to clean pet pee or vomit while the rug is still wet. Waiting for it to dry will cause stains in your rug and encourage the growth of bacteria. Your quick response is important if you want to keep foul odors at bay.
Use Water to Clean the Area Thoroughly
Sadie Cornelius of CanineJournal.Com says cleaning your pet’s crime scene with water is still the best way to get the job done, especially if you want to make sure your furry critters are safe from any harmful chemicals.
Here is how to deal with new or fresh stains:
- Blot the affected area with a few layers of paper towels and place newspaper over them and under the wet spot.
- Stand on top of this padding to allow them to absorb as much of the urine as possible.
- You can also mix a few drops of green dish detergent with water and spray on the area before placing the paper towels.
- Rinse the soiled spot with water and blot until dry.
Use UV Light to Locate the Affected Area
Sometimes, it can be tricky to find your little buddy’s “oopsie” spot especially when the pee has had time to dry and the smell has settled into your rug.
“One handy trick for cleaning up odors on rugs is to use blacklight to find stains. These can be purchased online and let you pinpoint where exactly the stains are, which are likely the source of the odor,” suggests Kyle Holgate of Woof Whiskers. “This is really helpful if a certain room or rug has a smell, but you’re not exactly sure where it’s coming from. It certainly beats getting down on your hands and knees and sniffing the rug yourself.
Use a Pet Odor Neutralizer
Accidents are not the only things that can cause pet odor to build up in your rugs and even in your house. Regardless of regular grooming and a good diet, your pet’s daily routine and activities—running around in the yard, playing in the mud or puddles—and natural smell can bring undesirable odors into your home that can cling to your furniture and rugs.
The solution? “Apply a pet odor neutralizer,” suggests Sadie. “Be sure to follow the instructions and test a hidden area of the carpet first to make sure the neutralizer doesn’t stain the carpet.”
Be Wary of Using Heavy Cleaning Chemicals
Ammonia and vinegar are popular DIY cleaning solutions when it comes to getting rid of pet stains and odor, but the Humane Society advises against this. “They actually don’t remove the odor, and the strong scent of the chemicals may entice your dog to mark their area again,” adds Sadie.
Use Baking Soda to Remove General Odor
“The best technique for eliminating overall odor from the rug is to sprinkle the area or entire rug, if necessary, with newly opened baking soda, and leave the baking soda on the rug for at least two hours, if possible,” suggests interior designer Laura Suglia-Isgro, ASID, owner of KAS Interior Design. “I even will use a large scrub brush to gently rake the powder into the rug fibers further if there is a particularly smelly area.”
However, it’s important to note that large amounts of baking soda can be harmful to animals, so make sure you keep your pets away from any area that you are treating. After letting the baking soda sit in the affected spot, vacuum the area thoroughly to get rid of any residue.
If All Else Fails, Try a Washable Rug
While these tips work 90% of the time, there’s always that possibility that you may have to call it quits with your soiled rug. If that’s the case, it’s good to know that you can always opt for a rug that can be easily washed in your washing machine, just like your bedsheets and duvet covers. Ruggable rugs are machine washable, stain and water-resistant, making it easy to clean up after your pets anytime.