Carpets are soft and luxurious under your feet, but they can absorb odors and start to smell. In addition to picking up and holding the smell or urine or feces, your carpeting can start to take on a generally “doggy” smell. Use these tips to keep your house smelling clean and ensure that your carpet always smells fresh.
There are several benefits to vacuuming regularly. It keeps allergens down, prevents dirt from grinding into the carpet and staining it, and it keeps your house smelling fresh. Removing the dog hair and cat dander as quickly as possible prevents this debris from making your carpet smell like your pets. Regular vacuuming also removes parasites from fleas from the carpet to help keep your pets happy and healthy. Ideally, homes with pets should be vacuumed daily. If you don’t have time to invest in this daily chore, try to do it at least three times a week.
Vacuum the Right Way
Vacuuming properly is as important as vacuuming often. Most of the suction power occurs as you are pulling the vacuum backwards. You can move the vacuum quickly when it’s going forward, but slow down drastically when you are pulling the vacuum back towards you. Move across the carpet in straight, parallel lines working from left to right. Once you have finished vacuuming in one direction, move to the adjacent wall and repeat the procedure. Work your way around the room and vacuum while standing in front of each of the walls. This will ensure that your carpet is truly clean and leave it smelling fresh.
Use the Right Vacuum
Cheap vacuums lack quality seals, and the filters don’t hold the dirt and allergens in properly. Make the investment in a quality vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture the smallest particles. This ensures that the odor-causing bacteria are captured and are not sent moving throughout the home. Change the bags often and invest in new filters when necessary.
Change the Filter on Your HVAC
You should change the filter on your HVAC system monthly to keep your system running smooth. However, there is another benefit to changing the filter often. Air constantly circulates throughout you home. The hair, dander and dirt from your pets can move through the central heating system and wind up lurking in your air ducts or moving back into your living areas. Change filters regularly to capture these particles and leave your home smelling fresh.
Invest in Professional Steam Cleaning
Professionals use hot water extraction to remove stains and debris that are deep in the carpet. Annual cleaning can ensure that your carpets are not harboring odor-inducing pet hair or the remnants of housebreaking accidents. It also extends the life of your carpet, so invest in annual or even semi-annual professional steam cleaning to keep the carpets looking and smelling great.
Treat Stains as Quickly as Possible
Pets can get sick, and housebreaking accidents will happen. It’s important to treat the accidents and stains as quickly as possible to prevent them from setting in and ruining your carpet. Clean up any solid materials, and then blot the liquid stains to remove them from the carpet. Be patient when blotting to ensure that you remove as much of the stain as possible. Follow up with baking soda, vinegar or enzymatic cleaners to remove the residual proteins and ensure that the odor is eliminated.
Freshen the Carpet with Baking Soda
Once a week, use baking soda to freshen the carpet. Start by vacuuming the carpet thoroughly to remove stains, dust, dirt, dander and fur. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire carpet to absorb any grease and residual odors. With a soft-bristled broom or brush, gently work the baking soda into the carpet. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes or longer. If possible, vacuum the carpet and sprinkle the soda on before you leave for work. After the soda has soaked in, vacuum the carpet again to pull up the baking soda and any odors. Go very slowly, and dump the bin often or change the bag as necessary. Mix baby powder with the baking soda to leave a fresh scent in the carpet.
Pre-treat Carpets with Special Powders
Special powders that eliminate pet odors are available at the local grocery store. Sprinkled over the carpet, they work like baking soda to absorb and eliminate unpleasant smells. The biggest difference between these powders and regular baking soda is the expense and the scent they leave behind. While baking soda does not leave any scent, you can use pre-mixed powders to add the smell of wildflowers or lavender to your carpet.
Essential Oils with Water
Fill a spray bottle with water and then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray a thin mist around the room and let it settle over the carpeting. It will make your entire house smell refreshing and clean. Do this after vacuuming the carpets to enjoy the fresh scent until the next time you run the vacuum cleaner. You can also freshen the carpet by mixing a little cinnamon with baking soda and sprinkling that on the carpet before vacuuming.
Brush Animals Often
Dogs and cats are shedding constantly, and all that hair will land in your carpeting. Gradually building up over the carpet and leaving an odor behind, you can avoid the smell by taking the time to brush your pets. Spending five minutes a day brushing your dog or cat will drastically reduce the amount of stray hair in your carpets while also keeping your pet happy and healthy. You also won’t have to change your vacuum bag as often when you prevent hair from landing on the carpets.
Wiping Muddy Paws
In addition to making your carpets smell bad, your dog can also leave difficult mud stains on the carpet when he or she comes in from outside. Invest in preventive measures to make sure the mud from your back yard doesn’t land on your living room carpet. Put a large outdoor mat at the patio door, and make sure there’s another one inside the door. Keep an old towel near the patio door to wipe off muddy feet as your dog comes in.
Use a Black Light to Look for Stains
Even after you have blotted and treated a urine stain, there can still be some residue in the carpet. Use a black light to check the carpet for stains that are lurking below the surface and leaving an unpleasant odor in your home. Remove these stains and odors by using peroxide, vinegar, baking soda or enzymatic cleaners to treat the stain and eliminate odors.
Keep Kitties Happy
Dogs will pee in the middle of your carpet, but cats like to go behind the furniture or another private place. This means that you spend a good twenty minutes just looking for the source of the smell when you first notice it. Avoid feline mishaps by taking the time to clean the litter box regularly. If you don’t have time to clean the litter pan, then invest in automated pans that do most of the work for you. Cats are less likely to find another bathroom if their usual one is clean, fresh and ready for use.
Borax and Essential Oils
Pick up a box of borax in the laundry section of your local store. Mix two cups of borax with 24 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix it thoroughly to ensure that the oil is absorbed by the borax and clumps are largely knocked out. Sprinkle this solution over the carpet, allow it to sit for about ten minutes and then vacuum it away.
Use Vinegar to Neutralize Odors
If you have a home steam cleaner, run vinegar through it instead of soap. The vinegar will neutralize smells in the carpet and leave it looking cleaner and brighter. After the vinegar has run through, rinse the machine by running plain warm water through the soap dispenser.
Febreze and Air Neutralizers
If you love how Febreze smells and how easy it is to use, then you can use this air freshener to keep the doggy odor out of your home. Spray it around on your way out to run errands and let it magically eliminate odors while you are gone. Please be aware, however, that odor neutralizers and air fresheners are never a substitute for regular vacuuming and professional cleaning services.
A Spray Bottle of Vinegar
You can also fill a spray bottle with a solution of 50-percent vinegar and 50-percent water. Spray this in the air and allow it to settle over the carpets. The vinegar will neutralize odors in the carpet and they will eliminate as the vinegar evaporates.
You love your pets, but you also love having a home that smells fresh. Keeping pet odors out of your carpet isn’t as difficult as you might think. The first step is to vacuum the carpet as often as possible to keep dander, fur and dirt from building up and making it smell.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to battle an animal smell in the carpet, then you can call in High Quality Carpet to provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us, we can remove the dog and cat smell and leave your carpet looking and smelling fantastic.