How to Get Rid of Pet Smells Fast

Beloved household animals can leave behind smells that could turn off potential buyers when a home is for sale. Homeowners—who may have become “nose blind” to the smells—may want to take a few steps to remove any lingering smells prior to their first showing. Here are a few tips from HouseLogic.com, a home improvement resource:

Start scrubbing.

Scrub the bare floors and walls where pets have left their mark with vinegar, wood floor cleaner, or an odor-neutralizing product (available at pet supply stores), HouseLogic recommends. They also suggest a 1:9 bleach-to-water solution on surfaces like cement floors or walls.

Wash drapes and upholstery.

The odors can seep into fabrics. Wash or dry-clean all the fabric window coverings, and steam-clean any upholsteredfurniture to try to remove any smells. Remove or replace pet bedding, too.

Clean carpets.

Shampoo carpets and rugs, or hire professionals to do it. If the smell still lingers, you may need to consider removing the carpets and padding completely. If you do, scrub the subfloor with vinegar or an odor-removing product before installing any new carpeting or padding so that the smell doesn’t return.

Let fresh air in.

As you clean, open all the windows in the home to let fresh air circulate.

Paint or seal.

“When heavy-duty cleaners haven’t eradicated smells in drywall, plaster, or woodwork, add a fresh coat of paint or stain, or replace the drywall or wood altogether,” HouseLogic.com suggests. It may help smells from reemerging.

Put down some pet rules.

While a house is on the market, you may want to put some limits on where a pet is able to go in the home to prevent smells from returning and limit clean ups. Crate a dog while you’re out and, if possible, limit pets to a certain floor or room. Replace kitty litter daily—not just scooping up clumps, but actually replacing it.