What is that funky smell when you walk in after being outdoors? Do you sometimes get a whiff of dog or cat as you come into your home? It’s not unusual when you have pets at home and particularly if you have carpets on your floors. Fear not though, you don’t have to give up either to eliminate the odour, just follow our easy-step guide to cleaning your carpets and keeping on top of it once you do to prevent it from re-occurring.
What is it about pets?
Pets, and in particular dogs and cats, are often free to roam in and out of our homes. They will come in from frolicking around in the garden or from a walk, sweaty or wet. The summer heat means they need to sweat more to stay cool, while the winter months mean they are more likely to be wet when they come in. Dogs and cats will primarily sweat through their paws which means that it is easy to spread those smelly bacteria across the floors, trapping them in carpet fibres.
How can I get rid of the smell?
Carpet cleaner is the most effective way of doing so. There are plenty of options on the market nowadays and they need not cost the earth either. They will not only clean the carpet, but they can deodorise it as well, eliminating rather than masking smells. If you are buying one from the shops, look out for one that will deal with tough pet odours. There are plenty of chemical-free options on the market as well if you would rather not add chemicals to your home.
You could also make your own. Here are our favourites:
- Baking soda. Particularly good for any accidents your pet may have had, baking soda is a natural odour eliminator. Sprinkle a generous amount over your carpet and let it sit overnight to absorb excess moisture and trap odours. Vacuum it all up in the morning and voilà– no more funky smells! For especially tough odours, or ones that may have been there for a while, repeat the process a second time.
- Baking soda and essential oils. A variation on the above process, only this way you get your favourite essential oil smells around the house instead of your pets’.
- Vinegar. This option is for deodorising only. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar – once it dries it is actually odourless. Use white wine vinegar for best results and spray over the carpet using a spray bottle. After it has dried, you’ll never know it was there in the first place!
- Vodka. Yes, you read right. Better for spot cleaning rather than for entire carpets, spray a bit of cheap vodka (keep the good stuff!) over the offending spot, leave it for 15 minutes, then blot with paper towels to remove moisture. You can add some baking powder and vacuum if you want to be absolutely sure all the moisture has gone.
Regular cleaning is really the only way of ensuring odours do not build up and linger around. Get into the habit of ventilating your home well and keeping your floors clean. Deal with any stains immediately to avoid them soaking in and now that you know how to deodorise your carpet, doing it regularly will ensure a clean and odour-free home, no matter how wet and sweaty your pets may get.