How To Get Pet Odors Out Of Your Home, According To An Expert

We can all agree that our pets are some of the most treasured members of our family. Although they'll forever be our best friends, we can also acknowledge their smelly tendencies. According to Chelsea Cleaning, one of the many reasons our homes smell is due to the fur and dead skin cells constantly shed by our pets. If you're not taking care of this properly, there's no hope of the odor going away.

In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Michelle Lehr CCMT, therapy dog trainer and the head writer at Good Dog Swag, reveals the best strategies for tackling this issue. Her first tip is to clean regularly! "In my experience, consistently and thoroughly cleaning the living spaces of pets is key in preventing and eliminating odors," she says. "Regular vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, as well as washing pet beds and toys, can go a long way in maintaining a fresh and clean environment for both pets and their owners."

Enzymatic cleaner works wonders

First things first, you've got to use the right cleaning solutions. "One of the most effective ways to eliminate pet odors is by using a high-quality enzymatic cleaner," Michelle Lehr notes. "These cleaners work by breaking down the organic matter that is causing the odor, rather than just masking it with a strong scent. One of my personal favorites is Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator. It's safe to use on a variety of surfaces including upholstery, carpet, and hardwood." Don't worry, this is a non-toxic and bio-enzymatic cleaner that is also safe to keep around your furry friends (via Chewy).

Not only is it important to use the right cleaning products; proper tools are also essential. "Another technique that can be used in conjunction with an enzymatic cleaner is steam cleaning," she reveals. "Steam cleaning uses high-pressure hot water to remove dirt and bacteria, as well as neutralize odors. This is especially effective for carpets and upholstery."

Vinegar and baking soda

The other cleaning solutions recommended by Lehr include natural ingredients you probably have right at home. "For hardwood and tile floors, a mixture of white vinegar and water can be used to clean and deodorize," she says. "The acidity in the vinegar helps to break down the odor-causing bacteria. I recommend using a ratio of 1:1 for light cleaning, and increasing the amount of vinegar for more stubborn odors." Just be sure to keep your pets in a separate room when using this cleaning solution to avoid accidental consumption. For certain dogs, it can cause stomach aches.

When it comes to the sofas and cushions our pets love sleeping on, the pet expert recommends relying on a historically popular cleaning powder. "For upholstery, consider using baking soda to absorb odors. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. This can be done before using an enzymatic cleaner for extra odor-fighting power." As mentioned in the case of vinegar, also use baking soda with caution to ensure your pets aren't tempted to give it a taste.