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Sharing your home with a pet is rewarding in myriad ways. They’re part of the family and provide companionship along with hours of entertainment. There are, however, some complications that come along with our furry friends — namely fur, dirt, and odor. If you’re in search of some tips to combat the complications that pets can introduce when trying to keep a tidy, fresh-smelling home, here are some of our favorites:
ABC (Always Be Cleaning)
This probably seems obvious, but there are some simple tasks you can add to your cleaning routine that will decrease pet odor in your home and make cleanup easier. Cleaning the floors, vacuuming carpets and rugs, sweeping the hardwood and tile flooring, and mopping should all be done as often as you can fit it into the schedule — at least hit the high-traffic areas. If your pets spend much of their time sleeping on the living room couch, try to vacuum that every couple days. Pet pillows, pet beds, and plush toys are the worst for retaining odor, so try to launder them weekly. Pet bowls should get frequent washings, and if possible, try to shampoo your carpets and furniture cushions every two months or so.
The best way to ameliorate pet odor is to let in fresh air and ensure it’s well circulated throughout the house. Open windows and doors on opposite sides of the house to encourage a cross breeze, or place a fan in front of the window to improve the airflow. You may also want to dry your pet beds outdoors to keep the wet dog smell out of the house.
Spray air fresheners don’t really help with pet odor, so choose odor absorbers instead. Odor absorbers are particularly helpful if you have cats who use a litter box. Select cat litter that is odor absorbent, which will reduce the smell of ammonia significantly. If you have multiple cats, each cat should have a separate litter box, waste should be removed daily, and litter boxes should be washed out weekly. Vinegar is also a terrific odor absorber — just leave a cup of vinegar on the counter or on a table and it will cut down the odor.
Buying a high-quality air purifier with carbon filters not only gets rid of odor, it also cuts down on airborne bacteria, mold, pet dander, dust mites, and pollen you would otherwise be breathing in. The air filters in your HVAC accomplish the same task, so be sure those are being changed out regularly with a high-quality filter.
It’s common for people to leave an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to deal with odor. Baking soda naturally absorbs unpleasant odors and is safe for your pets. It’s as easy as sprinkling the baking soda on your carpets, furniture, and bedding, letting it sit overnight and vacuuming it up the next day.
Having a pet doesn’t mean your home has to smell like it. With some simple changes to your routine, odors can be dealt with and measures can be put into place so that they stay gone.