Anyone who lives with pets benefits from an effective pet smell eliminator. With hot weather keeping pets indoors for longer periods, pet potty accidents may increase. But be careful your pet accident cleaner doesn’t cause more problems. A pet smelly carpet where the cat sprayed urine or the dog leg lifted could draw the culprit back to the scene of the accident. Switching litter too fast may also prompt the cat to “go” in the wrong place. I’ve updated the list to stay current.
Recently a friend complained about a horrible pet smell with her dogs, and ask about an effective pet smell remover for her home. In her case, the dogs found a skunk, and I referred her to this page with 3 home remedies for de-skunking pets. De-skunking formulations also work well for dogs that roll in poop or other aromatic fun.
Cats and dogs can detect minute chemical scents humans can’t fathom. That’s one reason dogs love underwear! Simply mopping up the mess may satisfy your nose, but the smell lures pets back to the scene of the crime to repeat the dirty deed, time after time.
Common Pet “Accidents” That Stain
At our house, our old-lady cat Seren-Kitty’s potty stains remind us of her last year with us (she nearly made it to age 22, so cut her some slack!). And again during his last six months with us, Bravo-Dawg left carpet reminders. He never lost his appetite, but often drank too much water and URPed meals up in massive amounts. I think it’s a pet rule to only vomit on pale carpet rather than easily cleaned tile. Less frequently, Karma-Kat has a hairball issue that again hits pale carpet rather than easy to clean surfaces.
How to Clean Potty Accidents
Urine soaked into carpet proves particularly difficult to remove. With fresh accidents, pick up the solids and blot up as much liquid as possible. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products. Since urine has ammonia in it, such products may mimic the smell and make the area even more attractive as a potty spot.
Once urine dries on carpet or walls, “pee-mail” notes are even more difficult to locate and clean. Turn off all your lights and shine a high-quality black light on suspect areas. That makes urine glow in the dark. Don’t forget to check vertical areas such as walls and bedspreads that spraying cats and leg-lifting dogs like to target.
How to Clean Pet Smells & Eliminate Pet Odors
The best products don’t just clean the area or cover up with perfumes. They neutralize the chemicals that smell bad. Urine contains sticky urea, urochrome (the yellow color), and uric acid. You can wash the first two away; however, uric acid is nearly impossible to dissolve and remove from surfaces.
Successful products not only clean away the urea and urochrome, they also neutralize the uric acid. They commonly use enzymes or encapsulate the urine molecules to contain the odor. Here are a few examples I’ve found to be successful and/or other professionals and colleagues have recommended to me. Ask for them at pet products stores, your veterinarian, Target, Walmart and similar sources, as well as online (some affiliate links included).
7 Pet Smell Removers
- Pristine Pet touted as an eco-friendly option, lists more ingredients they WON’T use than those included in the formulation. I purchased the discounted product offer after seeing endorsements from pet lovers. It’s my new favorite because it removed years-old set-in stains, as well as new ones. It combines a professional-grade hydrogen peroxide, plus a micellar cleanser (borrowed from the beauty industry) to break down soil particles.
- MisterMax Anti Icky Poo Odor remover uses live bacteria to eliminate any organic material left behind by your pets.
- AtmosKlear Odor Eliminator developed for the automotive industry can be used straight or mixed with other cleaning preparations. Recommended for pet odors and other household odors (smoke, gym bags, basement mustiness, etc.).
- ECOS (Petastic) formerly known as Nature’s Miracle, has been recommended by pet professionals for years. It employs an enzyme that breaks down and neutralizers the odor.
- Urine-Off employs an enzyme that digests the urine molecules. The website also offers quality black lights for aid in finding and cleaning problem spots.
- Zero Odor is not an enzyme, but composed of anti-odor molecules that bind with odor molecules and change them from smelly to non-offensive.
- For messes on solid surfaces, products like Sprinkle & Sweep offer a solution. Sprinkle the powder on your pet’s diarrhea, urine, or vomiting accident—or any kind of spill—and the product makes it easy to sweep away the mess. It helps clear away the smell, too, with a fresh pine aroma.
What’s your go-to product for getting rid of the “funk” in your pet household? Do tell!
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!