You’re finally settled into your new home, and wouldn’t you know it – Spot and Fluffy haven’t wasted any time “christening” your new digs. If you’ve got a pet, you’ll have accidents – that’s as certain as death and taxes. But never fear…the “Clean Team” at Ernest Signature Custom Homes is bringing you the first in a series of cleaning tips that will help you remove any evidence of your pet’s indiscretions.
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat…
We all remember the song from the TV show “Friends” – and it’s based in truth. Sometimes your cats (and dogs, ferrets, hamsters, etc.) can create unpleasant lingering odors. To make air fresheners with punch, turn to some basic ingredients you’re sure to have on hand. Keep in mind – they are inexpensive, effective and they are all completely pet and furnishing safe!
*White Vinegar – Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake well and mist the air with the solution. The vinegar neutralizes the odors quickly. If you’ve got a persistent stinky smell, use the vinegar at full strength.
* Nestea – Mix two cups of instant powdered Nestea according to the directions, and pour into your trusty spray bottle. Spray into the air to freshen your rooms; tea is a natural odor eliminator.
* Baking Soda – Long admired for its deodorizing properties, there’s several ways you can use baking soda to tackle tough odors. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of lemon juice to two cups of very warm to hot water. After mixing well, transfer to a spray bottle and shake. The light spray will leave a fresh, lemony scent. If you prefer a vanilla scent, add 1/8 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to two cups of water in your spray bottle, along with a tablespoon of baking soda and half a tablespoon of Parson’s lemon ammonia. Spritz away!
* Old Spice Aftershave Lotion – Dampen a cotton ball with Old Spice and add it to your vacuum bag or cup. As you run the machine, the scented air will blast through your home.
* Downy Fabric Softener – One tablespoon of Downy and two cups of water make a great air freshener for your home. Mix in your favorite spray bottle and you’re ready to go!
Baking soda can also be sprinkled on dry upholstery surfaces to absorb odors. Pet (and people) bedding, sofas and carpets can benefit from 15 to 20 minutes of deodorizing. Sprinkle, let sit, and either shake out the powder or vacuum it up.
Don’t be afraid to use the vinegar and Downy solutions on carpeting for deep cleaning. The Downy solution also has anti-static properties that make it easier for your vacuum to pick up pet hair.
If your pet “messes” on your carpet, it’s time to bring out the bigger guns. Since animals have a keen sense of smell and the tendency to return to the scene of the crime to leave another mess, you need to neutralize these odors as quickly as possible. Try a solution of a quarter cup of white vinegar and a few drops of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid in a quart of warm water. Scrub the accident area thoroughly with the solution and blot dry.
Another great deodorizer for pet accidents is corn meal. Sprinkle the corn meal on the spot after removing the evidence and/or blotting the excess moisture from the surface. Let it sit for several hours, then brush up the corn meal and vacuum. The corn meal is a natural deodorizer.
To clean a fresh mess on the carpet, pour a small amount of club soda on the stain after removing the evidence and blotting the moisture. Re-blot to remove excess soda. Sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for several hours. The baking soda works on the odor, and the club soda works on the stain. Vacuum up any residue.
Want to learn more about tackling tough pet messes? Keep an eye on our blog for more tips and tricks coming your way this summer and fall!