how to remove pet odor from an apartment

How to Get Rid of Pet Odor in an Apartment

Whether you need to get rid of pesky pet hair or clean stubborn mud and pee stains, you can have your apartment looking and smelling as good as (relatively) new!

Here are a few tips for getting rid of pet odor in your apartment.

pet stains

Attack stains and pet odor with baking soda and vinegar

The dynamic duo of baking soda and vinegar can be your greatest ally in removing pet odor from your apartment. If Fluffy urinated on your carpet or furniture, you may have some residual mess.

How to remove pet odor from old stains

When the urine dries, it gathers bacteria, and that’s what causes the odor to develop. You can use a black UV flashlight to find invisible stains on rugs, carpets and clothes that might be causing the pet odor in your apartment, and follow these easy steps to make your home odor-free:

  1. Start by soaking the liquid with paper towels. Keep piling them on the spot until no more liquid soaks through.
  2. Mix a batch of liquid that’s equal parts vinegar and water. Use a sponge to apply the liquid to the lit spots on your carpet. You can do this with dry, old urine spots, too.
  3. Vacuum the residual vinegar.
  4. Once the spot is dry, sprinkle baking soda over the top.
  5. Mix half-a-cup of 3-percent peroxide with one teaspoon of dish detergent (the kind you use outside of your dishwasher). Blot the mixture over the baking soda, working it to the baseboard. Scrub the area with a brush and let it dry.
  6. Vacuum once again, and let the area dry completely. Bam! You’re done.

How to remove pet odor from new stains

If you see your pet urinating or throwing up (or worse) on your carpet, get cleaning right away. This method isn’t as involved as the one used to clean old stains, but it works just as well:

  1. Pour vinegar over the stain and dust the spot with baking soda.
  2. Place a plate over the top and let it sit for a day or two.
  3. Remove the powder and vacuum.

Reduce pet odor in your apartment with frequent cleaning

Stains aren’t the only pet problems that will contribute to an animal smell in your home. Here are a few tips for cleaning up after your animal that will also help reduce pet odor in your apartment.


1. Dust first

Before you even think about cleaning, you need to dust your surfaces. When you dust, you may push particles onto the floor. For this reason, dust your apartment before vacuuming or sweeping. That way, dog fur that you push off the dresser will be swept up as you continue cleaning.

You should also dust using a microfiber or electrostatic tool or even use dryer sheets if you want to.

2. Conquer the carpet

Pay special attention to your carpet. Your pet likely sheds, leaving fur, dust and dander stuck in the fibers of your carpet and area rugs. These tiny hairs are stubborn, so you need to come at them with precision and determination. Here are a few tips when cleaning your carpet.

Vacuum in multiple directions

You can loosen fur by altering the direction in which you vacuum. While this means you’ll go over the same spots numerous times, the method helps to detach stubborn hairs. Don’t forget to vacuum all your furniture, as well as curtains with the appropriate attachments.

Clean with baking soda

Even without stains, baking soda is a great cleaning agent that neutralizes trapped odors. Sprinkle it liberally over all carpets and rugs. Let it sit for a couple of hours, and then vacuum all over.

Steam cleaning

After you’ve removed all dry material from the carpet, use a steam cleaner to eliminate any stains or odors stuck in the fibers. You can rent a carpet cleaner from Home Depot, Walmart or most grocery stores for about $30 a day, plus around $17 for the cleaning solution. They’re easy to use and will make a big difference in getting the pet odor out of your carpet.

3. Use clinging products on a hard floor

Vacuuming your tile, laminate or hardwood is likely to only move your pet’s fur around. Rather than vacuum these surfaces, invest in a microfiber or electrostatic dry mop. These products attract dirt, hair and other particles to themselves, getting the pesky dust and fur off your floor.

If you don’t want to buy one of these mops, consider rubbing a dryer sheet over the floor. These products are designed to attract lint in the dryer and will be equally effective at gathering pet fur.

cat on furniture

4. De-pet your furniture

Furniture can be a magnet for pet hair and all sorts of other things. Take care to remove fur from your sofa, chairs, etc. Here’s how:

Use a squeegee

You use a squeegee to get water off your windows when washing them, but you can also use it to pull away pet fur from furniture and carpets.

Grab a glove

Don rubber gloves you reserve for cleaning unseemly messes when you need to remove pet hair. Run the gloves under water, then move your hands over your sofa. The wet material will attract hair, allowing you to gather it off the couch. Once you’ve made a little pile of pet fur, use a vacuum attachment with bristles to suck it up.

5. Ventilate

Here’s an easy, natural method to eliminate pet odors in your apartment. Throw open the windows to let fresh air and sunshine enter the room. As air circulation within the apartment improves, your furniture, carpets and rugs will also benefit.

Offense is the best defense in eliminating pet odors

The longer you have a pet, the more likely you’ll need to figure out how to get rid of pet odor in your apartment. Do your best to clean your animal with frequent baths or showers. If your apartment has one, try using a pet wash. This won’t solve all of your problems, but it might help make your apartment smell a little fresher.


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