Moving Out: How to De-Pet Your Apartment

Whether you need to get rid of pesky pet hair or eliminate odors, you can leave your apartment looking as good as (relatively) new! Here are a few tips for banishing the ghost of Fluffy’s past.

Conquer the Carpet

Your dog 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.

Baking Soda: 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 have removed all dry material from the carpet, use a steam cleaner to eliminate any odors stuck in the fibers.

Use Clinging Products on 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.

De-Pet Your Furniture

Many people sell old furniture before moving out, but you don’t want to get rid of a furry sofa. Whether you’re hosting a garage sale to get rid of clutter or your apartment was already furnished, you should 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 the 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.

Dust First

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. You can even use dryer sheets if you want to.

Employ Baking Soda and Vinegar

The dynamic duo of baking soda and vinegar can be your greatest ally in de-petting your apartment before moving out. If Fluffy (god forbid) urinated on your carpet or furniture, you may have some residual mess.

The moment you notice the puddle, get cleaning. When the urine dries, it gathers bacteria, and that’s what causes odor to develop. Start by soaking the liquid with paper towels. Keep piling them on the spot until no more liquid soaks through.

Then, get a black light. The fluorescent color will illuminate leftover urine. 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. Vacuum the residual vinegar.

Once the spot is dry, sprinkle baking soda over the top. Next, mix half a cup of 3 percent peroxide with 1 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.

Vacuum once again and let the area dry completely. Bam! You’re done.

Remove Stains

You can use baking soda and vinegar to get rid of stains left by your dog’s urine too. Simply pour vinegar over the stain and dust the spot with baking soda. Place a plate over the top. Let it sit for a day or two, then remove the powder and vacuum.


Here is an easy, natural method to improve the pet odor situation 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.

Photo by Don Agnello on Unsplash

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