The Seller’s Guide to Banishing Household Pet Odors
Nothing turns buyers away faster than funky smells in a home. And if you own pets, your home is almost certainly hosting a few odors of its own. Before your house hits the market, make sure you give these seven areas a deep clean to eliminate lingering pet odors.
You don’t think of your walls as permeable, but the truth is, paint absorbs odors over time. Wash the walls with a diluted vinegar and water solution. If that doesn’t take care of the odor, it’s time for a fresh coat of paint.
Spot treat carpet stains with a solution of one part vinegar to one part water. Allow the solution to soak into the stained area before blotting. If vinegar fails to remove the stain, turn to a high-quality carpet stain remover, but avoid ammonia-based products, as the smell encourages inappropriate urination. Once stains are removed, use a hot water extractor, also known as a steam cleaner, in conjunction with a urine-specific enzyme-based carpet cleaning product. If urine has soaked through to the carpet padding or subfloor, you’ll need to replace the carpet, padding, and affected subfloor to eliminate the smell.
Machine washable curtains can be run through the washing machine and dried on a clothesline or in a dryer. You may choose to hand wash delicate curtains even if they’re labeled as machine washable. If your curtains are labeled dry clean only, it’s best to send them to professional dry cleaners to prevent bleeding, fading, or pilling.
To clean upholstered furniture, begin by vacuuming to remove fur and dander. You can then spot treat stains with a vinegar solution or enzyme cleaner. However, not all fabrics are water-safe. Use The Spruce’s guide to decode upholstery cleaning codes and hire a professional upholstery cleaner for dry clean-only items. If odor remains after a thorough cleaning, odor-causing bacteria could be embedded in the cushion. Either replace the cushion or remove the furniture from the home. Once clean, keep pets off the furniture or use slipcovers to prevent future messes.
Don’t forget the bedding when cleaning your home’s soft surfaces. Whether your pets are allowed on the bed or not, odors can make their way into the fabric. Wash sheets, blankets, mattress covers, and pillows using the hottest temperature setting indicated on the fabric care instructions. For advice on the proper way to wash bedding, refer to these instructions from Martha Stewart.
It’s always a good idea to install a fresh furnace filter before showing your home, but your vents may need some attention too. Use a vacuum cleaner and damp cloth to clean pet hair, dander, and other messes around air supply registers and return grilles. If a deeper cleaning is required, hire a professional to avoid damage to your home’s ductwork.
Your deep clean shouldn’t stop at the door. Clean pet waste out of the lawn and neutralize smells with a homemade odor eliminator. Fragrant plants like lavender are also helpful for masking backyard odors. Wash exterior surfaces that have been marked by urine and replace wooden landscape edging that has absorbed urine.
These seven areas are the most likely culprits when your abode is hosting unpleasant pet odors, but your cleaning shouldn’t stop here. When you have pets, smells can settle into every nook and cranny of your home. Give yourself time to deep clean every corner of the house; if it’s too much to do alone, hire a cleaning service to help you get your home staged and ready to sell (find more home staging tips from experts here). And of course, take care to remove your pets’ things — and your pets themselves — before buyers visit the home. If buyers walk in to see Fido staring them down, they’ll be wondering what smells and damage are hidden below the surface.
Article provided by Tamara Gilmore from PupJobs.com.