Common Pantry Items to Neutralize Pet Odors

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While you can use many commercially available products to clean up after your pets and dispel odors in your home, common pantry items can work just as well. Many items found in your kitchen cabinets contain antibacterial and odor-neutralizing properties. These items not only clean up pet messes and odors, but they also leave no toxic by-products. Clean up after your pets in an environmentally friendly way and save money by using ingredients you already have.

Vinegar

  • Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar contain acetic acid, a powerful cleanser that neutralizes odors and kills bacteria. Acetic acid liquefies the odor-causing urine salts in pet urine to neutralize its odor and remove stains. Vinegar also has antimicrobial properties to kill the odor-causing bacteria that form in pet urine or feces stains. While vinegar may initially smell unpleasant, the smell will dissipate, leaving behind a fresh scent in your home. Use straight vinegar, or a mix of 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water, to clean pet stains and add 1/2 to 1 cup of it to laundry when laundering pet beds or blankets. When cleaning with vinegar, you do not need to rinse surfaces, as it leaves behind no residue and no toxic chemicals.

Baking Soda

  • You can use baking soda, an alkaline chemical also called sodium bicarbonate, as a scouring powder to remove pet stains from hard surfaces and carpeting. Rub the baking soda in the stain with water to make a paste, then let the stain dry. When you vacuum away the baking soda, you remove the stain and odor. The alkaline nature of baking soda absorbs acidic smells, such as that of pet urine, and turns them into crystalline salts, an odorless substance, according to The Daily Green. To neutralize pet odors, simply leave out a bowl of baking soda in your home to absorb odors. You can also use it as a scrub on hard surfaces or sprinkle it on carpets and upholstery, then vacuum away. Add 1/2 cup to laundry to remove pet smells and keep washable items smelling fresh. Sprinkle it in litter boxes and use it to scrub them down and keep them clean and fresh.

Vodka

  • While you would not normally think of vodka as a cleaner, the alcohol content has antimicrobial properties like that of vinegar. You can spray it on pet bedding or upholstery to remove pet smells and mildew or to wipe down hard surfaces. Spray pet stains or soak pet-stained items in vodka to remove the odors and bacteria that cause them. You can use vodka to clean all kinds of surfaces, including granite and glass with either straight vodka or a mixture of 1 part vodka and 2 parts water. The scent of vodka dissipates when the surfaces or fabrics dry. Saturation and blotting fabrics with vodka will kill bacteria, eliminating pet odors. Since the alcohol evaporates completely, you can saturate pet stains on carpets and fabrics without worry of creating mold and mildew or having to rinse surfaces.

Vanilla Extract

  • A common pantry staple, you can use vanilla extract to impart a pleasant odor in your home and help eliminate pet odors. When you combine a few drops of vanilla extract with either vinegar or vodka, you can spray it as a room deodorizer around pets safely with no toxic effects. Pour the mixture on carpet stains, pet bedding or add a few teaspoons to washable items soiled by pets to remove odors and impart a pleasant vanilla fragrance. Add a few drops to a bowl of baking soda to absorb odors and add a scent of vanilla. Soak cotton balls with vanilla extract and place in areas of your home your pets frequent to remove odors. You can boil water with a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract along with cinnamon or cloves to deodorize your home and counteract pet odors.

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  • Photo Credit pet pamper image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com salat image by Silvia Bogdanski from Fotolia.com cooking salt image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com vodka citron 2 image by yannik LABBE from Fotolia.com vanilla beans image by joanna wnuk from Fotolia.com
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