If you consider your home to be an oasis, a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of work, where you can relax in comfort, imagine how that image is shattered when you enter your home and the pungent scent of cat urine and wet dog greets you. Many commercial cleaners tend to mask smells rather than eliminate them and are not generally eco-friendly or health-friendly. You can find natural ways of eliminating pet odors using products you may already have in your home.
If you've ever had to clean a litter box you know it can have an extremely strong ammonia-like smell. Unfortunately, the offensive odor coming from a litter box can spread a distance from the actual litter box and permeate the air in most rooms in the home. There are eco-friendly commercial cat litters that provide some degree of pet odor elimination. Cleaning the litter box daily is one way to help eliminate this odor. A natural way to increase the elimination of this pet odor is to sprinkle baking soda over fresh cat litter. The natural ingredients in baking soda soak up unpleasant odors, keeping them from being released in the air. The dander in dog fur tends to settle in carpet fibers. A natural way to eliminate this pet odor is to sprinkle a light amount of baking soda on the carpet, let it sit overnight, and vacuum away in the morning.
White Distilled Vinegar
Pet accidents are bound to happen at some time and can cause odors in your home. Properly cleaning the areas where pet accidents occur reduces pet odors associated with cat or dog urine. The wet area should be blotted dry with a paper towel then cleaned with white distilled vinegar using a cleaning cloth. After cleaning the area with vinegar, rinse with water and let it dry. The distinct sour odor of vinegar is quickly dispelled and leaves the air naturally freshened. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison's Professor Shakhashiri's Science is Fun, the acetic acid in vinegar has disinfectant properties that naturally break down bacteria, making it useful for household cleaning.
No matter how big or deep the water bowl is dogs tend to spill and splash water all over the floor, where it invariably seeps beneath the dish. Mix the water with pieces of spilled dog food and you can have a problem. If this water sits for an extended period of time mold can start to grow, which is unhealthy and can produce a musty odor. A natural way to control the spread of mold is to wipe the wet area with a dry paper towel then go over the surface with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and water. The rubbing alcohol kills any mold and dries in no time. Wipe over the area again with clean water and dry completely to ensure no damage is done to the floor. Use caution when applying rubbing alcohol directly to wood surfaces as it can alter the color of the wood.
Houseplants are natural air filters in your home through the process of photosynthesis, which occurs when plants use light energy to produce oxygen, which is released into the air. Place houseplants that are non-toxic to pets throughout your home as a natural way to eliminate pet odor. Examples of non-toxic plants, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, include baby's tears, bamboo palm and button fern. Fresh herbs are easy to plant, do not require a lot of space, and provide natural air fresheners in your home. Some non-toxic herbs you can plant around pets include ginger, rosemary and sage.
- Good Housekeeping: Clean Up Dog and Cat Hair
- The Humane Society: Removing Pet Stains and Odors
- Earth 911: Baking Soda: Multipurpose Superhero
- The Dollar Stretcher: Removing Pet Urine Smells
- PetMD: Herb 'N' Living: Growing a Home Garden for Your Pet
- University of Wisconsin Madison: Acetic Acid & Acetic Anhydride
- Photo Credit cat image by petar Ishmeriev from Fotolia.com spatiphillum image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com
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