Everyone loves their furry friends, but living with cats and dogs can get a bit smelly. This may lead to lingering pet odors in your house, and no one wants to come home to a stinky abode. Whether you're freshening up your home for guests, getting the wet-dog smell out of your summer rental, or preparing to sell your property, here are the best tips on how to get rid of pet odor and get your house smelling like new. 

Wash Everything You Can

If you have furnishings with removable slipcovers—an investment that pet owners benefit from—take them off and throw them in the washing machine. Check the tags first, but items like blankets, small rugs, and drapes can generally be machine washed, too. If your pillows have removable covers, send those for a spin as well. If the pillows themselves smell, check to see if you can wash the entire thing, and if not, consider replacing them. Freshening up these items is a largely hands-off task and can go a long way toward making your home smell more pleasant. 

Deep Clean the Carpet

The carpet is often the culprit when you can't seem to pin down that lingering animal scent. Fluffy carpets are comfortable underfoot, but they aren't the most forgiving when you have pets. 

Giving your carpet a deep clean with a steam cleaner is a good way to cut the stench. If you don't own this handy tool, you can easily rent one or hire a service to do it for you. If you have large area rugs, you may be able to use the steam cleaner on them as well, but consult the tags first for special washing instructions. 

If you're still dealing with pesky smells after the carpet is cleaned and dried, sprinkle baking soda over the smelly area and allow it to sit for several hours. Then, run a vacuum over it to remove the powder—and any bad odors! 

Don't Forget Other Flooring

Your kitchen or dining-room floor is a hard surface, yes, but that doesn't mean it's free of odors. Sweep wood or tile floors to get rid of pet hair and dirt, and then give them a good scrub to help remove funky smells. The crevices between wood slats and the grout in tile floors trap dirt and scents, so mopping the floor can make a big difference when it comes to freshening up a room. 

Refresh Upholstery

You'll have some furnishings that can't just be thrown in a washing machine, so you'll have to find other ways to keep them clean and fresh. First, vacuum the furniture to remove pet hair and dander. Next, use an odor-neutralizing spray to refresh the piece. You can purchase this type of spray at most grocery or home-goods stores, or you can make your own using:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups water  

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and spritz any furnishings that need some odor-removing TLC!

With these tips, you'll quickly become an expert on how to get rid of pet odor in your home—and you should notice that the air around you smells a little sweeter. Don't forget to keep Fido, his toys, and his bedding clean, too. Otherwise, your home's fresh fragrance may be short-lived.