When you first adopt your pet, pet odor removal isn’t usually one of the things you are thinking about.
When you first bring home the little (or big) fur ball, it can be hard to believe they would even think about leaving stains or odors in your house. Just look at those big, innocent eyes!
However, as experienced pet parents know, this is just a fact of life when you share that life with a pet. Getting rid of lingering pet odors and stain removal suddenly become very important subjects in your internet browser history.
In searching for the best ways of how to eliminate pet odor from your couch or carpet, or knock out those stubborn stains, you’ve likely come across many potential solutions.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most popular “miracle” solutions for pet odor removal and pet stain removal, and separate the odor myths from the cold, clean facts.
Odor Myth 1: Vinegar And Baking Soda Will Fix Everything
Fact: Vinegar and baking soda for pet odor is only a temporary fix. While the popular home remedy of baking soda and vinegar is one you’ll see recommended for cleaning everything from your oven to your cat’s litter box, it might work to temporarily neutralize the urine odor. And only for a matter of days, if you’re lucky.
Vinegar and baking soda is a popular and useful chemical-free solution for getting rid of many odors, and a natural disinfectant. However, it can’t effectively treat pet urine on its own. Dog and cat urine is composed of things that require far more complex cleaning solutions to remove it from household fabrics and surfaces.
The only things that actually work on removing the urine smell, stains and eliminating pet odor from your couch and beyond are enzyme cleaners. An enzyme is a specialized protein compound which helps to break down stains and odors at a chemical level.
An enzyme cleaner specialized for cat urine or dog urine, like Angry Orange, is capable of breaking down the odor-causing compounds in your pet’s urine, instead of just covering them up. Enzyme cleaners are also highly effective against a wide range of stains, like grease, mud, oil and wine.
Remember that vinegar is acidic, and it shouldn’t be used on wood furniture, granite or marble surfaces. If your little furry friend made a mess on a piece of wood furniture, cleaning it with vinegar might affect the polish. An enzyme cleaner could be your solution for cleaning up many delicate surfaces.
Odor Myth 2: Odor Eliminating Candles Are Safe To Use Around Pets
Fact: Not only are they not fully effective against the bad odors, but some scented candles can actually be harmful for your pets and even for yourself or your family. Not to mention that your pet might accidentally set your whole house on fire if left unsupervised.
Fragrances, artificial scents and even the candle smoke itself may actually be irritants to you and your pet. Potential effects include triggering allergic reactions, respiratory distress or even asthma for you and your pet.
Instead of burning candles, leaving out potpourri which could be eaten by a curious pet or potentially irritating essential oils, try freshening the air with an air purifier.
While these devices may not add any pleasant smell to your home, they can clear up lingering odors and odor-causing particles from your indoor air. You’ll likely notice a clean, ‘fresh’ feel in your air, and it may help relieve allergy symptoms for both you and your pet. Whether you choose larger or smaller devices, choosing one of the best-reviewed air purifiers is a smart choice.
If you do choose to burn scented candles in your home, seek out 100% beeswax or 100% soy-based candles if possible. These candles burn cleaner, and are made from naturally-sourced materials which are less processed and less dangerous for your pets.
Odor Myth 3: Ammonia-Based Cleaning Products Are Effective
Fact: Ammonia is a popular solvent cleaner found in many household products, but it shouldn’t be used to remove pet urine stains, because it will just make it worse.
Ammonia is, in fact, a component found naturally in urine. But thanks to your dog’s or cat’s advanced sense of smell, it might smell like some other animal just peed in their house - how rude! As pets mark their territory with their individual smells, ammonia may trigger them to urinate again in the same spot. Cleaning urine stains with ammonia is one of the most serious odor myths because it will only make your pets want to return to the “crime scene,” and you will have to clean up after them over and over again.
Moreover, even in low quantities, ammonia can cause some nasty eye, nose, throat or skin irritations, so it should be avoided, especially near pets and children.
A concentrated pet odor eliminator like Angry Orange replaces this triggering smell with a fresh citrus scent that many human reviewers can’t get enough of. And without ammonia, your pet won’t feel the strong urge to return and mark the same spot again and again. When using Angry Orange, keep your pets away from the treated area until it dries. As with many pet products, it’s best to test the product in a small area to ensure they respond safely before using it in your home. Never spray directly onto your pets.
Odor Myth 4: Bleach Is The Best Household Disinfectant
Fact: Bleach is one of the most commonly used chemicals for disinfection, but it can be harmful for both pets and humans. If it's accidentally ingested, bleach can cause convulsions, nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases, even death. So don't use it on surfaces where it can come in contact with your pet.
One more thing: never mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar. Combining these two cleaning agents is a big no-no, because they will produce toxic vapors that are harmful for you and your pets.
Odor Myth 5: You Can Never Really Get Rid Of Pet Odor In The House
Fact: You’ve likely been in a few homes and thought, “Phew, well that’s never coming out.” While it is true it may be more difficult to remove set-in stains, or certain hard-to-clean fabrics, there is hope out there! A professional cleaning might be in the cards for severe cases, or for moving into a poorly-maintained property. But for tips on eliminating pet odor from your couch, to removing tough dog or cat urine stains. be sure to check out our blog.
One of the best parts of our job here at Angry Orange is hearing from relieved pet parents. You can read real reviews for yourself: when nothing else seemed to work, just a few applications of Angry Orange Odor Eliminator, or a few sprays of our Pet Stain & Odor Remover got the job done. This stuff really works.
The Bottom Line About Debunking Odor Myths
There are a ton of products, recipes and “lifehacks” out there. While some are the real deal, many others are just odor myths. When it comes to pet odor removal and fighting stains, the right products can make all the difference. Remember to test any new product or method in a hidden, out-of-the-way area and away from your pets.
Contributing Writer: Stuart Oldroyd