Homemade Pet Odor Removal

Homemade pet odor removal is not always easy, but a number of pet odors can be handled with simple products that you have around your home.

We love our pets, they are part of the family, but there are lots of ways that our pets can stink up our homes. There's the litter box issue, body odor in our carpets and soft furnishings, and of course the dreaded 'accidents' (some of which are not accidents at all!). At my house we have a great Lab-cross named Tara - she's a great dog, but anyone who has ever had a water dog knows how much they can stink from the oils that their skin produces (and house training her as a puppy was no great pleasure either!). There are a few homemade pet odor removal techniques that work quite well to keep things under control - but sometimes even I have to resort to something stronger.

An Ounce of Prevention...

Pet odors can be susbtantially prevented using four homemade pet odor removal techniques:

1. Dust and vacuum your floors and soft furnishings regularly

Animal hair and dander carry your pet's body oils and deposit it on all of the fabrics in your rooms. A vacuum cleaner will help collect it all, and reduce both the smell, and those annoying hairs.

2. Wash pet bedding regularly

Smells collect here, and can be 'appreciated' from quite a distance. If you can, put the bedding outside in the sun once it has been washed. The sun has natural deodorizing and bleaching properties.

3. Do your best to train your pets to stay off the furniture

When your pet lies on your comfy furniture, they leave behind lost of dander and fur that is coated in body oils. Remember that it is the body oils, not the fur/dander iteself that is the cause of most odors.

The big danger is that the body oils will get into the foams, which may be difficult or impossible to clean.

Our dog is not permitted on the furniture, and she is compliant as long as one of is is in the house. However, if we forget to tip up the seat cushions, she is on the couch before the car is out of the driveway.

If Fluffy just won't stay off that sunny chair, put a towel or other washable fabric where she likes to lie, and wash it from time to time to prevent odor build-up.

4. Brush and bathe your pet regularly

This will send the hair and dander down the drain rather than all over the house. The more frequently you bathe your pet, the gentler the shampoo you will need to use. Be careful with water dogs (i.e. Labs, Newfs etc), as too much bathing might actually increase the amount of oils they secrete to make up for what they are losing from their skin.

How to Remove Cat Odor

The Dreaded Litter Box

Cat litter can stink, but it's not always just the cat's fault. The first thing you should try to do is to change brands to see if a different brand would work better. The perfumes used in some brands of cat litter react with the urine to create a horrible perfumey smell that can be worse than urine alone.

Even with a good 'non-smelly' brand of litter, it always helps to sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda in the bottom of the pan as a great homemade pet odor removal strategy. Even though baking soda is cheap, you can save even more money by purchasing baking soda from a bulk store.

Cat Body Odor in Soft Furnishings

If your cat has a favorite chair, right under that sunny spot in the living room, eventually you will discover a 'unique' odor that comes from your pet's body oils working their way into the fabric and upholstery foam. Fortunately this is not normally too hard to get rid of. Unlike urine odors, most of these 'body odor' type smells can be dealt with by cleaning the furniture.

If you can safely clean the fabric with water, you can do this yourself with the upholstery wand of a carpet cleaning machine. Always rinse out the cleaners with clear water to which you have added 1/2 cup of white vinegar to get rid of any detergent residues and any remaining pet odors.

If your fabric cannot be cleaned with water, then you will have to call in the professionals to clean with solvents. Let them know that the family pet uses the furniture as a bed and they will make adjustments to their cleaning process if needed.

Cat Body Odor in Carpets

You can keep any feline body odors under control by occasionally sprinkling the carpet with plain baking soda - let it sit 15 minutes and then vacuum it up. Every so often though, it may get beyond this simple solution and you will have to properly clean the carpets.

To remove cat odor from your carpets, follow the same advice as for soft furnishings.

Dog Oder Remover

For Surface Odors

The ideas below are intended for deeply ingrained odors. If you just need to get rid of a little 'surface pet odor', then this excellent recipe should work just about perfectly:

Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Once the fizzing stops, add 2 cups of warm water. Wait to make sure that there is no more foaming, and then put in the spray attachment. Shake before using.

Dog Body Odor in Soft Furnishings

Our dog is not allowed on the furniture, and she would never dream of getting up on the couch when we are home. Unfortunately she has no such issues if we are out of the house. As a result, I have a beautiful couch that seems to acquire 'doggy odor'.

Our current couch fabric needs to be dry-cleaned, so once every year or so we have someone come in and professionally dry-clean the furniture. Although I would prefer a homemade pet odor removal technique, that's what we have to do. It works just fine. Our previous couch was water-safe, so we borrowed a carpet cleaner and cleaned it, always following the cleaning with a warm water and white vinegar rinse.

Dog Body Odor in Carpets

Doggy odor in the carpet is an unpleasant thing - especially if you own a water dog. However, these can be removed using the appropriate cleaning technique for your carpet. If you cleaning the carpets yourself, don't forget that all important final rinse with a little white vinegar in plain water.

These simple techniques work quite well for basic dog odor removal.

Dog Ear Odor

Dog ear odor is normally the result of an infestation of mites or infection. If your dog's ears have an unpleaseant odor, you need to take them to the vet. Untreated ear issues can lead to deafness.


Pet Stain and Odor Removal on Carpet


Pet Urine Odor Control


Skunk Odor Removal


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