How to Remove Pet Odor from Furniture

Picture of a dog on a chair

If you share your house with a dog or a cat, you’ve likely noticed that after a while your furniture starts to smell a little less than April fresh. Whether the odor is the result of normal pet-related smells from skin, sweat, and hair or from things dragged in on your pet’s paws, regular cleaning of furniture is important not only to remove unpleasant odors but also to preserve the life of your sofas and chairs. If your nose is telling you some deep cleaning is in order, you might be wondering…how can I safely remove pet odors from my furniture?

Do It Yourself Solutions for Furniture with Pet Odors

Since pet odors in furniture are an ongoing problem, you’re likely looking for a do it yourself solution that will allow you to keep on top of things, so your furniture remains smelling fresh and clean and looking in tip top condition. Here are a few of our top do it yourself tips for removing pet odors from your furniture:

  • Baking soda

Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer, making it an excellent choice for safe use on furniture. To get started with removing unpleasant smells from your sofa or chair, experts recommend a generous sprinkling of baking soda over the surface of the furniture. Once the piece of furniture has been properly coated, it should be allowed to sit overnight. When morning arrives, a quick vacuuming of the surface is all it takes to restore your couch to its pristine glory. This process may need to be repeated several times to completely eradicate stubborn smells.

  • Febreze/fabric refreshers

Commercial fabric refreshers such as Febreze can help mask unpleasant odors in your furniture on a short term basis. These products penetrate fabric sources to help break down the particles that result in the unwanted smell. As an added bonus, they are typically available in a wide array of scents, allowing you to choose one that best suits your own smelling preferences. 

  • Specialized upholstery cleaners

Some odors are so pungent that using simple solutions such fabric refreshers and baking soda are inadequate to the task. If your couch is in need of some heavy duty cleaning, it is a great idea to purchase an upholstery cleaner. These small units are portable, making them both light and easy to use. The cleaning agents included with upholstery cleaners are powerful enough to penetrate to the root of the deepest odors while the suction provided by the vacuum unit removes moisture and dirt particles, leaving behind a clean, fresh-smelling surface. 

  • Vacuum cleaners

Some smells that linger in a couch or chair can easily be removed through a comprehensive vacuuming. Since dogs and cats do shed both hair and dander, this can create unpleasant smells if allowed to accumulate in crevices between couch cushions, underneath furniture, and more. Purchase a vacuum that is designed specifically to deal with pet hair for the maximum benefits.

  • Enzymatic pet cleaners

Enzymatic pet cleaners take odor removal to a whole new level. Designed specifically to find and break down the particles that result in unpleasant smells as a result of pets, these innovative cleaning agents don’t simply mask odors; they penetrate to their root cause and eradicate them. There are many different enzymatic pet cleaners available for purchase today. They can be found at many different retailers including pet stores, Home Depot, and other hardware store chains.

  • Steam cleaners

Purchasing a steam cleaner offers an effective way to permanently remove pet odors through a cleaning process that focuses on the elimination of bacteria. Since bacteria is often to blame for unpleasant smells in furniture, the heat produced by the steam cleaner is extremely beneficial, removing both the offending bacteria and the odor in one simple step. Steam cleaners rely solely on the use of tap or distilled water, making them safe for use around pets since no cleaning agents are required at all.

  • Air out or launder couch cushions or coverings

Taking couch cushions and coverings out in the fresh air or running them through the washing machine can kill bacteria and lingering odors in furniture. The heat treatment from the sun or the dryer is strong enough to kill any bacteria contained in the fabric, leaving the surface smelling like a fresh April day.

Preventing Future Pet Odors in Furniture

As with many different situations in life, prevention is the most effective strategy for keeping your furniture looking and smell nice and clean. Here are some things you can do to help keep pet odors out of your sofas and chairs:

  • Make use of slip covers

Today, slip covers are inexpensive and can be purchased in many different colors and patterns with something sure to suit every taste and budget. Slip covers give you the best of both worlds. They keep your furniture clean and protected and are easy to clean if they become soiled or smelly. 

  • Keep on top of shed hair

One of the down sides of pet ownership is dealing with the shed hair. Shed hair accumulates on furniture, particularly in crevices. Keeping all sofas and chairs well vacuumed will help keep pet hair to a minimum, thus reducing any potential odors. 

  • Spot clean any messes as they occur

Accidents happen. Keeping on top of them as they occur is key to helping prevent staining and unpleasant smells in furniture. If your dog tracks in mud or something a little less pleasing on the nose or even has an accident on your furniture, be swift about cleaning the mess with the appropriate cleaning solution. Set stains and trapped odors are far more difficult to remove at a later date and may require more aggressive cleaning to complete eliminate. 

  • Keep Fido or Fifi groomed and clean

Dirty pets are often stinky pets. By the same token, when a dog or cat become overgrown, odors can become trapped in the hair and against the skin that is then leaked into your couches and chairs when your pet reclines against them. Regular baths and grooming are good for your pet’s overall health and also for the longevity and cleanliness of your furniture.

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