If you have dogs, you know how that unpleasant odor can stick to carpets. It's not that you don't love your dogs, you can love them and not the smell! Wet dog odors are particularly stubborn and tend to get right into carpet fibers. Then they release that nasty smell all the time and turn your home into a 'dog' house.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with that smell in your carpets. Carpet tends to pick up nasty odors far easier than any hard floor surface in your home, and it also stores them easier. With a hard surface, you can simply use a detergent that also eliminates odors, but with carpet, you'll need to put in a bit more elbow grease.
The first thing to keep in mind is that prevention is far easier than fixing the problem after the fact. There are several ways to prevent dog odor from seeping into your carpets in the first place.
- Keep dogs away from carpeted rooms. Not always practical, but very effective.
- Vacuum regularly. This keeps odors from really settling.
- Deal with any mess (urine, feces or vomit) immediately and spot clean the area with a deodorizing detergent.
- Dry your dog completely with a towel after coming in from a bath or rain.
- Use a special fiber sealant on the carpet to help protect it from absorbing odors.
However, the absolute best way to avoid pet odors is to keep your dog odor free. Bathe your dog frequently and keep him nice and clean. This will definitely help, but to really deal with the problem, you'll want to make sure that you actually remove the odors from your dog. There are shampoos formulated especially for pets that will help prevent bacterial growth that causes those unpleasant smells.
Once you have the dog odor in your carpet, even some heavy duty vacuuming won't help matters. You'll need something a bit stronger to get the odors that are actually deep in the carpet fibers. These are the smells that are more difficult to remove.
For short pile carpets, baking soda might be the easiest solution. Simply sprinkle a heavy layer of baking soda over the entire carpet and let it sit for two or three hours. Overnight is even better. You can then vacuum it up. The baking soda will have absorbed the smells embedded in the carpet and by vacuuming it up, you get rid of them. However, some odors are so strong that they require more than one application.
If you aren't up to waiting and sprinkling baking powder, it might be better to just rent a steam cleaner. This will suck the bad smells and dirt right out of the carpet. It's also a good option for longer carpets where dirt and hair and dandruff tend to get trapped. The steam cleaner will get rid of just about everything and you'll be amazed at how clean your floor is afterwards. While you have it, run the steam cleaner over your sofa, as well and get any lingering odors out of the upholstery, too.
Owning dogs doesn't mean you have to put up with a house that stinks. Keeping your dogs clean and ensuring that any messes are immediately cleaned with a deodorizing cleaner will help keep those odors at bay. And, for the times when things do pile up, a steam cleaner or baking soda will get your house smelling fresh and clean again, without using any nasty chemicals on your carpets.
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