How to Eliminate Pet and Smoke Odors from Your Home

Unpleasant odors from pets or smoke can linger in your home, creating an unwelcome environment. Fortunately, there are effective cleaning methods to eliminate these smells and restore freshness to your living space. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you eliminate these persistent odors.

Getting Rid of Pet Smells

1. Clean All Surfaces

  • Vacuum Thoroughly: Start by vacuuming carpets, rugs, upholstery, and even mattresses. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture pet dander and hair.
  • Wash Fabrics: Launder all washable fabrics, including curtains, cushion covers, and pet bedding. Use a high-quality detergent, and for extra odor-neutralizing power, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle.
  • Hard Surfaces: Clean floors, walls, and baseboards with a mixture of water and vinegar or an enzyme cleaner designed specifically for pet odors.

2. Use Enzyme Cleaners

  • Apply enzyme cleaners to areas where pets have had accidents. These cleaners break down the organic materials that cause odors, making them an essential tool in your odor-fighting arsenal.

3. Steam Cleaning

  • Steam clean carpets, rugs, and upholstery to deep-clean and remove embedded odors. The high temperature of the steam helps to kill bacteria and neutralize smells.

4. Air Purifiers

  • Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter to remove pet dander and odors from the air. These purifiers can significantly improve indoor air quality.

5. Baking Soda

  • Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and furniture, let it sit for several hours or overnight, and then vacuum thoroughly. Baking soda is excellent for absorbing and neutralizing odors.

Eliminating Smoke Smells

1. Air Out the House

  • Begin by opening windows and doors to ventilate the home. Use fans to help circulate fresh air, which can help dissipate lingering smoke smells.

2. Deep Cleaning

  • Wash Walls and Ceilings: Use a mixture of ammonia and water (1 cup ammonia to 1 gallon of water) or a commercial smoke odor removal product to clean walls and ceilings.
  • Clean All Surfaces: Don’t forget furniture, light fixtures, and any other hard surfaces. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is highly effective for tackling tough smoke residue.

3. Replace HVAC Filters

  • Replace the filters in your heating and cooling system to prevent the recirculation of smoke odors. This simple step can make a big difference in improving air quality.

4. Clean Carpets and Upholstery

  • Steam clean carpets and upholstery to remove embedded smoke particles. Incorporate a smoke odor eliminator into the cleaning solution for better results.

5. Wash or Replace Fabrics

  • Launder curtains, bedding, and any other fabric items. If the smell persists, it might be necessary to replace these items.

6. Activated Charcoal and Baking Soda

  • Place bowls of activated charcoal or baking soda around the house to absorb smoke odors. Replace them regularly until the smell is completely gone.

7. Use Odor Neutralizers

  • Products like Ozium or those containing activated carbon are designed to eliminate smoke smells. These can be very effective in neutralizing tough odors.

General Tips

  • Professional Help: For persistent odors, consider hiring professional cleaning services that specialize in odor removal. They have the expertise and equipment to handle even the toughest smells.
  • Paint: In cases of severe smoke odor, repainting walls and ceilings with a sealant primer followed by a fresh coat of paint can trap any residual smells and refresh your home’s appearance.

By following these strategies, you can effectively remove pet and smoke odors from your home, creating a cleaner, fresher, and healthier living environment. If you’d like help with cleaning or painting we have a list of vendors that we trust to give you excellent service! Embrace these tips and enjoy the comfort of a home that smells as good as it looks!

Want more cleaning or home design tips? Check out my blog!

Katy Wolffis