We love our pets, but they do leave behind some pesky stains and odors. Even if you have a pet-friendly rug, you still might have some lingering odors to deal with. Luckily, there are cleaning hacks that can remove even the most stubborn traces of pet messes.

Cleaning Up Smelly Cat Hairballs

Hairballs are a common occurrence for cat owners. While you might be tempted to remove these sloppy wads of hair immediately, it's actually best to let them firm up a bit before removing them. It's easier to collect all of the bits forming the hairball once they've firmly stuck into a ball. After picking up the clumps with paper towels, dab up any moisture with a cloth, then spray on some carpet cleaner to eliminate stains and odor. Vinegar and water, club soda, and shaving cream are safe alternatives to chemical cleaners.

Cleaning Up Dried Dog Urine

The most powerful tool to clean up dried dog urine is a wet vacuum. These are pretty inexpensive and do the most thorough and fast job of removing any stains and lingering odors. If you don't have a wet vac, it's best to imitate the method by dampening the mess with stain remover and water, then soaking up the dirty water with a rag, rinsing with clean water, and letting it dry. After the stain dries, spray on a scent neutralizer.

Cleaning Up Wet Dog Urine

A wet vac is a huge asset if you're trying to clean up wet dog pee. The first thing you need to do is place paper towels on top of the urine. If it's on a throw rug, place towels underneath, too. You'll need to apply pressure to soak up the moisture. Once that's done, a wet vac should finish the job. If you don't have one, you'll need a rag or some other bit of fabric that you don't mind ruining. Press hard on the stain until you've soaked up moisture. Once the area is dry, sprinkle baking soda over the area to eliminate the scent. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before vacuuming up the powder.

Removing Cat Urine Odor

Cat urine has a really strong scent because it's so concentrated. Cats are good at conserving water, so their urine isn't watered down much. That means you'll need to use a cleaning product with an enzymatic solution to eliminate the smell. Try to remove the urine as quickly as you can because the longer it sits, the worse the smell becomes.

Eliminating Lingering Litter Box Smell

Litter box smell can become unbearably strong even if you have a self-cleaning litter box. The best way to combat the smell is to remove waste often and sprinkle baking soda over the litter. Avoid using scented cat litters, as they sometimes deter cats from using the litter box. Make sure your litter is removed and refreshed at least once a month. Wipe down the box with an enzymatic solution, but avoid using strong products like bleach that might be harmful to your cat.

Safely Cleaning Your Pet's Bed

To clean your pet's bed, vacuum it first. If the loose hair gets in your washer, it could clog the hoses. Once the bed is free of hair, put the bed in the washer to remove the smell. Use a dye-free and scent-free detergent to avoid potential allergic reactions. Instead of using artificially scented detergent, dump a one-pound box of baking soda into the washer. Let the bed air dry to prevent shrinkage.

Removing and Cleaning Pet Odors From Your Furniture

Vacuum the area first. If hair is still stuck to the furniture, use an adhesive roller to pick up loose strands. Next, sprinkle baking soda over the furniture and let it sit for about 30 minutes before vacuuming it off.

Cleaning Your Pet's Travel Crate

Most pet crates have a removable plastic bottom. Take this plastic tray outside and hose it down with water. If it has a strong odor, wash the base with vinegar. You can use bleach as long as it's rinsed thoroughly and dried before the pet goes in again. Avoid using ammonia-based products. Wash the wire portion with soap, water, and a sponge. If your crate has a soft mat in the bottom, these are usually machine-washable.

How to Make a Homemade Pet-Safe Cleaning Spray

Recommended recipes for making your own pet-safe cleaning spray use all-natural products that won't harm animals. To make your own cleaning spray, pet owners can dissolve a tablespoon of salt in two cups of water. Mix in half a cup of vinegar, a tablespoon of dish detergent, and two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. This should combat stubborn stains and unpleasant odors.

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