The Pet Owners’ Guide to Carpet Cleaning: Professional Tips for Removing Pet Hair, Stains, and Odors
Expert Tips to Keep Your Furry Family From Destroying Your Beautiful Carpets
Most of us love our furry friends and treat our pets like family. But as much as we love these animals, it’s no secret that cats, dogs, and countless other pets can make a terrible mess—scattering hair, mud, odors, and worse throughout our lovely homes.
Naturally, much of that grime eventually settles in the fibers of your carpets. Beyond being unpleasant to look at and walk around on, dirty, soiled carpets can release dreadful odors and emissions, even hampering the air quality in your home.
Since no one wants to live in a smelly, dirty home (while we all want to keep our pets!), the carpet cleaning experts at Oxi Fresh are here to offer some helpful advice and professional tips that’ll help you keep your house and carpets in great condition no matter how many animals you have running around.
In the rest of this blog, we’ll show you how to efficiently:
Tackling Pet Hair
If you own a dog, a cat, a pig, a ferret, or any other mammalian pet, chances are you find yourself sweeping up their hair or fur on a regular basis. Here are some expert tips to help you keep your carpets free and clear of pet hair.
Vacuuming your carpets on a regular basis is a great idea whether you have pets or not. But when pet hair’s an issue, routine vacuuming becomes an absolute must.
Finding the Right Vacuum
If pet hair is your main concern, be sure to choose a pet-friendly vacuum cleaner. Many modern vacuums have special features that are particularly effective at picking up fur, including brush rolls, HEPA filters, and powerful suction capabilities.
You may also prefer to find a vacuum with useful attachments like motorized brush heads and crevice tools, which will help you keep your upholstered furniture clean along with any tighter spaces on the carpet into which your whole vacuum might not be able to fit.
To find the right vacuum for you, search for models that offer some of these useful features, and be sure to read customer reviews and recommendations to help you find the right solution for your home and pet.
Tips for Effective Vacuuming
As carpet cleaning professionals, we know a thing or two about getting the most out of your vacuum. Here are some of our top tips:
- Aim to vacuum your carpeted floors at least twice a week
- Also regularly vacuum your upholstery, curtains, and any other soft furnishings that tend to gather pet hair
- Vacuum your carpet in long, wall-to-wall rows, being sure to cover each section of the carpet from multiple directions and with multiple passes of the vacuum (check out this brief guide for a more thorough description of the optimal vacuuming technique!)
- Empty your vacuum’s bag or dustbin when it reaches a quarter or a third full—as vacuums lose much of their suction power after this point
- Stay on top of any necessary cleaning and maintenance for your vacuum over time (clean and/or replace filters, follow all recommendations included in the machine’s instructions, etc.)
Use Other Purpose-Built Tools for Pet Hair Removal
Along with your vacuum, there are a few other tools you may want to add to your pet-hair-removal arsenal. Below, we cover three of the most useful.
Carpet rakes are useful tools with specialized bristles designed to lift pet hair from deep down in the carpet pile. At the same time, these handy rakes can also improve the general appearance of your carpet, as they lift the carpet pile and leave the fibers standing upright where they can better pick up and reflect light.
If you plan to use a specialized carpet rake, simply draw it towards you in the classic “raking” motion to gather and remove any pet hair clinging to your carpet’s fibers.
A rubber broom is another effective tool to consider adding to your carpet-cleaning toolkit, especially if you have pets. These brooms feature rubber bristles that generate static electricity as they’re used, while this static attracts pet hair and draws it out of your carpet pile. As a bonus, rubber brooms work well on hardwood, tile, and linoleum floors as well—not just carpets.
To get the most out of your rubber broom, sweep the tool over your carpet’s surface using short, firm strokes.
Even if you’ve never heard of a carpet rake or a rubber broom, you’re probably familiar with lint rollers, a classic option for quick touch-ups and an excellent solution for removing pet hair from any clothes, furniture, pet beds, or other smaller areas.
Using a lint roller couldn’t be easier: just roll the tool over the surface you’re trying to clean while applying light pressure—and you’ll see the results right away. Just remember to replace the adhesive sheet on your roller once it’s collected plenty of hair.
Don’t Let Pet Hair Build Up in the First Place
Another key tip is to take the small steps necessary to prevent pet hair or fur from building up in the first place. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions.
Regularly Groom Your Pets
Many pets naturally shed their hair and fur over time. Brushing your pet’s coat on a routine basis can remove these loose hairs before they’re shed in your home, helping to minimize the amount of fur that ever reaches your carpet.
Many grooming tools are purpose-built for specific animals, so make sure you’re using the right tools for your beloved pet. It might even be wise to consult with a professional groomer or your local veterinarian to get a better sense of the ideal grooming routine for your animal.
Provide Designated Pet Beds and Blankets
Find washable beds and blankets for your furry friends that are made from materials, such as microfiber cloth or canvas, that don’t attract pet hair. Then put the bed or blankets in one of your pet’s favorite spots and encourage your animal to use them, rather than letting them lounge around on your carpets or furniture.
Wash Your Pet’s Belongings
Of course, we recommend finding washable pet beds and blankets because it’s crucial that you wash these items, along with toys or any other pet-friendly belongings, on a regular basis. These cleanings will remove the accumulated pet hair before it has a chance to pile up on your carpets or furniture.
There are even pet-hair laundry additives and dryer sheets specifically crafted to remove pet hair from fabrics during the washing and drying process. Just be sure you follow the instructions listed on your pet’s belongings to make sure you’re washing them safely and avoiding any damage or shrinkage.
Treating Pet Stains
Dealing with your pet’s hair or fur is one thing. Dealing with the stains and messes they leave behind is another thing entirely. In this section, we’ll offer our best advice for treating these unfortunate stains whenever they do occur.
Identifying Common Pet Stains
We’ve broken down the four most common pet stains, giving you tips to help you readily identify these stains so you can utilize the proper approach needed to clear them up. We also include some useful information about the impact these stains can have on your carpets.
Pet urine stains are characterized by a typically strong, pungent odor that many of us, of course, are already familiar with. These spots can cause discoloration or yellowing of the carpet. If they’re left untreated for an extended period of time, urine stains can become quite difficult to remove.
Feces can not only cause serious stains and leave odorous residues clinging to your carpet fibers, but it can also create a breeding ground for bacteria if it’s not properly and effectively extracted. As such, it’s crucial to address these stains as soon as possible—but be sure to take all safety precautions needed to keep yourself safe in the process.
Vomit can vary in appearance but should normally be recognizable. If not cleaned properly and promptly, vomit can cause a number of issues for your carpeted floors. Its acidic nature can discolor your carpets, it may contain food particles that attract insects or foster mold growth, and it can leave unpleasant odors you’ll be eager to get rid of—so get right to the task if you do need to clean up any vomit stains!
Mud and Dirt
Is there a trail of mud or dirt leading from the front door to your dog’s bed? Many of us can relate. Whether it’s our kids, ourselves, or our pets, we’ll find a way to track mud and dirt across our carpets.
These types of stains can worsen wear and tear on many types of carpet fibers, making it critical that you carefully remove mud or dirt stuck in your carpets. Particularly on light-colored carpets, discoloration caused by this type of soiling can also be a real issue.
Acting Quickly to Treat Pet Stains
Once you’ve identified a pet stain of any kind, it’s important to start the cleaning process as soon as possible to minimize the issues outlined above.
Blot Stains with a Clean Cloth
After identifying the stain, you’ll first need to remove as much of the material as possible. This may include scraping the material out of the carpet with a spoon or another similar object, but more often, this first step should focus on blotting stains up with a clean, dry cloth, working from the outside in to avoid spreading the stain any further.
Change to a fresh cloth as often as you need to to continue blotting and lifting the material. Absorb as much of the stain as you possibly can to prevent the material from sinking any deeper into the carpet pile.
Avoid Rubbing and Scrubbing
In this first critical step, you should always blot or dab the stain with a clean cloth, rather than rubbing or scrubbing at the material. Rubbing or scrubbing can make the stain spread to the surrounding carpet and could even damage your carpet fibers, so simply blot the spot with clean cloths until you can’t pick up any more material.
Using Appropriate Cleaning Solutions
After lifting as much of the stain as you can in that first step, you’ll probably need to use cleaning agents to break down and extract the rest of the stain. Here, you’ll have to choose between trying DIY, at-home cleaning solutions made of common household items, heading to the store for a pet stain removal solution, or hiring a professional like Oxi Fresh to take the task on for you.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions
One of our favorite homemade cleaning solutions is a simple mix of equal parts white vinegar and tap water. This natural product is simple and inexpensive to make, offering you a non-toxic stain remover made from products you probably have on hand already.
As with any cleaning solution, you should test this blend on an inconspicuous part of your carpet, applying a small amount to this discreet area and observing the results to make sure it’s safe to use on the more visible parts of your carpet. If there are no negative results after this test, you can treat the stain with this solution using either a spray bottle or a dampened cloth. Once you’ve applied the mixture to the stain, let it dwell for five to ten minutes, then blot the stain and solution with a clean cloth until you’ve removed all the staining material from the carpet pile.
Once you’ve cleared up the stain to the best of your ability, you should make sure you remove any trace of the vinegar solution from your carpet. To do so, spritz the area with water, then blot it dry with a clean cloth. You may need to repeat this step a few times to ensure you’ve removed any and all solution from your carpet pile.
Pet Stain Remover Solution
Sometimes, more serious stains call for more powerful products, and you may opt for one of the many pet stain removers available online or at grocery, pet, and hardware stores. As carpet cleaning experts, we generally recommend using enzymatic cleaning agents that were specifically crafted to break down pet stains and odors.
Whether you choose an enzymatic cleaning agent or not, just make sure you aren’t using any harsh chemicals that could damage your carpet or pose a threat to your or your pet’s health. As always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any cleaning products, and don’t forget to test the product in an inconspicuous area before using it to clean.
Hire the Pros at Oxi Fresh
With our expert knowledge and experience, professional-grade cleaning agents, and powerful equipment, you can trust Oxi Fresh’s specialty services to take on any pet-related challenge your carpets may present. We can also offer the deep-cleaning you need without posing any threat to your carpet—in fact, our gentle methods can even extend the life of your carpet over the long term.
So if you don’t feel like blotting away your afternoon, just give Oxi Fresh a call, and we’ll take it from there.
Avoid Bleach and Ammonia-Based Products
Here’s another expert tip: if you’re cleaning your own carpets, don’t use bleach or ammonia-based products. Both of these types of products can cause discoloration or damage to your carpet, and ammonia can actually amplify the smell of pet urine while making it more difficult to remove.
Instead, opt for a homemade blend or an enzymatic cleaner like we suggested above. Of course, we’d also be thrilled to help you out if you’d rather leave the job to us!
Preventative Measures to Reduce Pet Stains
Of course, the best way to keep your carpets free and clear of pet stains is to take steps to prevent those stains from ever showing up in the first place. Here are a few expert tips to get you started in the right direction.
Regular House Training for Pets
If at all possible, do your research and understand what it will take to effectively train your pet to use designated areas, such as a litter box or the outdoors, whenever they need to relieve themselves. If you’re patient and consistent in your training approach, you should be able to achieve the long-term success you’re looking for with many types of animals, which can cut down on pet stains to a major degree.
Place Mats or Rugs in High-Traffic Areas
Another handy tip for keeping your carpets free of pet stains is to strategically place washable mats or rugs throughout your home. For instance, placing a mat at the entrance to your home can help to collect much of the mud and dirt clinging to your pet’s paws before it has a chance to reach your carpet.
Likewise, if there are any areas where your pet likes to spend its time, you can lay down mats or rugs to protect the carpet in those particular locations. Wherever you place them, just be sure you’re choosing mats and rugs made out of materials that are durable and easy to clean.
Keep Pet Wipes or Towels Near Entryways
Alongside the mat at your doorway, we’d also recommend keeping pet wipes or towels near the entry to your home, so you can quickly and easily wipe your pet’s paws whenever they come back inside from the outdoors. With a little effort, you might even be able to train your pet to wait by the door until you’ve wiped them down!
Eliminating Pet-Related Odors
Oftentimes, pet stains in your carpets lead to serious odor issues—an especially unpleasant element of dealing with these stains. Thankfully, we’ve got a few expert tips to help you tackle the problem and get rid of stubborn odors. And as always, we’re standing by with our professional services, which are always the best option if you need a truly deep cleaning.
Dealing with Lingering Odors From Pet Stains
If you’ve used the tips above to clean your pet-stained carpet but there’s still an odor lingering in your home, here are two handy tips for getting rid of those pesky smells.
Use Enzymatic Cleaning Agents to Break Down Odor-Causing Compounds
We’ve already mentioned how enzymatic cleaners can work wonders on pet stains—but their special benefits extend to the odor issues caused by those stains as well. Many enzyme-based cleaning solutions that are readily available in stores and online contain enzymatic cleaning agents that target and break down the odor-causing compounds present in pet stains and spots.
To use these products, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the cleaning agent to the stained area. Also remember to let the cleaning agent rest for the recommended “dwell time,” then blot the spot to remove any excess moisture. After following these instructions, your carpets should be smelling fine once again, as these enzymes should remain active until all the odor-causing compounds are thoroughly broken down.
Once you’ve cleaned the spot, we recommend blotting the area with a towel dampened with clean water just to ensure you’re removing any residual cleaning solution that may have been left in your carpet.
Apply Baking Soda to Absorb Odors
While enzymatic cleaners work great, we also want to recommend a more simple, homemade option. Thankfully, baking soda, a natural odor absorber and readily available household item, can have a big impact on lingering smells clinging to your carpet.
Before applying any baking soda, use a clean towel to blot up as much of the liquid as you possibly can. After absorbing most or all of the remaining moisture, sprinkle baking soda over the stained area, then let it rest for at least a few hours. Once the baking soda has had a chance to dwell and soak up any odors (make sure the spot and baking soda are completely dry before moving onto this step), thoroughly vacuum the carpet to remove all traces of the baking soda.
As a cautionary note, you should know that using this method on white or light-colored carpets could potentially cause slight discoloration. However, if you have a smelly pet stain, the risk of slight discoloration is likely the lesser of two evils. And no matter what color your carpet is, be sure to comprehensively vacuum all of the baking soda out of your carpet pile so there’s absolutely no residue left behind, which should help to limit the risk of discoloration.
And as always, you can avoid this risk entirely by leaving the job to a trusted professional like Oxi Fresh. Our cleaning solutions and methods are purposefully crafted to eliminate odors and soil while still being safe for your carpets.
While this baking soda technique works well, you may need to repeat this simple process multiple times to clear up especially strong odors.
Give Us a Call
If you don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of cleaning pet odors yourself, you can always give us a call and book an Oxi Fresh Total Odor Control service. With our professional approach, robust products, and cutting-edge technology, you can rest assured we’ll get the job done safely and to your satisfaction, leaving your carpets smelling fresh and clean once again.
Maintaining a Fresh-Smelling Home
There’s no way around it: pets can be smelly additions to any home. But beyond cleaning up any lingering odors from pet stains, there are steps you can take in your daily life to keep your home smelling clean and fresh, regardless of what your furry friends may do.
Regularly Air Out Your Home
Whenever the weather allows, opening doors and windows to let fresh air circulate through your home can have a huge impact on lingering smells. Using fans and other air circulation systems on a routine basis can also increase airflow through your home, further reducing any stale, musty, or unpleasant odors.
While you should try to let fresh air circulate through your home as often as possible, it’s especially important to remember to do so anytime you’re cleaning up a pet stain or accident.
Use Air Purifiers or HEPA Filters
Using air purifiers or HEPA filters can also have a notable impact on the air quality and freshness of your home, especially if you have pets and related odor issues, as these products can remove most pet dander, allergens, and odors from the air in your house.
We recommend placing these devices in the rooms where your pets spend most of their time, and don’t forget to change the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep Pet Bedding and Toys Clean
We’ve already touched on it briefly, but keeping your pet’s belongings clean and regularly washed can help you block the spread of odors. Be sure to use pet-safe laundry detergents and cleaning products that won’t harm your pet’s well-being, and, if possible, consider rotating through their toys and other items to help you maintain a cleaner, fresher home with a little less effort.
When to Call the Professionals
While these tips and tricks can be very helpful, there’s nothing like a professional cleaning from a trusted service like Oxi Fresh. If the issue you’re dealing with is especially severe, if you’re not certain how to handle the problem, or if you just want a deep and comprehensive cleaning, give Oxi Fresh a call, and we’ll take the worry and effort off your plate.
At Oxi Fresh, we have a powerful suite of eco-friendly products, cutting-edge tools and equipment, proven techniques, and substantial experience cleaning countless carpets. With our skill and know-how, we can rescue even the saddest (and smelliest) of carpets!
The Benefits of Professional Carpet Cleanings for Pet Owners
When you hire Oxi Fresh, you know you’ll receive the thorough, deep cleaning you desire. And you don’t have to take our word for it—just look through our many glowing reviews and you’ll see all the proof you need. Below, we’ll outline some of the key benefits of leaving your carpet cleanings to a trusted professional like Oxi Fresh.
Thorough Removal of Pet Hair, Stains, and Odors
With our professional approach and specialty services, we can remove pet hair, stains, and odors much more effectively and thoroughly than any standard at-home cleaning methods. Plus, with Oxi Fresh, we’re able to eliminate these stubborn issues while only using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Prolonging the Life of Your Carpet
Because dirt and other forms of soil contribute to wear and tear on your carpets, routine cleanings from a professional service like Oxi Fresh can significantly extend the lifespan of your carpets. Since our cleanings help to maintain not just the appearance but also the quality and health of your carpets, our services can even save you money over the long term by keeping your carpets healthy and functioning for longer than they otherwise would.
To wrap up our “Pet Owners’ Guide to Carpet Cleaning,” we wanted to summarize some of our key points for easy reference moving forward.
Here are our main tips for keeping your own carpets clean and fresh:
- Vacuum your floors on a regular basis and use specialized pet-hair-removal tools when necessary
- Address any pet stains promptly, and remember to blot properly, use the right cleaning solutions, and take useful preventative measures
- Use enzymatic cleaners or baking soda to eliminate lingering pet odors
- Air out your home regularly, use air purifiers or HEPA filters, and keep your pet’s belongings as clean as can be to maintain a fresh-smelling home
And remember, whether you have serious issues that strictly require professional assistance or are simply interested in a deep, professional carpet cleaning, services like Oxi Fresh can have an incredible impact on your home.
With our eco-friendly carpet cleanings, we can readily eliminate severe problems like lingering odors and stains, improve your indoor air quality, enhance the appearance of your space, and prolong the life of your carpets.
So with our help, keeping your pets healthy and happy can be easier than ever, while making your life at home together even more pleasant and enjoyable.
If you’d like to book an Oxi Fresh carpet cleaning for yourself, please visit our Online Scheduler or give us a call at 1-877-OXIFRESH to connect with a real human and schedule over the phone!
Note: This article is based on our in-house expertise, but we also owe a debt of gratitude to other organizations whose content we referenced while creating this blog, including the U.S. EPA, the American Cleaning Institute, the Humane Society of the United States, PetMD, The Spruce Pets, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, The Wildest, the U.S. CDC, and Real Simple.