Most carpet cleaning companies will tell you professional cleaning is the only way to go for pet owners. Pet stores are willing sell multitudes of cleaning products designed for pets.
Well-meaning fellow pet owners will be eager to share their homemade solutions with you. This article will discuss 5 important things to do if you have pets in the home, to keep your carpets looking and smelling good.
Keep your pet clean.
Muddy paws and sloppy eating habits are both major sources of mess on carpets. Some pet owners have chosen to keep washable rugs over high pet-traffic areas, especially near the door they enter and exit most often.
Keeping a spray bottle of mild soapy water and a soft cloth near that entrance can make for quick cleanup, but also cleaner carpets in the long term.
Be mindful of your pet’s diet.
Food would never be an issue, of course, if your pet never got sick. However, accidents happen, and food with dyes and chemical additives can make for a more difficult cleanup.
Have a good vacuuming routine, and clean the vacuum often.
Hair and dirt build up quickly in homes (and vacuums!) with pets, and taking a quick pass in high traffic areas every few days will make for much easier maintenance in the long run. Change the bag or empty the canister at least once every two weeks, or more frequently if you notice smells are lingering.
Invest in an extractor vacuum, and an enzymatic cleaner.
Getting liquids out of carpet quickly will go the furthest to minimizing unpleasant odors. Most pet stores stock targeted enzymatic cleaning products based on animal type and size.
You don’t need the most expensive bottle, but certainly check reviews and ask staff before you buy to be sure that you are getting something worth the money. Also, read the directions carefully.
The next step will explain basic cleaning procedures for accidental messes, but some products need to be applied at different steps in the process.
Basic cleanup steps after a pet accident:
1. Move your pet somewhere comfortable and secure. There is no need for paws or tails to get dragged through the mess.
2. Remove solids by pressing a dustpan or putty knife into the carpet outside the mess, moving in and lifting up. Try not to rub or press on the stain until all solids have been removed.
3. Extract liquids. Extracting even after a mess has been sitting for a while will still help, and make the enzymatic cleaner more effective.
If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, use dry towels, but don’t press too hard.
4. Spray enzymatic cleaner on the mess and some of the surrounding area. Read the label to know how much to put down, and how long to leave it.
Typically, enzymatic cleaners do not require rubbing, but if you have a stubborn stain, you may use a soft-bristle brush after it has worked for a while.
5. Allow the area to dry, then vacuum well.