Pet Messes and Smells – What’s the Best Way To Clean Them Up?

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Great things about pets:

  • You can have limitless snuggles
  • They give unconditional love
  • They’re good company

Not-so-great things:

  • Pet messes and smells
  • Shedding fur and dander

From peeing in the house to tracking mud in from the yard, pet messes and smells expose your household to a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other nasties that can cause strange smells, stains, and even illness.

The best way to clean up pet messes and smells

On top of the basics, like washing your hands after cleaning up your dog’s waste or cleaning the litter box, here are a few steps you can take to make sure your pets and their messes don’t dirty up your household.


Pets can wreak havoc on appliances like your vacuum cleaner, washing machine, and dryer. To keep your appliances in ship shape and your home free of pet hair:

  • Empty the vacuum canister each time you use it and tie up the waste in a garbage bag to contain dust, dander, and hair.
  • Vacuum the drum of your washing machine to keep it running efficiently.
  • Clean the dryer filter after every load to keep pet hair that made it through the wash cycle from clogging of the lint collector and dryer hose.

Pet messes and smells on the floor

Whether it’s from running inside after playing in a muddy yard, tracking litter out of the box, or having an accident on the area rug, your four-legged friends can really take a toll on your flooring. Even surfaces like wood and tile can hold odors from urine (or other gifts). Here are a few tips to help you keep your pets’ odors and messes at bay:

  • Blot fresh messes with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Use your favorite pet-friendly cleaner to treat the affected area.
  • You can also make your own solution with 1 cup of water and ⅛ a tsp of your favorite (gentle) dish soap. Simply dab the mess until clean and remove the soapy mixture by blotting the area a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of white vinegar.
  • Scrub stains off of tile, hardwood, and other hard surfaces with warm soap and water, or water and baking soda to ensure that funky smells don’t settle into your floors.

Pro tip: Regular cleaning and maintenance goes a long way in keeping your home feeling (and smelling) fresh and clean, but pet dander, dust, and other debris can build up in tile grout, carpet, and upholstery over time. Eliminate buildup and revive your flooring and fabric surfaces by hiring a professional carpet and floor cleaning service (like Elite Clean) about once a year. For more on keeping your flooring in its best shape and keeping your home healthy and clean, see:


Even if your pets aren’t allowed to lounge around on the furniture, fabrics can attract, collect, and hold onto pet odors over time. Keep your couches and chairs fresh and clean with these cleaning tips:

  • Get stubborn pet hair that held on even through a good vacuuming off of the backs and sides of furniture with a hair removal glove (or a damp rubber glove).
  • Use baking soda or an odor-eliminating spray specifically designed for pet odors to freshen your fabrics. Simply let the baking soda or other mix work its magic for 10-20 minutes and vacuum it up.
  • Consider investing in slipcovers that you can simply zip on and off of your furniture and toss in the wash.

Pet toys, beds, and accessories.

We get it, you love spoiling your fur-babies, but their chew toys, beds, and even their collars could be spreading stains and unwanted odors. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dote on your pets, just keep a few things in mind:

  • Wash pet beds regularly to keep odors, stains, and fur in check.
  • Choose toys that don’t have dark dyes, flavors, or scents to protect your floors.
  • Wash and hang collars, harnesses, leashes, and any other pet apparel where they can air out and not spread odors to other surfaces.

And, finally: your pets!

Yes, start at the source! Keep your pets squeaky clean in between regular baths with regular brushing and grooming. This will keep your pets happy and healthy, cut down on shedding, and minimize odor.

  • Brush your pets at least once a week, even your short-haired buds.
  • Wipe off dirty paws before they come inside.
  • Use wipes specifically formulated for pet care to freshen up their coats between their routine baths.

We get it, you love your pets, just not their messes and smells. Use these tips to keep your home smelling, looking, and feeling clean and healthy in between more thorough professional cleanings. For more about the perks of professional carpet and floor cleaning, connect with Elite Clean.