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Ways to Get Rid of Pet Smells That Turn Off Buyers

Published: 09/07/2020 By Richard Bennett

Ways to Get Rid of Pet Smells That Turn Off Buyers

You probably only think you’ve eliminated pet odours. Here’s how to make sure. Having pet odours inside your home can turn off potential buyers and keep your home from selling.

1. Air out your house
While you’re cleaning, throw open all the windows in your home to allow fresh air to circulate and sweep out unpleasant scents. Once your house is free of pet odours, do what you can to keep the smells from returning. Crate your dog when you're out or keep it outdoors. Limit the cat to one floor or room, if possible. Remove or replace pet bedding.

2. Scrub thoroughly
Scrub bare floors and walls soiled by pets with vinegar, wood floor cleaner, or an odour-neutralising product, which you can purchase at a pet supply store. Try a 1:9 bleach-to-water solution on surfaces it won’t damage, like cement floors or walls. Got a stubborn pet odour covering a large area? You may have to spend £££s to hire a service that specialises in hard-to-clean stains.

3. Wash your curtains and upholstery
Pet odours seep into fabrics. Launder, steam cleaner dry clean all your fabric window coverings. Steam clean upholstered furniture. Either buy a steam cleaner designed to remove pet hair for around and do the job yourself, or pay a pro.

4. Clean your carpets
Shampoo your carpets and rugs or have professionals do the job depending on their size and the level of filth embedded in them. The cleaner will try to sell you deodorising treatments. You'll know if you need to spend the extra money on those after the carpet dries and you have a friend perform a sniff test. If deodorising doesn't remove the pet odour from your home, the carpets and padding will have to go. Once you tear them out, scrub the sub floor with vinegar or an odour-removing product and install new padding and carpeting. Unless the smell is in the sub floor, in which case that goes next.

5. Paint and replace
When heavy-duty cleaners haven’t eradicated smells in drywall, plaster or woodwork, add a fresh coat of paint or stain or replace the wood altogether. 

6. Place Potpourri or scented candles in strategic locations
Put a bow on your deep clean with potpourri and scented candles. Don’t go overboard and turn off buyers sensitive to perfumes. Simply place a bowl of mild potpourri in your hall to create a warm first impression and add other mild scents to the kitchen and bathrooms.

7. Control urine smells
If your dog uses indoor pee pads, put down a new pad each time the dog goes. Throw them away outside in a bin with a tight lid. Remove even clean pads from view before each viewing. Replace cat litter daily, rather than scooping used litter clumps and sweep up around the litter box. Hide the litter box before each viewing.

8. Relocate Pets
If your dog or cat has a best friend it can stay with while you're selling your home (and you can stand to be separated from your pet), consider sending your pet on a temporary holiday. If pets have to stay, remove them from the house for viewings and put away their dishes, towels, and toys.

Ask your estate agent for an honest opinion about whether your home has a pet smell.