Pets are wonderful additions to the family—but their odors aren't. If you have carpeting in your home, you may find that your home always seems to smell just a little like either cat or dog. Pet odor removal needs to be done regularly and thoroughly if you are to avoid this.
1. Replace Your Carpet Padding
Do you keep cleaning and cleaning only to notice that the smell keeps coming back? If the pet odors should be gone but still linger, it's likely that your carpet padding is the source of the odor. Luckily, carpet padding is actually fairly cheap and it's easy to replace. Any carpet installation company will be able to do this for you without having to charge too much; they just need to peel back your existing carpet and slide the new padding right under.
2. Add Essential Oil to Your Steamer or Vacuum Filter
Essential oils are very potent and can overpower the smell of just about anything. Essential oils also come in a variety of scents: lavender, vanilla, mint and more. Just pour a little bit in your carpet steamer or on your vacuum filter and your carpets will smell fresh and clean. Don't use too much, though, or you might end up with a greasy or sticky residue. One cap per gallon of water (for a steamer) and a few drops (for a vacuum) is enough.
3. Saturate Your Carpet With an Enzyme Solution
Sometimes you just aren't getting deep enough into the carpet. Most carpets are water-resistant, so even cleaning solutions will tend to sit on the top. This is good for spills but bad if the pet odor has penetrated beyond the top layer. Use a pump action sprayer (which can be purchased at almost any hardware store) to spray down your carpet thoroughly until it is damp with a mixture of water and enzyme cleaner. Enzyme cleaners are cleaners specifically designed to remove natural odors, such as pet odors. Pull up the solution with your carpet shampooing machine and enjoy fresh carpets.
4. Have Your Carpeting Stain Treated
If you have moments of fresh air but find the odors set in again quite quickly, it could be that the repeated cleaning has left your carpet absorbent to smells and staining. This can happen if the carpet was treated with a topical stain treatment, such as scotch guarding, that has been washed off—these topical stain-resistant treatments are usually not made to be permanent. You can have your carpet stain treated to prevent odors from adhering.
By using the above tips, you may be able to get your home in such a good condition that visitors won't know that you have pets at all! If you continue to have problems, it may be worth it to hire a professional carpet cleaning company (such as Chem Dry Springfield) on a semi-annual basis, to get the worst of the odors out.