Gross! You Need to Get Rid of That Pet Odor Fast!

While not unavoidable, pets and pet problems are a big part of being a property manager. If you have a “Pets Allowed” rental property, you open your community up to a larger number of loyal renters, which is great. You likely have a higher security deposit to deal with those scratches and smells, or maybe you use specialized tenant screening and pet screening just to double down. Having pet allowances gives some great leeway in selecting from the surplus of rental applicants eager to have Fido at their side but at the same time, it can open your community up to all the smells and stains that come along. Pet odor is musky, instantly noticeable, and a large turn off to future potential applicants. When cleaning up after a prior resident moves out, you need to know how to make sure it is gone.

While not unavoidable, pets and pet problems are a big part of being a property manager. If you have a “Pets Allowed” rental property, you open your community up to a larger number of loyal renters, which is great. You likely have a higher security deposit to deal with those scratches and smells, or maybe you use specialized tenant screening and pet screening just to double down. Having pet allowances gives some great leeway in selecting from the surplus of rental applicants eager to have Fido at their side but at the same time, it can open your community up to all the smells and stains that come along. Pet odor is musky, instantly noticeable, and a large turn off to future potential applicants. When cleaning up after a prior resident moves out, you need to know how to make sure it is gone.

Dander and Hair

Eliminating pet odor calls for a good plan and you can’t skip step one. Skin cells, fur shed, dirt, everything that falls under ‘dander’ needs to be removed. Vacuum, sweep, dust and mop every surface with care. You need to be gentle as you do this: unrestrained movement while sweeping and dusting can cause the pet particles to move up into the air. From there, the dander will circulate throughout the unit and make your job that much more difficult as it undoes whatever work you’re currently doing. Consider doing this more than once, especially with the more shed-friendly animals.

dog flapping ears
dog flapping ears

Dander and Hair

Eliminating pet odor calls for a good plan and you can’t skip step one. Skin cells, fur shed, dirt, everything that falls under ‘dander’ needs to be removed. Vacuum, sweep, dust and mop every surface with care. You need to be gentle as you do this: unrestrained movement while sweeping and dusting can cause the pet particles to move up into the air. From there, the dander will circulate throughout the unit and make your job that much more difficult as it undoes whatever work you’re currently doing. Consider doing this more than once, especially with the more shed-friendly animals.

Steam Cleaning

For those deep-set odors, you’ll need some steam cleaning. Clean out any carpet with your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaner. Carpet fibers are very porous which means they will absorb and hold on to odors and using steam is a great way to clean the soft texture. The steam reaches 360 degrees Fahrenheit with low pressure of 150 psi which helps create the excellent deep clean you need. By loosening the carpet strands, all the dander, stains, and allergens makes pet odor removal that much easier.

Steam Cleaning

For those deep-set odors, you’ll need some steam cleaning. Clean out any carpet with your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaner. Carpet fibers are very porous which means they will absorb and hold on to odors and using steam is a great way to clean the soft texture. The steam reaches 360 degrees Fahrenheit with low pressure of 150 psi which helps create the excellent deep clean you need. By loosening the carpet strands, all the dander, stains, and allergens makes pet odor removal that much easier.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

These two products are powerful odor cleaners. Baking soda can be used on many surfaces, hard or soft, to tackle odors at the source. Some say using the two together makes for good cleaning, as the chemical reaction causes fizzing and bubbling that dislodges grease and grit. This is because one is an acid and the other is a base, but once the reaction is done, you’re practically left with water.

Separately, these two products are cleaning powerhouses. Mix baking soda with water and apply to glass shower doors to remove soap scum and stains. Smell a weird smell? Fill small bowls with white vinegar and leave them around the stinky area for 24 hours to remove odor. You can even mop the floors with a vinegar and water mixture.

Cat Odor

The thing about cats is when they have an odor, they really have an odor. Some people ask if it is even possible to remove pet odor when it’s a cat odor. Before move in, ask applicants about their pets and remind them of their responsibilities as pet owners. If you’re really concerned, see if the previous landlord has anything to say.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

These two products are powerful odor cleaners. Baking soda can be used on many surfaces, hard or soft, to tackle odors at the source. Some say using the two together makes for good cleaning, as the chemical reaction causes fizzing and bubbling that dislodges grease and grit. This is because one is an acid and the other is a base, but once the reaction is done, you’re practically left with water.

Separately, these two products are cleaning powerhouses. Mix baking soda with water and apply to glass shower doors to remove soap scum and stains. Smell a weird smell? Fill small bowls with white vinegar and leave them around the stinky area for 24 hours to remove odor. You can even mop the floors with a vinegar and water mixture.

cat crawling out of a litter box

Cat Odor

The thing about cats is when they have an odor, they really have an odor. Some people ask if it is even possible to remove pet odor when it’s a cat odor. Before move in, ask applicants about their pets and remind them of their responsibilities as pet owners. If you’re really concerned, see if the previous landlord has anything to say.

When a cat misses the litter box, you can be left with a problem that lasts for years. Because the urine contains uric acid, the remains can recrystallize when the air is particularly humid, causing the smell to resurface. It sticks to carpet and hardwood, carpet and fabrics for ages. One of the modern suggestions is using an enzyme cleaner, which works by breaking down the different types of stains and the acid in cat urine that makes it so smelly. It also helps prevent remarking in the same spot by removing those odors. Ultimately, if a resident moves out leaving a cat or dog-stained unit, it’s best to hire professionals to get the unit back to tip top, rentable shape.

cat crawling out of a litter box

When a cat misses the litter box, you can be left with a problem that lasts for years. Because the urine contains uric acid, the remains can recrystallize when the air is particularly humid, causing the smell to resurface. It sticks to carpet and hardwood, carpet and fabrics for ages. One of the modern suggestions is using an enzyme cleaner, which works by breaking down the different types of stains and the acid in cat urine that makes it so smelly. It also helps prevent remarking in the same spot by removing those odors. Ultimately, if a resident moves out leaving a cat or dog-stained unit, it’s best to hire professionals to get the unit back to tip top, rentable shape.

Cleaning out units after a pet has stayed there for so long can be a bit of a hassle, but it isn’t impossible. Before accepting new renters, consider attaching a list of effective pet cleaning resources with their copy of the lease at move-in.

How do you handle Let us know in the comments below!

Cleaning out units after a pet has stayed there for so long can be a bit of a hassle, but it isn’t impossible. Before accepting new renters, consider attaching a list of effective pet cleaning resources with their copy of the lease at move-in.

How do you handle Let us know in the comments below!

Spread the word. Share this post!

Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

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