Lingering pet smells from the previous owner can put a damper on moving into a new home. Here’s how to tackle stubborn stains and odors, and prevent them from happening in the future.
After months of searching for the perfect home, you finally found it. Perhaps you fell in love with its century-old crown moulding, or sleek and modern gourmet kitchen. Lingering pet smells, however, most likely weren’t on your “dream home wish list.”
When it comes to urine and dander, it’s crucial to tackle these odor-producers at the source rather than cover them up with candles and sprays, especially if you’re sensitive to cat and dog dander like 30% of the population.¹ Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce pet odors in your new home, and prevent them in the future if you have a furry friend of your own.
Hiring a professional to do a deep clean, or doing one yourself, is a smart move whether or not the previous owner had pets, but it’s especially important if four-legged residents were counted among the previous tenants. A mixture of water and vinegar, which neutralizes the ammonia in animal urine, can be used to scrub down walls and hardwood floors, while water and a wet vac should be all you need to tackle dried pet accidents on carpet. Whatever you do, don’t use a steam cleaner, as the heat could permanently trap the stain and the pet odor.2
As you’re cleaning or moving your furniture in, open all the windows to allow natural ventilation to carry pet odors out of your home. Running the HVAC unit’s fan, which circulates indoor air throughout your home, can also help.
You likely don’t know the last time the previous occupant changed the HVAC air filter, so it’s best to start fresh with a new one. If tackling odors is high on your move-in to-do list, a Filtrete™ Odor Reduction Air Filter has an active carbon layer to help minimize pet smells. Keep in mind, even though it’s recommended that you change the filter at least every three months, you may need to swap it out more frequently if you have pets of your own. If you’re looking for a seamless way to keep tabs on the life of your filter, try a high-efficiency Filtrete™ Smart Filter. Once paired to the corresponding Filtrete™ Smart App, it’ll track real-time usage via BluetoothⓇ and send you a reminder when it's time to change the filter.
Pets who are prone to marking are likely to return to the same spots for their accidents, so there may be some areas of your new home that need more odor-reduction help than others.2 All Filtrete™ Air Purifiers, including the Smart Air Purifier, come with a True HEPA filter to help capture 99.97% of airborne particles*, such as pet dander and other microparticles too small to see.
If pet odors still linger after trying a variety of cleaning methods, sometimes the only option that remains is giving your interiors an overhaul. A fresh coat of paint on walls or varnish on hardwood floors, and new carpeting and padding will eliminate the offending pet odors.2 If you’re extremely sensitive to pet odor and dander, this may be a great opportunity to replace all wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwoods, as they are less likely to attract and hold onto fur and dander.1
If you are moving into a new home with your own pets, a regular cleaning schedule is necessary to keep muddy paw prints and shedding fur at bay. Accidents should be tended to right away, and can be treated with a mix of water, vinegar and baking soda. Vacuum on a weekly basis, and wash bedding and other machine-washable fabrics with baking soda and detergent to reduce pet smells.2
A lot of these tips revolve around eliminating odors after they are already circulating in your home’s indoor air supply, but washing your pet weekly can reduce airborne allergens and pet odor smells before they become a problem.1
*As small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.