What is the best way to control pet odor in a home that is for sale. We have several pets that we cannot

Asked by Soapiesmom, Milwaukee, WI Wed Feb 20, 2008

board. We are really struggling with this. Thank you.

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Soapiesmom, Both Buyer And Seller, Milwaukee, WI
Sat Mar 1, 2008
Thank you for the suggestions. We are lucky in that we have no carpet in our home. We also do not allow our pets in the living room, dining room, or guest bedroom. The rooms they spend 90% of their time in are the family room, office, our bedroom, and the workshop where their kennels are. All of those rooms other than our bedroom are in the basement.... which is very hard to air out. We painted 3 coats of KILZ and 4 coats of floor paint on the cement floors of the workshop and laundry room, along with repainting the walls in those rooms, and we washed down the walls and other flooring in the finished rooms with bleach water. I guess that I feel that if you are a person who doesn't have pets, that there is NO way you are not going to know that we have pets. We have 3 dogs, 4 cats, 2 hamsters (my sister's who is at college), and 2 large aquariums.

We had a showing yesterday and an open house scheduled for tomorrow, so will see what the feedback from those are. Keeping our fingers crossed that it's better. We are looking at the air purifiers, too, tomorrow. Thinking we can get a few smaller ones, one for each room, like suggested below.
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Karen Negrete…, , The Santa Clara Valley
Wed Feb 20, 2008
This is a little like asking for a good remedy for a cold. A lot of people have some really great ideas. As a stager, this comes up quite a bit and depending on the severity of the odor, you have quite a few options as listed by my colleagues.

Some advice I got from a cleaning service is:
Before vacuuming, mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of cornstarch and a few drops of lavender or lemon oil with a cup of water. Sprinkle the mixture over the carpet and upholstery, allowing it to sit as long as possible for best results. After vacuuming it up, spray a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water over the area.

You may also have to bit the bullet and replace your carpet and padding if your babies have soiled your carpets. It's almost impossible to completely rid a carpet of the smell of animal urine with cat urine at the top of the list. Non-animal lovers will most probably do an about face at the slightest hint of animal urine. It's been my experience that while animal lovers also aren't crazy about pet urine odors, they "get it" and are a little more forgiving.

Karen Negrete, ASP, IAHSP, IRIS
Transform Your Home
Web Reference:  http://www.xformyourhome.com
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JoEllen Ufner…, Agent, Denver, CO
Wed Feb 20, 2008
coffee grinds kill pet odor....get the prefilled filters and hide in aroom. yes ot will smell like coffee however that is better than "you know what"
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Karen Wenzel,…, Agent, Brookfield, WI
Wed Feb 20, 2008
If you have cats make sure that you change the litter box extra often, make sure that you move the litter box to an inconspicuous spot during showings. If you have small pets like guinea pigs/hamsters- also make sure the cages are cleaned extra often. Remove any pet bedding/rugs during showings. Febreeze works well, having a air purifier like Keith mentioned is very helpful. It is hard with the snow, but try to get dogs as dry as possible before letting them run around the house. Don't overdo it with scented candles, but one or 2 burning during a showing might help. All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.GoPackerUp.com
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Lucy Korzeli…, Agent, Wall, NJ
Wed Feb 20, 2008
Dear Soapiesmon,
Clean or replacing the carpet is good advice. Orders get imbedded deeply in fabrics. If you have a carpet try throwing some baking soda on the carpet first then vacuum. Same with your couches and chairs, clean them, fabreeze is good safe product to use. If it's nice outside, not too cold open the windows for ventaliation. Painting the house, keeping your pets clean. Some times candles and air fresheners would work but it's only a temporary fix to cleaning your home thoroughly and your pets clean as well. Best of Luck to you.
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Feb 20, 2008
Fabric and paint are the primary collectors and retainers of odors.
In order:
1. Paint the inside
2. Clean or replace the carpet
3. Don't let the pets in the house until they have been bathed.
4. Use an ionic breeze type unit in each room where the pets reside.
5. Make sure all fabric materials are cleaned (professional fabric care, carpet cleaner), including sofas, cushions, pillows, comforters, drapes, etc.

Hope this is helpful.
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