We love our pets, but we're less fond of those funky pet smells. Not to mention the knitting-worthy amounts of fur in and on everything. So we've pulled together some handy tips to help you manage the unwanted stuff.
Get rid of smells, stains, fur, and unwanted chewing with these handy, household product solutions for any situation your pet throws at you.
1. Remove carpet smells with bicarbonate of soda
Musty odours can easily impregnate themselves into your carpet, especially with urine stains (even if cleaned). To help eliminate the smell, use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to form a watery paste. Rub this in but don't oversaturate the carpet. You can also add a spoonful of cleaning vinegar (see below), which is also good for neutralising smells. Once the area is dry, further purify the zone by brushing the carpet (you can use an old toothbrush) with 1/4 of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then hoover it up.
2. Vinegar, the dream cleaner
Similar to the above, a solution of equal parts white-vinegar and hot water can go a long way to helping reduce funky smells. Dab the solution on the affected area so that the carpet absorbs it well and leave it for half an hour. Then use cold water to remove as much vinegar as you can, again by dabbing. If you're in a cool environment, you might need to use a heater to help your carpet dry quickly. Otherwise, dry the area as best as you can with a towel, cover with a thick layer of absorbent kitchen towel, and place some heavy books on top for it to absorb the remaining moisture.
3. Purify the air with ground coffee
Who doesn't love the smell of fresh coffee?! Dinner party hosts have often used the old trick of purifying the air with ground coffee before guests arrive. If you're in the same boat, you can do this by heating a cup of freshly ground coffee (no water) in a cast-iron or good quality, solid-based pan. As soon as you can begin to smell the dried, ground coffee toasting, bring the pan into the affected room. Leave it on a heat-resistant surface, close any doors, and let the smell dissipate. Most of the smells should have vanished once the coffee has cooled.
4. Put an end to the fur-nado!
It's a bit embarrassing when your guests prefer not to sit on your sofa because they'd rather not get animal fur stuck to their clothes. To help remove unwanted hairs from your home linen and clothes, lightly spray the fur-covered item with water, and then place it in the drier with a moist towel and drier sheet. Select a relatively cool cycle and let it get to work for about 10 minutes. For fabric furniture, scrub the affected areas with a slightly moist sponge to get rid of the first layer of hairs. Next, cover your hand with masking tape, sticky-side out, and dab away to collect the rest (you may need to replace the mask tape a few times depending on the amount of hair). Alternatively, pop on a rubber kitchen glove and run your hands across your furniture to pick up any hairballs.
5. Discourage chewing with clove-scented essential oil
It's not uncommon for puppies to nibble chair and table legs, as well as other furniture corners. And shoes! Stop them from developing this habit by placing a small amount of clove-scented essential oil on the most tempting spots. The smell and taste will dissuade them from nibbling.
6. Frozen rings for teething
This traditional method for soothing painful gums doesn't only work on human babies, but it also helps for puppies too. Freeze several baby teething rings until solid. Let the puppy chew on them to soothe their jaw and satiate any desires for nibbling on treasured or other items. When the ring becomes old or damaged, gradually begin to introduce a replacement dog toy to change its association with chewing (and where to chew).
7. Use aluminium foil for dissuasion
If your furniture is for human-use only, you can train your cat or dog to dislike going near it. Most cats and some dogs don't like aluminium foil. You can commence a training routine of covering your pillows or cushions in aluminium, or placing a sheet of it across the chair or couch. If your pet jumps up on the furniture, the crackling aluminium is likely to make them scamper away.
8. Recycle a shower curtain
For those wanting to avoid costly solutions, and who don't allow their pets on the furniture, an old (but not grotty, obviously) shower curtain works a treat. Pets don't usually enjoy lying on the plastic material due to its strange feel and sounds when moving. You can choose one that matches your interior, or that sports a design you like to keep it attractive and neat.
What other tricks do you have to share?