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The Pet Parent’s Guide to Clean Carpets

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If you share your living space with a pet, chances are you’ve struggled with how to keep the carpets or rugs fresh and clean. Dog smell permeates rugs, and they’re notorious for being a cat’s favorite place to barf! Here are some simple tips for keeping your carpets clean if you live with pets:


Clean Pets Mean Clean Carpets

Do you ever sit on the floor and take a sniff, only to realize your rug smells like dirty dog? Or stand up and realize you’re covered in cat hair? It may go without saying, but keeping your pet clean will go a long way in keeping your carpet clean. Bathing your pets regularly will help keep the rugs from absorbing their odors. Keep up with grooming and brushing and you’ll have more hair on your pet than on your area rugs!


Paw prints are adorable…unless they’re all over your otherwise clean floor! Wipe your pet’s paws whenever they come in from the yard and you’ll be surprised at how much less dirt gets tracked through the house. If your pet’s paws are really muddy, use a Paw Washer or wipes to tackle the grime. Consider keeping a Dirty Dog Doormat at your door to catch mud and dirt from paws before they walk all over the rest of your house.

So What About Stains?

Use the right cleaners for the situation, and you’ll find that your carpet and rugs stay cleaner longer. For small stains, use club soda to soak the stain and then blot (don’t rub!) the stain with a towel until it’s gone.

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For a bigger stain, mix one part borax with two parts baking soda. Blot the mess up as much as you can with a towel and then sprinkle the stain with your mixture. Let it sit for an hour and then vacuum the powder up – the stain should vacuum up with it! Be sure to test this method in an inconspicuous area of your carpet first to make sure it doesn’t affect the dyes in your rug. (Borax is also a great flea killer!)

Did a hurt paw or too-short toenail leave blood stains on the carpet? Cover the stain with equal parts cold water and meat tenderizer and let it stand for half an hour, then sponge it up with cold water.

If you’re going to use chemical cleaners on your carpet, look for those that are pet-safe, or be sure to remove your animals from the room you’re cleaning in until the chemicals are completely cleaned up.

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Cleaning Pet Urine

If your cat or dog has an accident on the carpet, you’ll want to use an enzymatic product to clean up the spot. First, enzymes will completely remove the stain and help get rid of any odor. If you don’t completely clean up urine, your pet will smell it (even if you can’t!) and may continue to “go” in that spot.

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If you need a little help getting urine smell out of carpet, you can also mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Spray it onto your carpet and let it soak for 10 minutes or more. Then dab the spot dry, sprinkle it with baking soda, and vacuum up after 15 minutes.

A Tip for Pets that Puke

If you’re feeding your pet food that includes artificial colors and dyes, like some dry dog and cat foods, it may stain your carpet if it ends up coming back up the wrong way! Not only that, but artificial coloring in pet food is unnecessary and unnatural. So look for pet food that doesn’t include it.

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Do you have any other carpet cleaning tips to add? Let us know in a comment below!

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  1. […] grime and dirt that gets transferred into the home from a pet comes from their claws. Keeping their paws clean will limit the amount of damage that takes place in high traffic pet […]

  2. Avatar Of Mindy Jollie Mindy Jollie says:

    I like what you said about making sure that any chemicals you use on the carpet are pet-safe, particularly if you have indoor pets at your house. I would imagine that different pets also can have different reactions or even allergies to some chemicals. If I needed to clean my carpets, I would make sure the cleaners knew that I had a pet with sensitivities.

  3. […] more detail how to use these tips check out this article on Dogington Post, so what else can we do for pet odors to freshen our […]

  4. Thank you for mentioning that if your cat or dog has an accident on the carpet, you’ll want to use an enzymatic product to clean up the spot, because enzymes will completely remove the stain and help get rid of any odor. I just bought my first cat, and a few hours ago she peed all over my carpet and I don’t know how to get it out! I will definitely utilize your tips and tricks when trying to get my cat’s pee out of my carpet.

  5. Avatar Of Sarah Kite Sarah Kite says:

    Wonderful suggestions! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Avatar Of Ron Dobson Ron Dobson says:

    Great post!!!

    You’re exactly right about making sure that your pet is clean. That’s where it all starts.
    In regards to cleaning urine, it’s super important to go beyond just a normal cleaning. Pet urine results in super-odorous cyrstals (read more about it here: mschemdry.com/pet-urine-odor-removal) so you have to more than scrub. You’ve got to get something or someone to get in there and break down those crystals!

    Thanks for the tips!

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