Pet owners who have hardwood floors are constantly faced with the problem of pet odor removal. In particular, pet waste, especially urine, soaks into the hardwood floors, resulting in stains and unpleasant smells. When this happens, most pet owners rush to the market in search of the strongest cleaning material. However, this may not always be the best solution. Hardwood floors need considerable, as well as careful, maintenance. Thus, using harsh cleaning materials can in effect damage the floor. There are, however, specific chemicals made to clean pet waste available at local pet stores, but the longer a mess is left unattended, the worse the stain it will leave and the harder it will be to clean.
Given below are three low-cost pet odor removal options for hardwood floors. These all use basic materials most people will have on hand for the quickest clean-up.
1. Vinegar Solution
The simplest (and one of the most effective) home solutions to pet odor removal for hardwood floors is vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It also works as a natural deodorant and is useful in eliminating the stink in your floors. For the cleaning solution, mix a cup of white vinegar into a bucket of warm water. Use this solution to mop the floors.
You’ll notice an immediate decrease in the odor. Another similar solution is made by mixing a cup of white vinegar with a few drops of grapefruit oil in a bucket of warm water. This solution attacks not only the odor, replacing it with a soothing fragrance, but also eliminates stains. Be wary that a vinegar solution can weaken the sealer on your floors, so take care in not leaving the solution on too long.
2. Baking Soda Solution
Another effective kitchen solution is to use baking soda. Baking soda is very effective in pulling out stains and odors from the floors. Here’s what you need to do: sprinkle and leave baking soda on the floor for about two to three hours, after which you can mop the floors with the vinegar solution described above. You can also add one cup of baking soda to this vinegar solution. In the case of a strong odor, consider sprinkling baking soda on the floors and letting it sit over night.
Baking soda can also get into and lighten the wood grain of thinly sealed wood flooring, so keep this in mind when resorting to this method.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Another good solution that deals with pet odor removal for hardwood floors is hydrogen peroxide. One method is to simply mop the affected area with a cleaning rag soaked in hydrogen peroxide and to let the floor dry out. You will notice a drop in odor as well as a clearing up of the stains on the floor. The other approach is to leave hydrogen peroxide-soaked rags over the affected spots and let them sit there till they dry out. However, you need to be careful while using hydrogen peroxide as this material can bleach your beautiful hardwood floor. If your floor gets bleached, you will have to treat the wood once again. Hence, it is best to consult some professionals for tips before opting for this method.
It is also important to take certain precautionary measures when working with hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to prepare yourself with safety gear. This includes a mask, gloves, and safety goggles. Also ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Open the windows before you get to work; this will keep you safe from any chemical fumes that may arise during the clean up.