7 Ways to Rid of ‘Dog Smell' from Your Home, According to Cleaning Pros

Their faces may be cute, but that dog smell is anything but adorable.

<p>FollowTheFlow/Getty Images</p>

FollowTheFlow/Getty Images

You love your adorable floof—from wagging tail to boopable nose—but as cute they are, the dog smell they can leave behind is anything but. Those sweet paws are notorious for tracking in mud and who-knows-what-else from the outside, and there’s no other scent quite like damp doggy fur. These odors find themselves trapped in your home—on your couch, on the floor, and even in the air.

“Dog smells can come from several sources like their saliva, body oils, and hair that get trapped onto surfaces around the home,” explains Sammy Wang, a Procter & Gamble fabric care senior scientist. “In general, these odors tend to stick to fabrics more than smooth surfaces because of fabrics’ porous nature and high surface area.”

We asked Wang and other cleaning professionals about how to get rid of that ‘dog smell’ so you can enjoy a home that’s fresh and welcoming.

Related: How to Make Your House Smell Good—Experts Share 19 Secrets

Wash Dog Fabrics Separately (And Often)

You already separate your whites from colored fabrics, but also take care to separate any pet-related garments and linens from your regular laundry. This includes washable dog bed covers, sheets, clothing, and fabric toys that are machine-washable.

“Separating out stinky dog fabrics allows you to use specific odor-fighting products on the load,” explains Wang. "It can also help keep dog smells and hair off of your clothes or other fabrics you may not want any dog soils transferring onto.” She adds that washing these items regularly helps prevent the stink from building up and becoming more difficult to clean.

Wash and Brush Your Dog’s Fur

Make sure you’re routinely grooming your dog’s fur to help get rid of lingering pet odors. This includes giving them sudsy baths as needed, including anytime they get into something they shouldn’t or are starting to get that doggy smell. Also, just a few minutes a day spent brushing their fur can help cut back on shedding around the house. It’s a great bonding moment for you two!

Related: Should You Let Your Pet Sleep in the Bed With You? Experts Weigh In

Tackle Dust Often and Vigorously

No matter how often you groom your dog, you’re inevitably going to deal with some amount of shedding and fur build up throughout your home. Dusting can help control the fur-castrophe.

“I know dusting can feel tedious, but I recommend dusting your home for at least 10 minutes every week,” says Rosa Picosa, a cleaning expert with Fabuloso. “Set a timer and you’ll be surprised with how many surfaces you’ll clean! And once you learn your dog’s high-traffic areas, the job will get easier over time.”

Vacuum Floors and Fabrics Weekly

Vacuum your floors, carpets, and upholstery on a weekly basis (at least) to help tackle dog stink. “They trap tons of pet hair, dander, and dust,” explains Stephanie Greenberg, creative director at Jane's Addiction Organization. “For a pro tip, I recommend lightly sprinkling baking soda on your carpets and letting it sit overnight. Vacuum the next day using a high-efficiency air (HEPA) vacuum, which is specifically designed to clean and purify the air.”

Don’t forget to wash your curtains, too. They may seem out of sight and out of mind, but they’re a harboring ground for dust, dirt, and odors.

Related: The 13 Best Vacuums, Tested and Reviewed

Clean Accidents ASAP With an Enzymatic Cleaner

You’ve got a million things to do, but the second you see any sort of dog-related accident—including urine, poop, saliva, or tracked dirt—take care to clean it up right away. “Getting to the ‘scene of the crime’ as it happens isn’t always possible, but the longer it sits the stronger the smell will be,” Greenberg notes.

She adds that when cleaning a soiled area, the products you use can make a huge difference. “Opt for a pet-specific enzymatic cleaner,” she says, “which are built to break down pet odors at the root of the problem and will discourage marking so future pet odors and accidents won’t be a problem.”

Invest In an Air Purifier

You may be tempted to bust out the candles or air freshener, but many home fragrances simply cover dog smells versus tackling them at the source.

“I typically don’t jump at the chance to recommend an expensive cleaning device as the solution for any dirt problem, but air-purifiers have made a huge difference in my home when it comes to limiting pet dander and hair in the air,” Picosa says.

She explains that while routine dusting and vacuuming help keep the dirt we can see under control, an air purifier significantly cuts down on the particles we can’t see. You can use the candles, too, of course, but pair them with an air purifier and you’ll really enjoy a house free of pet odors.

Related: We Tested 61 Air Purifiers, and These 11 Are the Best for Pet Owners

Air Out the House Every Day

Along with an air purifier, don’t underestimate the power of refreshing your air completely. “Open your windows for 30 minutes in the morning to keep your air from getting stagnant,” Picosa advises. “This is super simple and a completely free solution—just don’t forget to close them or your electric bill will remind you next month!”

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