When a house you’re trying to sell smells like a pet, there are some tactics that can improve the odor situation. Don Aslett, owner of Varsity Contractors, offers up these tips for identifying the source of the smell and then eliminating it:
Use a fluorescent black light (pet-supply stores sell them), to expose odor-producing spots on the carpet, couch, floorboards and even on drapes.
Remove all solids and blot up as much liquid as possible with a clean towel. Apply an appropriate odor neutralizer or cleaner according to directions.
Never use ammonia, which takes on the smell of what it's supposed to be cleaning, can trigger more accidents.
Choose the best product to remove the problem. On water-safe surfaces, try Simple Solution stain and odor remover. The problem area must be thoroughly soaked and left to dry.
Bramton's Oxy Solution Pet Stain and Odor Destroyer can remove odors and stains from surfaces that won’t withstand soaking, but test first in an out-of-the way place.
The most effective and safest disinfectant for use around pets is Chlorhexidine, which is sold under such names as Nolvasan, Chlorasan and Chlorhex by veterinarians and medical-supply outlets. Use these for problems that demand deep cleaning.
When all else fails, temporarily neutralize odors using a product such as Fresh Wave.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sarah Casey Newman (03/10/2007)