Getting Rid of the Pet Odor on Your Rugs

Even though our Pets bring a lot of happiness, fun, and excitement into our lives, we can’t avoid their Odor on our favorite rugs.

Pungent odors and unsightly stains certainly come with the territory of having four-legged family members, and while it can be frustrating to walk into a room and be greeted by that distinct aroma, all is not lost.

Of course, nothing beats the convenience of tossing your rugs into the wash right after a major pet accident. But if you don’t have a washable rug yet (it’s never too late to get one!), here are some tips on how to get rid of pet odor from your rugs and carpets.

Clean New Stains Before the Rug Dries

Your first instinct may be to run as far away from the stench as possible, but you’ll want to clean pet pee or vomit while the rug is still wet. Waiting for it to dry will cause stains on your rug and encourage the growth of bacteria. Your quick response is important if you want to keep foul odors at bay.

Use Water to Clean the Area Thoroughly

Sadie Cornelius of CanineJournal.Com says cleaning your pet’s crime scene with water is still the best way to get the job done, especially if you want to make sure your furry critters are safe from any harmful chemicals.

Here is how to deal with new or fresh stains:

Blot the affected area with a few layers of paper towels and place a newspaper over them and under the wet spot.

Stand on top of this padding to allow them to absorb as much of the urine as possible.

You can also mix a few drops of green dish detergent with water and spray on the area before placing the paper towels.

Rinse the soiled spot with water and blot until dry.

Use UV Light to Locate the Affected Area

Sometimes, it can be tricky to find your little buddy’s “oopsie” spot, especially when the pee has had time to dry, and the smell has settled into your rug.

“One handy trick for cleaning up odors on rugs is to use a blacklight to find stains. These can be purchased online and let you pinpoint where exactly the stains are, which are likely the source of the odor,” suggests Kyle Holgate of Woof Whiskers. “This is really helpful if a certain room or rug has a smell, but you’re not exactly sure where it’s coming from. It certainly beats getting down on your hands and knees and sniffing the rug yourself.

Use a Pet Odor Neutralizer

Accidents are not the only things that can cause pet odor to build up in your rugs and even in your house. Regardless of regular grooming and a good diet, your pet’s daily routine and activities—running around in the yard, playing in the mud or puddles—and natural smell can bring undesirable odors into your home that can cling to your furniture and rugs.

The solution? “Apply a pet odor neutralizer,” suggests Sadie. “Be sure to follow the instructions and test a hidden area of the carpet first to make sure the neutralizer doesn’t stain the carpet.”

Be Wary of Using Heavy Cleaning Chemicals

Ammonia and vinegar are popular DIY cleaning solutions when it comes to getting rid of pet stains and odor, but the Humane Society advises against this. “They actually don’t remove the odor, and the strong scent of the chemicals may entice your dog to mark their area again,” adds Sadie.

Use Baking Soda to Remove General Odor

The best technique for eliminating the rug’s overall odor is to sprinkle the area or entire rug, if necessary, with newly opened baking soda and leave the baking soda on the rug for at least two hours, if possible. You can even use a large scrub brush to gently rake the powder into the rug fibers further if there is a particularly smelly area.

However, it’s important to note that large amounts of baking soda can be harmful to animals, so make sure you keep your pets away from any area that you are treating. After letting the baking soda sit in the affected spot, vacuum the area thoroughly to get rid of any residue.

Easy and Proper Ways to Take Care of Your Area Rugs

Proper Care of Your Area Oriental Rug is hassle-free.

What else can I do to prevent my rug from getting stained?

Of course, there are a couple of simple things you can do to prevent your rug from getting dirty. One simple thing is that you should try not to eat or drink on your beautiful rug; this obviously will reduce spills and potential food stains. Another simple thing to do is to simply remove your shoes when you enter your home, so you don’t bring in dirt from outside or probably just put on some slippers or socks. Also, ensure you vacuum your rug occasionally. While proper care for your rug will be helpful, it can’t be compared to a professional rug cleaning.

Should I vacuum my area rugs occasionally?

In almost all cases, you should ensure your rugs are vacuumed on a regular basis; doing this will prevent dirt from hiding deep into the pile and causing further wear. While doing this, you should also be cautious with the brush in the vacuum head, as some can actually cause damage to specific specialty rugs if it’s vigorously used. During your weekly vacuuming regimen, use the nozzle instead of rolling the vacuum over it.

What should I do if I spill something, get pet urine, wine stains, or maybe food stains on it?

It’s always advisable to clean the spills as soon as possible using paper towels or a white cloth. The first thing to do is to blot the area and make sure you contain it as much as possible. To carry out this process, begin the blotting from the spill’s outer edges and move in towards the middle; this will prevent it from spreading.

Should I ever turn or rotate my rug?

Yes, it’s 100% recommended. If your rug is facing direct sunlight every day, it will surely fade with time, especially if it is an antique rug or has dyes that are natural. If possible, you should invest in drapes or possibly move the rug to another area of the room that has less direct sunlight. Even after the reduction of the sunlight, you should turn the rug 180 degrees once annually. This will prevent uneven sun damage and also uneven wear from walking.

Is there an easy way to tell if my rug has moth damage?

When you notice signs of moth damage on your rug, you’ll see signs of bare spots in the rug, where the larvae have already eaten the delicate wool fibers. If it is a bad infestation, there is a very fine, thin web covering in specific areas of the rug. Additionally, there might be waste particles that look like tiny sand granules in the rug’s pile.

If you’ve been experiencing such defects on your rug, the rugs house is just a call away.

Don’t wait!

Schedule your Free Pick-up and delivery with us today.

The Best Ways to Take Care of Your Antique and Area Rugs

A wall-to-wall carpet can easily be cleaned and maintained if you have the right vacuum. Area rugs can’t be cleaned the same way as wall-to-wall carpet. Some are antiques and no match for the rough brushes of modern vacuums. Other types of area rugs may not need vacuuming at all if they’re small enough to take outdoors and rinse.

Customers should always stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions as well.

Here are some tips from the Rugs house on how to maintain your antique and area rugs.

Flat-Woven Rugs

Vacuum these reversible, tightly woven, long-wearing rugs as regularly as you would carpets. If the rug is small enough, take it outdoors, rinse it, hang it over a clothesline, and brush it with a soft brush. Check the label for care instructions before washing, shampooing, or dry cleaning.

Some rugs can be hand washed or machine washed. Test a small rag rug for colorfastness; if it is, put it in a pillowcase and machine-wash it. Or hand-wash it in warm water with soap powder. After washing, gently pull the rug back into shape, and air-dry it flat.

Oriental Rugs

Because these area rugs are generally handmade, maybe old, and may not be colorfast, they need special care. The rotating brush of a newer upright vacuum cleaner is too harsh, so use a canister cleaner or an upright vacuum with a beater bar. To prevent the fringe along the edges from being sucked up, use the attachment nozzle covered with an old nylon stocking or a vacuum setting that turns off the rotary brush and provides suction only. Always vacuum in the direction that the pile is supposed to lie.

Pile Rugs

Wool pile rugs should generally be wet-cleaned; silk-pile rugs generally should be dry-cleaned, and rugs with rayon pile must be dry-cleaned exclusively. Rub a damp white cloth over dark portions to check colorfastness. If the color comes off on the cloth, the rug will bleed during cleaning.


For shag or other high-pile carpets, utilize a canister vacuum. An upright cleaner with a rotating brush can damage shag or become entangled in the loop or pile carpeting. Use it with suction only; most upright vacuums have a setting that turns off the rotating brush. You can also use a carpet rake on shag rugs to loosen tangles. To ensure all the piles are in the same direction, rake the carpet after vacuuming.


Vacuum according to the scheduled plans. Blot liquid spills instantly when used with a clean white cloth, working from the spill’s edges toward the middle. To remove stains, fill the area with a mild detergent solution or white vinegar, and then blot up immediately with a clean white cloth. Do not rub, because rubbing will damage the fibers fast.

Sisal, Coir, Rush, and Split-Cane Rugs

All of these area rugs are manufactured from plant fibers. Most are sold with a rubber backing. Vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris caught between the fiber and the backing. For spills, first blot, then apply an absorbent dry powder. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the best way to shampoo or dry-clean.

Deep-clean or shampoo about once annually. For sisal or coconut mats, shake to remove dirt and dust, vacuum both sides, and occasionally take them outside and sponge them with warm, soapy water. Rinse and air-dry thoroughly.