Monday, May 17, 2010

Cleaning Frenzy

Hello, Internet!! I need your STELLAR advice.

Um, do you remember the pesky little issue I have with not being a very good housekeeper? Well, the proverbial ‘THIS WILL BITE YOU IN THE BUTT’ moment has arrived. My house STINKS. Yes, the humidity exacerbates the problem, but frankly, when I can smell my own house….musty basement, doggie smell and the KING of HOUSEHOLD ODORS… pee, you KNOW you have a problem, because face it… don’t smell your own house………so when you CAN smell it, and smell it A LOT….it’s a real problem.

So, what are some cheap, tried and true remedies for elimination of odor? In my basement, I don’t care about how it affects flooring. It will have to be replaced at some point, so if it requires horrible chemicals, and so forth, then BRING IT…because the cat pee is the most pungent and identifiable.

Now, here’s the thing. I’ve googled this. And I’ve gotten some really good ideas. On top of actual IDEAS, I’ve heard to call your veterinarian to see how THEY manage pet odors. So, I call my trusty vet. NOTHING. Just the receptionist with her own “this is what I do at home” stuff. Not what I was asking. So, I thought “who better than the Animal Shelter”????? Same damn thing. No shelter tricks, but she told me to use Febreeze. That’s what she uses at home.

Well, folks, febreeze is not the solution for my problem! Why wouldn’t a shelter have some amazing thing they use? Even if they can’t sell it to me…….

So, Jakki brought out the BIG GUNS and suggested I call a Restoration company…….like Service master or something. So I did. Basically the same damn thing. He at least told me that they use Service Master products and can’t sell them, but no home grown tricks that I hadn’t read on google.

So, here’s what I think I will do. Google has several ‘recipes’ in varying combinations using vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a couple of drops of dish soap. I think I’ll try it. Here’s the plan. Douse the floor with baking soda and top it with the vinegar. Let it bubble. For quite a while. Then, clean it up.

THEN, take the peroxide with soap mixed in and allow IT to set on the floor for 15 minutes or so. Then clean THAT up. I’ve heard it works.

What do YOU think? The cat pee is pretty limited to a 2x6 foot area that we have blocked off for his use. He get perturbed when his box gets messy and sometimes uses the floor around the box. Hence the soaked in odor.

Now, I need solutions for getting dog/cat smell (general smell not necessarily urine) out of the rest of the house. HEEELLLLPPPPP.

Oh……why now? Why so up in arms? Well, we are moving. That’s part of my big ‘secret’ I’ve alluded too. And a large part of my anxiety…….but that’s all I can say. For now. That’s a little tidbit of info. No city changes, etc. Just a house change. However, that means that my house will need to be sold at some point. And I doubt a potential home buyer will desire a house with that pesky pet odor.

So, bring on the home remedies. Mind you, they need to be pretty cheap…..I can’t afford professional restoration people or cleaning people.

Oh, are any of you antique buffs….or know anything about antiques? If so, let me know so I can e-mail you a photo of something I bought as a gift……….again, can’t say more as the recipient reads this!!

Thanks! Happy Monday….toodles for now!!


Kate said...

I have two cats and this is TRIED AND TRUE.

1. Douse the whole thing in vinegar. Seriously soak it. Let it dry on it's own - the evaporation is part of the cleaning process.
2.Then get down and dirty and scrub with baking soda - the floor will still be a bit damp from the vinegar. Let it dry and then sweep/vaccuum it up.
3. Douse the whole thing in hydrogen peroxide. Amazingly, this does nothing to colors. I thought for sure I'd have white carpet when I was done. But no. Again, the whole evaporation thing. (the peroxide kills the enzymes responsible for the pee smell.)
4. Clean with a mild soap solution so it will smell pretty.
5. Seriously. It works. Long process, but much cheaper than brand new carpet and padding.

Perfectly Shelly said...

I'm so glad to hear it. I don't have carpet. The area in question is linoleum tile....from early 60's. So, if the tiles come up, no biggie. It will probably have new flooring at some point. But other than keeping it contained, which I'll use duct tape or something to hold liquid, I think the idea sounds awesome.

I hope the standing liquid will absorb into the same pores that the pee soaked into to at least help this process. It may take more than one time, but if it works, I'll buy peroxide and vinegar by the much cheaper can it be?


dingo said...

Nature's Miracle (any pet store, Wal-Mart, etc.) is great at removing pet odors and stains. It also removes the scent (that we can't even smell) that encourages your kitties from peeing in the same spot.

Is this a good move? Are you happy about it?

daisee579 said...

When we moved from MS, we had to replace the upstairs carpet (thankfully only two rooms and the stairs themselves) because of a cat pee problem. The carpet store guy had a great idea for removing the smell. We bought this stuff from Lowes or Home Depot - I'm trying to remember the name - it wasn't very expensive and we only used one bottle for the whole area. After they pulled up the carpet and pad, I sprayed the hell out of the plywood before they installed the new stuff. It worked great!! I assume it would also work as well on flooring that's not going to be replaced, but our carpet was too far gone not to replace.

The stuff is in the cleaning department of Home Depot/Lowes. The danged name escapes me right now....but it had a funny name.

As for the overall pet smell in the house, there's nothing I've found to get rid of it other than doing a good scrub and airing the place out after you remove the pets. We try to wash their bedding (and them) as often as we remember (which isn't very often I admit) to help keep the allergy dander (hub is actually allergic) and to help with the smell. Pine Sol is a wonderful cleaner to overpowers pet smell and it's not very expensive. And when all else fails, when the house is vacant, get some of those air fresheners - the plug in ones work better than stand alone ones and the kind you simmer on the stove works even better than the plug ins.

Congrats on the move and I hope all goes smoothly for you guys!!!

PS I'm totally trying Kate's suggestion. I've made a few of her recipes and they're awesome, so I bet this cleaning thing is a good one too....