Ultimate Guide: Eliminating Pet Odor from Blankets and Keeping Your Home Fresh

You’ve cuddled up with your furry friend, and now your favorite blanket smells more like your pet than your preferred laundry detergent. It’s a common problem for pet owners, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, you’ll discover effective strategies to banish those unpleasant pet odors from your blankets. We’ll guide you through the process, offering expert tips and tricks to ensure you’re never left holding your nose.

So, get ready to reclaim your blankets and enjoy the fresh, clean scent you love. After all, there’s nothing better than snuggling into a clean, fresh-smelling blanket at the end of a long day.

Key Takeaways

  • Pet odors in blankets come from body oils, bacterial activity, and urine salts. Fabric material and inadequate cleaning schedules exacerbate this issue.
  • Pre-treating blankets with strategies like removing pet hair and using natural odor absorbers such as baking soda and vinegar can help reduce stubborn pet odors.
  • Effective laundry practices for pet odor removal include using specialized pet odor detergents, setting the appropriate washing machine settings and temperatures according to the blanket’s care instructions.
  • Natural remedies like using baking soda and vinegar, and leveraging the power of sunlight can enhance the pet odor removal process.
  • Specialized products and tools such as enzymatic cleaners and odor-neutralizing sprays provide professional, effective solutions for stubborn pet odors.
  • Maintaining a fresh-smelling home with pets requires a routine cleaning regime, adopting preventive measures, grooming your pet regularly, immediate action for any pet mishaps, and the inclusion of air-purifying plants.

Understanding Pet Odors in Fabrics

Moving from general discussions about pet odor removal, let’s dive deeper. In this section, we’ll expand our understanding of pet odor in blankets by exploring the science behind pet smells and why blankets tend to attract these odors.

The Science Behind Pet Smells

Pets, like humans, produce body oils that keep their skin hydrated and hair supple. When they sweat or secrete these oils, they leave traces on fabrics they come into contact with, such as blankets. Over time, bacteria that naturally occur on the skin and in the environment feed on these oils. The metabolic products of these bacteria release certain compounds, such as volatile fatty acids, that the human nose detects as the typical pet smell.

Communicating even more complexity, not all pet odors are due to bodily secretions alone. For example, cat urine contains uric crystals (urine salts) that, when come in contact with moisture, release an ammonia-like odor. Thus, the science behind pet smells involves a combination of body secretions, bacterial activity, and specific urine salts.

Why Blankets Attract Odors

Understanding why blankets hold onto these pet odors is another part of the puzzle. A blanket’s ability to retain pet odors begins with its material composition. Literally, fabrics made from natural fibers, like cotton or wool, have tiny spaces that can trap the oils and droplets your pet leaves behind. On the other hand, synthetic blankets, while less absorbent than natural fibers, have static electricity that can draw pet hair and dander, carrying odors with them.

Moreover, blankets without regular cleaning, coupled with the warmth they provide, create the ideal environment for bacteria growth. Besides, the ample surface area of blankets exposes a large field for pet oils and urine salts to settle. Together, the material of the blanket, inadequate cleaning schedules, and the comfort your pet finds in it results in a blanket saturated with stubborn pet odors.

Pre-Treatment Strategies for Smelly Blankets

To ensure the elimination of pet odors from your blankets, implementing pre-treatment strategies is indispensable. These techniques deal with contaminants before you subject your blanket to washing, and increase the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

Removing Pet Hair Before Washing

Pet hair itself is a sizable contributor to the unpleasant smell on blankets. Don’t overlook the importance of removing it before washing your blanket. Using a rubber glove, run your gloved hand over the blanket to gather hair, then vacuum it up. You can also use more specialized tools like pet hair rollers or lint brushes for this task.

Natural Odor Absorbers

Consider natural odor absorbers as a pre-treatment strategy as well. Baking soda, in particular, excels at neutralizing odors. You’d just sprinkle a generous amount over your blanket, let it sit for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight if the smell is especially strong, before vacuuming it up. Vinegar, another natural odor neutralizer, can add potency to your pre-treatment routine. Soak your blanket in a vinegar solution (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water) for an hour before washing. These methods naturally weaken stubborn pet odor, preparing your blanket for a thorough, smell-free wash.

Best Laundry Practices for Pet Odor Removal

Once thorough pre-treatment of the blankets is done, apply the next essential strategies in your laundry process. Implementing these can make a major difference in eliminating persistent pet smells.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Your choice of detergent has a significant impact when ridding blankets of unwanted pet odors. Common supermarket detergents don’t offer the enzyme-based formulas necessary to tackle pet smells effectively. Look for specialized pet odor laundry detergents on the market. These detergents contain enzymes which break down the odor-causing compounds, as opposed to just masking the smell. For instance, brands like Nature’s Miracle and Rocco & Roxie promise a potent enzyme formula designed to target and eliminate lingering pet odors. Remember, it’s important to read and follow the instructions on the detergent’s label for optimum efficiency.

Washing Machine Settings and Temperatures

Mastering washing machine settings and temperatures plays a crucial role in banishing pet odors. Selecting the proper setting depends on your blanket’s care label instructions. Most of the time, a heavy wash cycle suits the cause best, considering its prolonged wash periods and high-speed spin. This aids in thoroughly extracting pet smells.

In terms of temperature, a hot wash works most effectively in eliminating stenches, as the heat helps to break down the odor-causing bacteria. The caveat here is that not all materials tolerate a hot wash well. In such instances, sticking to a warm setting, coupled with the right detergent, still ensures decent odor elimination.

Incorporate these strategies to complete your comprehensive guide to ridding pet smells. While results might not be immediate, a consistent adherence to these detailed steps assures eventual triumph over persistent pet smells.

Natural Remedies for Deodorizing Blankets

The potential of natural remedies in the battle against pet smells is often underestimated, especially when it comes to blankets. The following are some natural remedies that can eliminate any lingering pet odors effectively.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Harness the power of pantry essentials like baking soda and vinegar. As a renowned deodorizer, baking soda can absorb those unpleasant pet smells, while vinegar is a potent natural disinfectant that can help break down odorous compounds. Together, they pack a double punch when it comes to battling pet odors.

Start by adding a generous amount of baking soda directly onto your soiled blanket, ensuring every inch gets covered. Let it rest for about an hour. This allows the baking soda to absorb maximum odors. After that time, brush it off gently but completely, ensuring no residues remain.

Follow up with vinegar, by adding about two cups into your washing machine during the rinse cycle. Just be sure not to use too much; vinegar can cause color fading if abused. Moreover, remember that vinegar has a strong odor of its own, but rest assured, this will dissipate once your blanket dries up completely.

The Power of Sunlight

In addition to kitchen ingredients, sunlight can too offer surprisingly effective deodorizing benefits. Not only does it kill bacteria with its UV rays, but it also helps freshen up fabrics by eliminating moisture and consequently the musty smell that often accompanies it.

Once you finish washing your blanket (with vinegar in the rinse cycle as recommended), hang it up to air dry in a sunny spot instead of using a dryer. Not only will the pet smell diminish but you’ll also notice a fresh, outdoor scent seeping into your blanket, providing a natural, clean fragrance.

Remember, though, direct sunlight can cause color fading over time. It’s suggested to rotate it frequently and avoid extended sun exposure, especially if your blanket is dark or brightly colored. With these natural remedies, you can enhance the smell and feel of your pet’s favorite blanket, making it smell fresh and clean without using any harsh or synthetic chemicals.

Specialized Products and Tools

Moving beyond traditional cleaning methods, let’s delve into the world of specialized products and tools. These products bring professional, pet-friendly solutions to your household. They’re equipped to deal with stubborn pet odors, offering convenience by breaking down odors rather than simply masking them.

Enzymatic Cleaners Explained

Enzymatic cleaners merit attention particularly due to their efficacy in odor removal. These professionals-grade cleaners urinate proteins, the underlying reason for the stubborn smell. They contain specific enzymes that act on organic matter, breaking down urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia which naturally evaporate.

To illustrate, a renowned enzymatic cleaner is Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator. It’s a certified safe product for a host of fabric types, including your pet’s blanket. It’s not just about odor removal – it tackles stains, too!

Let’s highlight benefits of enzymatic cleaners:

  • Break down proteins causing the smell, not just covering it.
  • Tackle a variety of smells from urine and feces to vomit and other organic matter.
  • Safe for use around pets and children, with non-toxic formulations.

Odor-Neutralizing Sprays and Solutions

Next, consider investing in odor-neutralizing sprays and solutions. Unlike standard air fresheners, these sprays target and neutralize the scent molecules causing the unpleasant odors. For instance, Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator is highly-rated and promises to permanently eliminate pet odors on the molecular level.

Advantages of odor-neutralizing sprays include:

  • Direct action on scent molecules, providing permanent solutions.
  • Variety of forms, from sprays and candles to plug-ins, catering to different requirements.
  • Most contain non-scented formulas, so they won’t introduce another scent, just remove the existing one.

Bear in mind, these specialized tools offer convenience and professionalism in your home. With precise formulation, they tackle pet odors efficiently, making your blankets fresh and clean once more. Don’t abandon the natural methods, but remember these tools are an added armor in the battle against pet odors.

Maintaining a Fresh-Smelling Home with Pets

After an in-depth exploration of the science behind pet odors and how to effectively eliminate them, the focus now shifts to preventative methods. This segment provides a comprehensive tactical approach to maintaining a fresh-smelling home, ensuring your blankets and the surroundings stay free from persistent pet smells.

Routine Cleaning Tips

One crucial component in obtaining a smell-free home involves a routine cleaning regime. Since pets regularly shed body oils and urine salts, it’s essential to wash and dry your pet’s blanket at least once a week. Make use of mild detergents that contain bacteria-fighting agents, ensuring all odors are eliminated during the wash. For blankets made of delicate fabric, a handwash using lukewarm water can prove helpful. Always remember to dry the blankets thoroughly, as damp blankets can harbor bacteria, leading to the formation of foul smells.

In addition, it’s worthwhile to include deodorizing pet sprays on your cleaning checklist. Using Odor-neutralizing sprays like Zero Odor Pet Odor Eliminator, after each wash, helps target and eliminate any lingering scent molecules, thereby maintaining the freshness.

Preventive Measures for Pet Odors

Adopting preventive measures can help control the onset of pet smells. A critical step is to ensure regular grooming of your pet. Keeping your pet clean significantly reduces the buildup of body oils and bacteria, which contribute largely to the odorous smell. Pet-friendly grooming products are available on the market which help kill bacteria without causing harm to the pet’s skin.

In cases, when your pet urinates on the blanket, immediate action can effectively prevent odor retention. Use of enzymatic cleaners like Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator, which breaks down those pungent proteins, delivers great results.

Lastly, the inclusion of air-purifying plants in your living space, such as spider plants, Boston ferns or Peace Lily, can be beneficial. These plants naturally cleanse the air, removing impurities and contributing to a fresh living environment. By incorporating both routine cleaning and preventive measures, it’s possible to maintain a pet-odor free home.


You’ve conquered the science behind pet odors and discovered how material composition and cleaning habits can make a world of difference. You’ve learned about the power of specialized products like enzymatic cleaners and odor-neutralizing sprays. But more importantly, you’ve grasped the importance of prevention. Regular washing of pet blankets, using deodorizing sprays, grooming your pets, and acting quickly on pet accidents are key. You’ve also learned the benefits of air-purifying plants in your home. With these tools and knowledge, you’re ready to maintain a fresh-smelling home, even with your furry friends around. Remember, it’s not just about reacting to odors, but preventing them. So, embrace these tips and enjoy a pet-odor free home.

What causes pet odors on blankets?

Pet odors on blankets are primarily caused by body oils, bacterial activity, and specific urine salts from pets. The blanket’s material and your cleaning habits also impact odor retention.

What products can help with pet odor elimination?

Enzymatic cleaners and odor-neutralizing sprays are effective for pet odor elimination. They often target the components that cause the pet’s smell, hence eliminating the odor at its source.

How can one prevent pet odors at home?

To prevent pet odors, regular washing of pet blankets with mild detergents is recommended. Additional tips include grooming pets to reduce odor-causing factors, using deodorizing sprays, quickly addressing pet accidents with enzymatic cleaners, and incorporating air-purifying plants at home.

Can regular cleaning routines help in achieving a pet-odor free home?

Yes, by combining routine cleaning with preventive measures like using deodorizing sprays and grooming your pets regularly, you can significantly reduce or eliminate pet odors in your home.