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7 Best Pet Odor Removal Products: Your Buyer’s Guide

pet odor removal

Pet ownership confers many benefits to the pet owner. Your dogs or cats or chinchillas provide companionship and can actually directly improve your health, according to WebMD. Plus, they’re cute, as if that wasn’t already obvious.

However, pet ownership isn’t without its challenges. Of course, you must properly feed and exercise your pets daily. You have to make sure they remain in a safe area away from potential dangers. And you have to clean up after them. Whether dog, cat, or caged, you’ll spend some of your time as a pet owner maintaining clean bathroom facilities, doing an above-average amount of vacuuming, and contending with pet odors.

Pet odors come with the territory, to some extent, and dealing with them requires a multi-pronged approach. For cats, this means tending to litter boxes. For dogs, this means regular baths with a quality dog shampoo. For either, you can supplement here and there with something like waterless sprays and pet wipes. The better you manage the smell of your pet, the easier it is to manage the smell of pets in your home generally.

Still, this is unlikely to be enough. You’ll need a few other tools to keep things smelling fresh. Layering these approaches is likely to have the best result, which in turn keeps your human family healthy, too. A build up of foul odors means that unhealthy chemicals are present in high concentrations in your home and could lead to any number of ailments. By using some combination of the products on this list, you can mitigate any potential hazards.

In my home, we use a combination of air purifiers, a portable carpet cleaner, a small space deodorizer, frequent baths, dog wipes, and candles to eliminate pet odors. If that seems excessive, it’s fair to note that we have three dogs and two chinchillas in a relatively small house, so your approach may vary. The goal is to keep everything — including our furniture, bedding and rugs — as close to new and clean as possible.

Keep your home smelling fresh and clean with the use of the best pet odor removal products.

blueair pet air purifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smartphone controllable
  • Destroys odors by removing particles
  • Not just a spot treatment
Price: $358.12 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UV light destroys odor-causing germs
  • Doesn't require filter replacement
  • Excels in litter boxes
Price: $69.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
litter genie pail black friday deal Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes litter box maintenance easier
  • Inexpensive
  • Saves money in the long run
Price: $21.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to use
  • Extending the life of litter saves money
  • Cheap solution
Price: $8.05 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Covers a large area for the footprint
  • Destroys odors
  • Requires no electricity
Price: $14.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for spot treatments
  • Safe
  • Works on stains, too
Price: $19.16 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Odor neutralizing
  • You choice of scent
  • Adds some ambiance
Price: $22.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Blueair Classic 480i Air Purifier

    • Directly removes microscopic particulate that causes bad odors
    • Smartphone controllable
    • Cleans a large area of the home
    • Effective against non-pet odors, too
    • Expensive
    • Does relatively little against upholstery odors
    • Has to run constantly to be effective
    • May not be as effective as spot treatments

    It’s probably obvious, but in case it isn’t, odors are caused by particles in the air. It’s really as simple as that. If you remove the particles from the air, you can go a long way toward removing odors all together. For that, you’ll want to invest in a high quality air purifier. Previously, we put together a list of the best air purifiers for pets and this Blueair unit was on it.

    This is an app- or Alexa-controlled wifi purifier that helps you keep track of air quality in your home and manage settings remotely. It has an ionizer, which is helpful with removing odor particles, and can cover an area of about 430 square feet, which should be perfect for living rooms or small apartments. You’ll need to add the Blueair Aware monitor to get air quality information on the app and to enable auto mode.

    You don’t have to go quite this expensive with your air purifier, but having one makes a big difference to lingering odors in the home.

  2. 2. VentiFresh Odor Neutralizer

    • UV-based device breaks down odors
    • Does not create ozone, which can be unhealthy in some small areas
    • No replacement filters required
    • Quiet, low-power operation
    • Requires an outlet close to litter boxes and trash cans (unless using a power bank)
    • Only effective on very small volumes of air
    • Somewhat pricey for what it is
    • Some may not notice a difference

    If the pet odors emanate from one place in particular — a litter box, for example — you can use a device like this to destroy the odor-causing compounds at the source. This is a simple UV light germ destroyer with a quiet fan mounted on it to draw in particulates.

    There are no replaceable filter costs, and this can be mounted either with the included gel pad or magnet. It uses a light sensor and only runs in darkness, either when your cat isn’t in the litter box or when a trash can lid is closed. If you want it to run all the time, you can use the included light block stickers instead. This is best used in conjunction with a larger home air purifier, but is especially useful at holding down urine smells. I use one in the area of my chinchilla cages where I put used litter when I refresh it between cleanings.

  3. 3. Litter Genie Plus Ultimate Cat Litter Odor Control Pail

    • Locks litter smells away easily
    • Extends the life of litter, saving money
    • Compact
    • Inexpensive
    • Requires specialized refills
    • Requires almost daily maintenance to be effective
    • Doesn't address odors generally in the home

    As you’ve probably gathered by now, keeping the air fresh in your home when you have pets is more about maintenance than anything else. That’s especially true if you have a pet that uses a litter box. You have to stay on top of cleaning a litter box in order to hold down the smells, but emptying it every other day is both wasteful and expensive.

    Like the similarly-named Diaper Genie, this pail allows you to scoop your cat box daily and deposit waste into an odor-controlling pail. This traps the awful smells, which in turn reduces the work that air purifiers and other devices have to do. You can put up to two weeks of waste in the pail before it has to be emptied, which will save on litter in the long run. If the smell can’t escape, you don’t have to battle it in the rest of the house.

  4. 4. Arm & Hammer Multiple Cat Litter Deodorizer

    • Inexpensive
    • Easy to deploy
    • Extends the life of litter
    • Destroys odor at the source
    • Isn’t always effective
    • Limited in application
    • Must be repurchased regularly
    • Should be used in combination with other approaches

    Continuing with the theme of controlling kitty litter smells, this is a simple product that can go a long way to keeping odors contained. Once you’ve scooped the waste into the pail above, use this to freshen the remaining litter and give it more lasting power. Nothing is as effective as treating smells at their source, and this is a relatively easy way to do that.

    This comes both in the pictured powdered version, as well as a spray formulation.

  5. 5. Bad Air Sponge Odor Absorbing Neutralant

    • Neutralizes a variety of odors by simply being placed in a room
    • Doesn’t require power or maintenance
    • One pound covers 400 sq. ft.
    • Some find the smell of the product itself off-putting
    • Somewhat mixed results depending on space and particular smells
    • Doesn’t do anything for the source of a smell

    As I’ve said, a multi-layered approach is likely to have the best results. In addition to the other products on this list, you may also get some mileage out of a passive odor neutralizer. These work by binding with odor causing compound and rendering them inert. They have surprising effectiveness and are often used in automotive applications. In your home, one pound of product (though they ship in 14 ounce containers) will cover 400 square feet — similar to the air purifier above.

    There are a few of these on the market, including Nature’s Air Sponge. They don’t draw much particulate out of the air, such as pet hair and dander, but they are effective on the odors themselves and probably worth using in addition to other approaches.

  6. 6. Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

    • Removes specific sources of odor
    • Removes stains on a variety of surfaces
    • Enzymes destroy ammonia crystals
    • Safe for pets and humans
    • Older stains may require some muscle to remove
    • Some don’t like the enzymatic approach
    • Doesn’t help with everyday odors in the air
    • May take multiple treatments

    If the source of your pet odor is a specific spot, such as from urine accidents, you’ll want to eliminate the odor from that specific spot. Usually, a stain is also present at the site of such a mess, so something that can address both issues is ideal. This product is the evolution of a fine tradition of similar sprays, using enzymes to specifically attack ammonia crystals that form from urine. Use it the same way you would any stain remover to remove not only the stain, but the odor as well.

    If you have a particularly stubborn smell, you may need to look at other solutions. For areas where no stain is present but a smell lingers, look into the Thornell line of concentrated pet odor removal products, including options like Cat-Odor-Off or Kennel Odor Eliminator. These are not enzyme-based, but are super concentrated and will help resolve odor spots.

    If the simple spray approach didn’t remove the stain, you might need to try a spot carpet cleaner. I strongly recommend dog owners keep one of these on hand either way. Even a properly housebroken pup will occasionally have accidents. At my house, we use the Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner, which we’ve found to be very effective on rugs and couches. It’s especially effective with the Bissell 2X Pet Stain & Odor Portable Machine Formula.

  7. 7. One Fur All Pet Home Candle

    • Odor neutralizer destroys odor compounds
    • Available in a wide range of scents
    • Easy to use
    • Somewhat expensive
    • More likely to mask than remove odors
    • Not useful as a spot treatment

    For the most part, the other products on this list will render the air in your home neutral. Free of pet odors, yes, but not specifically good-smelling. For that last step, there are lots of options, like plug-in air fresheners or essential oil defusers. If find that the easiest and best option is candles. With the popular plug-in air fresheners, you’re relatively limited as to what scents you can use, but candles offer a very wide variety of options to suit your aesthetic.

    They even make candles especially for this purpose. Similar to the classic Smoker’s Candle, this option from One Fur All combines a traditional scented candle with a odor neutralizing product to increase effectiveness. There are 22 different scents to choose from, all U.S. made from a soy base.

    Of course, normal candles will also work. Lately we’ve been a fan of the Paddywax Salt Water and Lily and the PF Candle Co. Amber and Moss candles. For more ideas, you could peruse the candle list we put together for Christmas last year, too.

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