Pet odors get steamed

November 10, 2010

I have a little trick for getting rid of pet odors, and it’s 100 percent safe for birds and other pets as well as babies and people with chemical sensitivities.  It’s something I’ve talked about here more than once, and if you’ve ever heard me, you know I think it’s a miracle.

It’s steam. And it’s what I wrote about in my column this week on

I’m not talking about hot water, even if the machine that delivers it is sold as a “steam cleaner.” I’m talking about the kind of steam that comes out of an espresso machine.

Most of the machines people think of as “steam cleaners,” like the carpet cleaning machines you can rent at the supermarket or that we see spinning their brushes on the soiled wall-to-wall in television commercials, don’t use real steam.

Instead, they saturate the floor with warm or hot water and detergent, then use brushes to loosen dirt, then suck up the dirt, water, and detergent. They leave your carpets wet, and leave a soap residue behind that will attract dirt to your carpets sooner than if they were truly clean. The carpets stay wet long enough to promote the growth of mold and mildew — not the best thing for allergy sufferers.

Worst of all, they do little to eliminate pet odors; by the time your carpets and upholstery dry, those smells are usually back, or at best, masked by a scented deodorizer.

Steam, on the other hand, comes as close to being a miracle cleaner as anything I’ve ever tried. Because true steam vapor contains only 10 percent moisture — which is actually less than normal room air — it leaves behind a slightly damp surface that dries almost immediately.

Steam completely eliminates the organic residues that cause pet odors to linger, as well as many allergens including dust mites, mold, mildew and pet dander. It kills most bacteria and viruses. It even kills fleas and flea eggs.

Read the whole thing here — including how to know what kind of steamer to buy. And yes… that’s two photos of Kyrie in a row from me!

Filed under: pets, connected — Christie Keith @ 5:03 am


  1. Here Here! I bought a steam cleaner a couple years ago and I love it! Even though I don’t have carpte in my house I use it on my laminate flooring, lino and then use the attachement to do the rugs. If you aren’t convinced and don’t want to commit to many hundreds of dollars, there are cheaper models out there that can be had for a little over $100 – yes they won’t do the same job as the more expensive models but it will proove the point.

    Comment by S in MT — November 10, 2010 @ 7:23 am

  2. I have a little $30 handheld steamer, and it’s great for spot clean ups. It totally convinced me that this is a great way to clean, and eventually, I’ll invest in one of the full size models. The animal hospital I used to run had a top of the line Ladybug, and boy, was it fantastic to really clean our cages, runs, etc., not to mention floors.

    Comment by Ingrid King — November 10, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  3. I long for the Ladybug!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — November 10, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

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