Cabin Floor Cleaning Tips

home on lakeHomes on the water have a lot going for them: breath-taking views of the lake, wonderful opportunities for beachfront (and boating) fun, and endless days of waterfront dining. Waterfront property does come with some maintenance, both on the property and on home floors.

The truth is that water can cause premature wear and damage to floors (especially flooring in the room adjacent to the lake). Water can warp floors, cause permanent stains, and wear down flooring. To avoid all of those scenarios, use these tips to keep your lake house floors lasting longer and looking like new.

Choose the right water-resistant flooring.

The first step in avoiding water damage is prevention. When choosing flooring for rooms adjacent to water, ask the floor salesman to see water-resistant flooring. Unfortunately, wood floor does not fit into this category. However, there are many floors that resemble wood that are good choices for rooms adjacent to the lake. Luxury vinyl flooring is water resistant, resemble wood or stone, and newer products are produced for hotter and cooler temperatures. Tile and sheet vinyl are both water resistant, incredibly durable, and easy-to-clean. For a softer feel, choose carpet tiles which can swapped out with new tiles when the tiles are dirty.

Place rugs and towels by all doors.

After a day of fun in the sand or boating, it’s natural to track in sand and water. Stem the flow at the door; keep a rack or bin full of towels for family and guests to dry off. Also, place rugs by the exit to ensure that all water, gravel, and debris is not tracked on to the floors. Make sure that the rug is big enough for everyone’s shoes to keep cabin floors clean. Ask a local flooring salesperson for tips for putting down rugs without worrying about fading or yellowing to the floors. Often, a mat can help prevent any discolorations under rugs. For a personalized look, order a custom rug specifically designed to fit with cabin décor.

Do a daily sweep and vacuum.

Sand and water can accumulate over time, scratching floors and leaving puddles that can lead to water damage. Clean up puddles as soon as possible and do a daily sweep and vacuum to keep water and sand from being tracked into the home. Use this guide to choose the best vacuum for a lake home.

Regularly dry mop floors.

To prevent residue and build-up, mop all your floors—especially in rooms adjacent to the lake. For a deep clean, schedule a professional cleaning that can keep all your cabin floors looking new and as beautiful as the lake view.

6 Ways to Add Character to Your Home

front steps with porcelain tileUnique. Charming. Warm. Homey. Cozy. If you want any of those five words to describe your home, it takes time and effort; not every home is built to break the traditional mold (unfortunately!). The good news? Adding character to a home is an effort that is worth the time AND it doesn’t always take a lot of funds.

Tile your front porch

Start your effort at the front door with an appealing porch that practically invites guests to enter. Tile your front porch for a unique look; coordinate the look of the tile with an attention-getting door or a distinct planter. There is one note of caution, however; when shopping for the right tile, make sure you let your salesperson know the tile is for exterior use. Not all tiles can be exposed to the elements (like during our cold winters) and still look great.

Install crown molding

Crown molding is an expensive way to add character to any room. Search carefully for the right crown molding; if you want to make the room an unexpected pop of color, paint the crown molding a unique color. Once you’ve chosen the right crown molding and color for the room, use these instructions for installing the crown molding or hire a pro to complete the room.

patterned tile in bathroom

Add interest with patterned tile

Nothing spruces up a room and catches guests’ attention like a patterned tile. Use the patterned tile as a backsplash, around a fireplace, or in a bathroom. Choose patterned tiles in colors that accent other elements in the room, such as the flooring and window coverings. To avoid creating a room that appears too “busy” or “cluttered,” pair patterned tiles with neutral window coverings, furniture, and paint colors.

Consider beadboard.

Beadboard on its own can make a statement; where you choose to add beadboard sets a room apart. Add beadboard to the ceiling for a cottage feel. Beadboard in a bathroom can make the room feel fresh and bright. In a dining room, adding beadboard can add a hint of formality or give the room a traditional look.

wood floors in front of a fire place that needs to be protected from high humidity

Warm up with hardwood floors

Wood floors may feel cool underfoot but they can make any room feel warm and cozy. As an added bonus, wood floors come in a variety of styles, widths, and colors. If you want a practical reason to add wood floors (and the character that comes with it), wood floors can increase home value. In a basement, choose an engineered hardwood which can withstand the moisture of a porous slab without warping.

Be interesting with tile

If patterned tiles aren’t your first choice for adding character to your home, install tile in interesting locations (or hire the pros and take the credit), such as behind the vanity, or in unusual ways, such as in a herringbone pattern. Your guests will ooh and ah over your modern twist and classic choice of tile.

 

4 Floors that Keep Your Home Cool (and Look Great)

kitchen and dining room with island, table, and laminate floorsWarm and cozy may be fine in the winter, but this is Wisconsin. Our summers get hot and humid. When the mercury rises, warm and cozy goes right out the window—especially under your feet. You want coolness all around you; that’s why we’ve put together a list of floors that stay cool under foot during the summer AND a solution that’ll adapt your floors to the winter.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl floors are durable, beautiful, versatile, and feel extremely cool under foot. These floors come in styles that resemble stone or wood, but with the added benefit of being water resistant. Because of the water resistance, luxury vinyl can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and in rooms near pools and lakes (which keep us cool on the hottest summer days!). New luxury vinyl products also boast an incredible temperature tolerance, making it possible to install in rooms that experience the hottest and coldest temperatures. If you are handy, luxury vinyl plank floors can also be installed as a do-it-yourself project; talk to the flooring pros about your flooring options and installation tips.

Tile

patterned tile in bathroomWhen thinking about tile floors, get those old visions of traditional square tiles out of your head. Today’s tiles come in all shapes and sizes, and many products even mimic the look of wood floors (while being fairly water resistant). Tiles also come in unique patterns that can add character and charm to a bathroom, kitchen or mudroom. Most tiles can be installed with or without grout and are durable and easy-to-clean. In fact, the only hesitation most customers have with this product is that tile is cool to the foot, a problem that can be resolved with radiant heating.

Laminate

cherry colored laminate floor in kitchenLaminate floors are incredibly durable and cool to the touch. These floors also resemble the look of wood—so much so that some people think they’re real wood. With regular sweeping and felt pads for protection, it’s fairly easy to keep laminate floors looking great. When the coolness of laminate floors are not as appreciated (like during the cold winter), laminate floors can be covered with an area rug that warms up the space and the toes.

Wood

Even when the weather is simmering, wood floors can feel cool underfoot. Hardwood floors are durable and in demand; installing hardwoods in a home can even increase the home’s value. These floors are long lasting that can be sanded and refinished as needed. To compensate for the cool feel during winter, order a custom area rug that can feel warm and cozy. (Ask flooring professionals for tips on how to add a rug to a room without damaging or fading the floors.) While these floors feel cool even on the hottest of days, wood floors can add a warm feel to any home.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is not a flooring, but it is a mat that can heat a floor during the cold winter months. During the summer, a thermostat can be used to control the temperature of the radiant heating and keep the floor cool. If the home is heated with a boiler, radiant heating can be installed under the floors. In a home with forced heat, electric radiant heating mats are laid underneath the flooring.

What is the right window treatment for my bedroom?

bedroom with new carpet and fresh home decor ideasUsually light in your home is a good thing, unless you’re one of those homeowners who prefers to have a dark room when you sleep. For some people, sleeping in a completely dark room is more than a luxury; it’s a requirement for a good night’s sleep. Since no one wants to feel cranky and sleep-deprived (and we do love happy customers), we’ve put together a list of window treatments that can block out the light and guarantee a good night’s sleep.

Drapes

Drapes fit right in in a traditional home and come in a variety of opacities. The darkest and heaviest options are ideal for a bedroom where light-blocking is a goal, though sheers can be added for a classic feel. Floor-to-ceiling drapes also make a window look larger than it is.

window shutters blocking light

Shutters

Shutters are a stylish investment that adds character to the bedroom and keeps the room dark. These window treatments can be custom-made to fit any window and give the room a traditional, southern, or beach-front look (and can be installed by the professionals).

Black out curtains

Curtains typically are made with a lighter fabric, but that doesn’t mean they can’t block light. When shopping for curtains, keep the other elements of bedroom décor in mind; too many patterns or colors can give a bedroom a busy or cluttered look. For functionality, look for curtains with a black out liner that can keep out the light and give you the good night’s sleep you desire.

Blinds

man sitting in sunroom with blindsBlinds look great, come in a variety of colors and styles (stop in to see options for blinds), and can fit any size window, even those hard-to-reach windows. These window treatments can be fitted to skylights and can be controlled by remote or automatically with the sun rays. If privacy is also needed from these window treatments, the blinds can be installed to function from the bottom to top.

Combination

The right window treatment is not always one or the other but a combination of both, especially if you have a sitting area in your bedroom. Combine blinds with drapes for a dressed up and functional look. Sheer and heavy drapes can be combined to create a stylish and practical purpose. The perfect window treatments look great and serve a practical (and peaceful) purpose.

6 Window Covering Ideas that Block Out Light

shades installed in Wisconsin home Window treatments may be an integral part of home décor, but there is also a practical side to choosing the right window coverings for a room. Ask anyone working third shift hours and they’ll tell you that a window covering is a godsend for sleeping during the day. But there are other ways a window covering can function in a room as well; in media rooms, the window coverings block out the rays that prevent enjoying the big screen. In homes with a wood floor, homeowners use window coverings as a way to prevent fading and discoloration.

The reasons are many, and so are the options for window coverings. If complete blackout window coverings are needed, mention that key criteria to the salesperson to ensure that the window covering meets expectations. Some window coverings can be broken down further by material, such as wooden versus metal blinds, or opacity, such as blackout or opaque shades, but the overall list of functional window coverings is fairly short and simple.

open shutters installed in a Wisconsin homeShutters

What: Shutters are a functional and beautiful investment; shutters can be open to shut out light or allow in the sun when light is wanted. Though a more expensive option, these window coverings often increase the value of the home. Shutters can be installed over windows and doors.

Ideal rooms/areas: Living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms

Motorized Shades

What: When you can’t reach a window, such as a high window or skylight, motorized shades are the answer. Motorized shades operate automatically, moving when sun rays are detected, or by remote, opening and closing when requested. The automated shades are ideal in spaces where light is desired but fading of décor (i.e. floors, wooden countertops, etc.) are not. Automated shades move throughout the day dependent on the rays. Motorized shades function by remote, giving you the opportunity to block light when needed without getting out a ladder or any kind of extension pole.

Ideal rooms/areas: Skylights, rooms with cathedral ceilings and high windows, rooms with direct sunlight, bedrooms

Lined Drapes

What: Drapes may be one of the most traditional window coverings, but drapes come in patterns and designs suitable for any modern home. For functionality, many drapes are lined to block out light while still looking striking.

Ideal rooms/areas: Bedrooms, media rooms, dining rooms

Roller Blinds

IMG_5187What: Roller blinds are one of the most versatile and functional window coverings. These blinds can fit almost any size and shape window, and can be installed by a professional or as a do-it-yourself project.

Ideal rooms/areas: Patio doors, living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens

Pleated & Cellular Shades

What: Pleated and cellular shades are fabric shades that look great and add function to a room. As an added bonus, cellular shades can also insulate and increase the energy efficiency of a home. These shades can also be installed to open from the bottom of the window up, allowing light while still adding privacy to a room. While not the best blocker of light, pleated and cellular shades can block UV rays that fade and make it hard to enjoy a screen.

Ideal rooms/areas: Sunrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms

Wood & Aluminum Blinds

What: Wood and aluminum blinds are one of the most affordable options, but they aren’t always the best option for blackout because light can seep in on the sides. They are an attractive option, and a good window covering for spaces where some light blocking is needed.

Ideal rooms/areas: Sunrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms

How to Keep Your Home Clean(er) ALL Summer

picture of kitchen remodel with wood floors that need to be cleanedSummer in Wisconsin is a fun time, but all that fun can also make it incredibly busy. Between the sports camps and games, baseball outings, parties, grill outs, hiking, biking, and all those other summer favorites, life can get incredibly hectic. Those hectic summers can take a toll on the home (and the mind!)—especially when the piles of stuff gets as high as you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips that’ll get you and your home through the summer as clean and organized as possible.

Do as much daily cleaning as often as possible.

Small cleaning tasks do add up, so try to do as many small cleaning tasks as possible. Routine cleaning tasks, such as sweeping or wiping down the table, prevents a build-up that takes more time and elbow grease to clean. Routine cleaning also keeps floors and surfaces looking new and prevents damage, such as when you do a daily sweep of a wood floor. A daily sweep removes gravel and debris that can scratch and damage hardwood.

Be prepared for busy times.

When your calendar starts to fill up, take a moment to organize and get ready for a busy week (or month!). Prepare by organizing the mudroom, and putting items that are needed for activities into a bag. For example, put all your swimming items into a bag, sports chairs into the car, and any other items into a bag or backpack that you can easily grab and go.

Enjoy al fresco dining.

If you want to minimize the mess in your home, head outside! Eat meals out on the patio or deck every night so you can keep the mess outside (plus it’s a lot of fun to eat outside!).

Bring in the pros.

Don’t have time for anything other than light cleaning? Contact the pros to do deep cleaning processes, like cleaning the floors. Schedule a floor cleaning before or after a party, or when you have time to let the carpet dry (like right before you go on vacation!). A good deep floor cleaning keeps floors looking new, removes allergens from carpet, and maintains the warranty.

Prevent the mess before it starts.

When you don’t have time to clean, try to keep the mess outside. Place mats by all exterior doors to keep gravel, water, and debris from being tracked in. If placing the mats on a wood floor, contact your local flooring store about protection that should be put under mats to minimize fading or other problems.

Clean faster.

Anyone who has ever sold their time can tell you that speedy cleaning is possible (especially when your agent calls about that possible buyers want to see the home!). Use as many “fast home cleaning” tactics as possible, such as carrying cleaning supplies with you to prevent trips back and forth, so you can keep your home clean and enjoy all your favorite summer activities out in the sun.

Is it normal for wood floors to change from one season to the next?

wood floor in a kitchen that needs to be protected from water on floorMuggy. Steamy. Hot. You either love or hate our humid summer weather in Wisconsin. It affects our moods, outdoor activities, and wood floors.

The same goes for winter. The cold weather dries out our skin, moves our focus to the indoors, and affects our wood floors.

Normal Seasonal Wood Floor Changes

The humidity (or lack there of) that comes with every Wisconsin season can make a noticeable change in wood floors. During winter, the dry air can dehydrate floors, causing a small gap to show up between the floor boards. The humid air of summer causes the opposite effect: swelling. This small change is completely normal; however repeated drastic changes or a consistently humid environment can cause wood floor boards to cup, which needs to be repaired.

How to Protect Wood Floors from Humidity

The ideal humidity range for hardwood floors is between 35-55%. To ensure that the humidity in your home is in that range, purchase a hygrometer which can give you a read out of the moisture in the room or an appliance with a humidistat. If the humidity level is above 55%, purchase a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. If high humidity is only a problem during summer, turn on the air conditioner at the first sign of humid weather.

Other Ways to Protect Wood Floors

Wood floors are definitely an investment that should be protected from the elements. In addition to damage from humidity, UV rays from the sunshine can fade floors, water spills can cause water stains and damage, and gravel can cause scratches.

UV rays from sunlight can affect certain types of wood, polyurethane and urethane finishes. The most affordable way to protect wood floors is with window treatments that block UV rays. To coordinate the window treatments with your wood floors and existing décor, visit a local designer to choose the right curtains or blinds for the room. For a long-term solution, replace existing window with new window with low-e glass. Windows with low-e glass have a protective film that filter damaging rays out of your home, protecting the wood and finish of your floors. If new windows aren’t on the horizon, purchase a protective film for your existing windows that can minimize the fading to your floors.

Water spills are another threat to wood floors, but with an affordable solution. Place rugs by all exterior doors and in high traffic areas, such as hallways, so that water is not tracked in on boots and shoes. When purchasing the rugs, make sure that you ask about a protective bottom that can protect the wood floors from scratches. To purchase an area rug that matches home décor, order a custom rug from a local professional. If the wood floor is in a room that is directly accessible to a lake or pool, place towels in a cabinet near the entrance to minimize the chance of puddles on wood floors.

Gravel, debris, and furniture scraping across a wood floor can do serious and long-lasting damage. Regular and preventative maintenance is the key. Put felt pads on all furniture and use cardboard when moving the furniture. Sweep wood floors on a regular basis to remove gravel and debris. Vacuum rugs by all the doors to keep gravel and sand out of your home, and off your wood floors.

Bathroom Flooring: Pros & Cons of the Best Floors

tile floor in bathroom with white vanity and tile showerWet towels. Puddles from a rambunctious toddler bath time. Steam from a good, hot shower or bath. Bathrooms are the only room in the home that have to deal with daily high humidity and consistent water puddles. For that specific reason, homeowners need to use an extra degree of caution when choosing the right floor for their bathroom.

Wood floors should not be installed in a bathroom; the moisture in a bathroom can warp wood flooring and leave permanent water stains. There are other floors more suitable for the bathroom (and look great!); use this list of bathroom flooring options so you can choose the right bathroom floor for your home.

Luxury Vinyl Plank

We’ve listed the best flooring options for bathrooms before, and you’ll notice that luxury vinyl plank isn’t on the list. That’s because it’s one of the newest products on the market—but don’t dismiss this flooring just because it’s the proverbial new kid on the block. Luxury vinyl plank floors are attractive, durable, and easy-to-care-for. This floor is also a great option for anyone who wants the look of wood without worrying about warping or water damage from a bathroom’s moist environment.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, water resistant (some products are guaranteed waterproof), comes in a variety of styles, mimics the look of wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can scratch

Porcelain Tile

bathroom with tile floor that can handle waterPorcelain tiles are one of the most popular bathroom flooring choices. These tiles come in a variety of colors and shapes, and are durable and easy-to-care-for. Some of the trendiest new styles are porcelain tiles in a plank or rectangle style that makes a bathroom look bigger, or a hectagon shape that gives a bathroom a unique, one-of-a-kind design. (For inspiration, check out these tile ideas.) Porcelain tiles can also come with a wood grain look, giving you the warmth of wood without the warping and water damage that occurs when you install wood floors in a humid room.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, mildew resistant, comes in a variety of styles, resembles wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can be cold underfoot, grout can be stained

Brick Tile

Tiles that resembles bricks gives any home a unique look. Most brick tiles are a porcelain tile cut in unique styles and color variations, making it very attractive and mildew resistant. This flooring can hold up in rooms that have a lot of moisture (like bathrooms, mud rooms, and laundry rooms).

brick ceramic tilePros: Unique style, durable, easy-to-care-for, mimics the look of brick

Cons: This one-of-a-kind look is not for every homeowner, can be cold underfoot

Stone

Marble, granite, and limestone can give any bathroom an updated and upscale look. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors, all with their own unique veins and styles. Some natural stone requires maintenance to avoid any moisture issues; make sure you ask the salesperson how often the stone needs maintenance and cleaning when you view samples.

Pros: Upscale and unique look, easy-to-care-for

Cons: Usually most expensive option, can be slippery and feel cold

Vinyl Sheet

The biggest advantage of vinyl sheet is the absence of grout lines, meaning that the risk for water damage is minimal. Vinyl sheet flooring comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Pros: Mimics the look of tile, durable, easy-to-care-for, waterproof, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can look cheap, can be scratched

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is not a type of floor, and another flooring needs to be installed over a radiant heating mat. Also called underfloor heating, radiant heating gives off an even heat that conducts through the floor. If attached to a thermostat, the heat can be set different temperatures during the day and night. Radiant heating can be installed with a hydronic heating system (heating with a boiler) in new construction or with an electric mat.

Pros: Even and warm heat, can make stone or tile floors feel warm underfoot, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Adds to the cost of the flooring

8 GOOD Reasons to Buy Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors

luxury vinyl plank floorIt’s not often that a flooring checks off all the boxes, but luxury vinyl plank floors are beautiful and versatile enough to fit in any almost room. For busy households or high traffic commercial buildings, luxury vinyl plank flooring is tough enough to handle a lot of foot traffic—just one of many reasons to consider luxury vinyl plank floors for your home or business.

Durable with a capital D.

Luxury vinyl plank floors are fairly worry-free. Unlike other floors, they don’t scratch easily and are hard to stain. For that reason, they are ideal for homes and businesses with pets and kids. These floors can take all the foot and paw traffic without showing any signs of wear.

Easy to care for

Vinyl floors are fairly easy to care for, only requiring a regular sweep and an occasional mop. Be cautious about using a vacuum cleaner on the floor; look specifically for vacuum cleaners that are gentle on hard floors. Abrasive cleaners can also damage vinyl floors, so make sure you consult with the experts for cleaners that are manufacture-approved and won’t void the warranty.

Practically waterproof

Most luxury vinyl plank floors are water resistant; some products are also guaranteed waterproof. This resilience makes cleaning up spills, pet accidents, and water puddles incredibly less stressful (no damage!).

BEAUTIFUL

Wood. Stone. Wide plank. Tile. Luxury vinyl floors come in many different styles, easily mimicking the look of wood and tile floors. These floors can look stunning in a mud room, laundry room, or bathroom without any fear of water damage—and your guests’ll never guess that the floors are not wood or stone.

Affordable

Luxury vinyl plank floors are becoming increasingly more affordable—especially if you buy in bulk. If you need a large quantity, talk to salesperson about purchasing the floor in bulk which is often offered at a lower price per square foot.

Built for MORE extreme temperatures

In the past, vinyl floors could become extremely brittle and fragile in extremely cold temperatures. Today’s luxury vinyl plank floors are being manufactured to handle severely cold and hot temperatures; one of the newest luxury vinyl plank floors can be installed in a room where temperatures reach as low as 25 and as high as 155 (and that’s not a typo!).

Ideal for a basement

Because these floors are water resistant (or waterproof) and can handle extreme temperatures, luxury vinyl plank floors are ideal for basements. Basement flooring is installed over a porous concrete slab that moisture seeps through, warping floors affected by water. Luxury vinyl plank floors can handle moisture and extreme temperatures and still look stunning.

A convenient DIY project

Luxury vinyl plank floors can be installed with or without grout, making them an easy do-it-yourself project for a handy homeowner. Ask your local flooring pro to connect you with products that can serve as a great DIY project and a handsome new flooring in your home.

Pet Stains: Tips for Cleaning those (Gross!) Carpet Spots

little girl and house training puppy playing on carpetDogs may be easy to love, but they can be a little hard to clean up after (and even a little nerve wracking to own when you have new carpet!). The good news: cleaning up after your dog has an accident on the carpet is not a lost cause. Even the worst pet stains can be cleaned up—and no one has to know about the accident if you use these tips for cleaning up pet stains (trust us, we’ve cleaned a lot of carpets!).

Sop up as much of the liquid as possible.

As soon as you can, remove any solids with a utensil that you can clean or dispose of (i.e. dust pan, plastic spoon, etc.) and sop up as much of the liquid as possible (paper towels and gloves are ideal). Don’t be afraid to apply pressure; your goal is to get out as much of the liquid as possible. If there is a lot of urine, feces, or vomit, use a wet and dry vac to remove the urine or vomit.

Test your carpet cleaner before you use it.

As gross as pet stains can be (insert shudder here), don’t be in such a rush to get rid of the stain that you damage your carpet fibers. Test your carpet cleaner on a small area of carpet that is not usually visible (such as a closet or a corner) before you apply it to the pet stain. An untested cleaner can fade or permanently discolor carpet—even natural or household cleaners can do damage! If you have new carpet, using an unapproved can void the warranty (to get cleaners that are approved, visit the local carpet experts).

Don’t use a steam cleaner.

It’s tempting to grab a steam cleaner and give your carpet a deep clean—it works in other situations, right? When it comes to pet stains and carpet, no. A steam cleaner can actually lock in the stain and smell. Instead, remove the liquid, apply the cleaner (after testing!), and blot at the carpet fibers. Don’t scrub too hard; too much elbow grease can damage carpet fibers.

Get out the smell.

No matter what kind of pet emergency you’re cleaning up after, chances are it’s going to smell. Removing that odor is important for you and your dog. For you, it’s a nuisance and can affect the resale value of your home (or the security deposit on your apartment). For your pet, an odor (even the slightest smell) can turn an accident into a habit; your pet can smell the spot and may continually urinate or defecate on that spot.

To remove the odor, neutralize the odor. A household mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on the stain may do the trick; for a more intense smell, ask the local carpet pros for a professional carpet odor neutralizer crafted specifically for the job.

Be honest with your carpet cleaner.

Cleaning up the (hopefully) occasional pet accident is only part of keeping your carpet looking (and smelling) new—even with pets. An annual professional deep cleaning can get out some of the worst pet stains and odors. When you call (or message) for a carpet cleaning appointment (or when getting a free estimate), tell them that you have pets and accidents. A good carpet cleaner can pre-treat the carpet to remove the stains and odors, give you honest answers about whether they can get the stains and odors completely out, and tell you when you and your beloved pet can enjoy your clean (pet stain free) carpet.