When you have pets, cleaning your carpet means more than removing the odd stain and bit of dust – it means removing lots of ground-in pet dander, hair, and related odors. If you truly want your carpet to look and smell clean, adhere to these four simple carpet cleaning tips for pet owners.

Vacuum more often – and use a brush.

If you're only vacuuming once a week, you're allowing the hair and dander time to really settle deep into your carpet fibers, where even a good shampooer will have trouble reaching it. Try vacuuming every 2 to 3 days instead. This way, you'll capture hair and dander before they settle in. Make sure you're using a vacuum with brushes in its base, and that the brushes are set to a height at which they actually come into contact with the carpet (most vacuums have a switch that allows you to lower the brushes). The brushes are essential for loosening the hair.

When you shampoo your carpet, add vinegar to the mix.

Add a splash of vinegar to the rinse water compartment on your shampooer. If your shampooer model only has one compartment and uses a leave-in shampoo, add some vinegar to that compartment. The vinegar will boost your odor-fighting power. For the first hour or two after shampooing, your room may have a vinegar smell, but once this dissipates, it will smell fresh and clean.

Clean out the base of your shampooer often when shampooing.

When you have a lot of hair to remove from your rug, it can start to clog the bottom of the shampooer and reduce its effectiveness. Every few minutes while shampooing, turn over your shampooer and remove any pet hair or debris that has built up.

Always follow up with baking soda after removing a stain.

Whenever you remove a pet-related stain from your carpet, always sprinkle some baking soda on the area as a last step. The baking soda will remove any lingering odors. Let it sit for about a day before vacuuming it up. There are many pet carpet cleaner products that you can sprinkle on your carpet in the same manner, but they are usually baking soda-based – so using baking soda will have the same effect for less money.

It is possible to have pets and a clean carpet. Follow the tips above, and you can be well on your way to achieving this goal. For professional help with carpet cleaning, contact a service like Atlantic Carpet Care.