A cat lying on a sofa

How to Completely Eliminate Pet and Other Strong Household Odors

It is rare, but now and then I hear from a reader who is frustrated using one of my all-time favorite, must-have products, Nok-Out. I love Nok-Out (its companion product is SNiPER) because it eliminates all odors, including stubborn pet odors. Nok-Out is not poisonous. It is harmless for pets and children, fragrance-free, fume-free, and toxic-free. Awesome stuff.

A cat lying on a sofa

The feedback I get is mainly filled with praise and gratitude (see comments below). However, now and then, I hear from someone like Linda, who is facing a tough, smelly situation that, because of its location, requires more toil and patience.

Dear Mary: I have been using Nok-Out very successfully for months. It is fantastic, thank you for the recommendation! However, now I have a horrible pet odor that I cannot get rid of. Cat urine. On a sofa and chair. She sprayed on them. (Did you know that a spayed female will spray under stress? )

I cannot get the odor out. I have soaked the stains thoroughly, more than once. The stench might go away for a short period, or it might smell like a combo of urine and Nok-Out for awhile (a kind of soapy smell in this case). Then the full odor returns. Help! I can’t stand it! Linda

Dear Linda: Oh no, this is bad! The problem is clear—the offending pet odor (cat urine) soaked way down into the stuffing of those pieces of furniture. The Nok-Out has to penetrate successfully reaching every area that was infected. If it was a true “cat spray” is it possible that cat urine went in all directions. Perhaps you need to expand the area of treatment?

I am going to send an SOS to Ted Price at Nok-Out Central asking him to respond with his best shot. I am certain I know why you’re having this problem, but I’m not fully confident of the specific solution for it. Mary

Dear Ted: Can you take a look at Linda’s cat odor problem, which I am including with this message, and then weigh in on how she can use Nok-Out to eliminate this horrible odor, once and for all? Mary

In no time at all, Ted responded:

Dear Linda: I feel your pain! But don’t worry, there is a permanent solution to this problem and I’m sure I can help.

The most important thing you need to know when using Nok-Out is that it is an oxidizer or SNiPER which is an oxidizer and also a disinfectant. When an oxidizer comes into direct contact with the stinky stuff, it oxidizes (think “changes”) that stuff into something that no longer has an odor. The operative words here are “direct contact.”

Usually, when it appears that Nok-Out didn’t work, what has happened is that somehow, Nok-Out did not come into contact with all of the smelly stuff.

For example, I bought a used sofa and when I put it into my living room, discovered that it had a horrible musty odor that smelled like mildew. So I sprayed it all over, waited for it to dry and it smelled better so I was happy.

But a day or two later, that musty smell had returned. So I sprayed it again, with (predictably) the exact same result.

So I put my thinking cap on, and did a little homework, and learned that musty odors come from a fungus. Then I realized that I had only sprayed the upholstery and the fungus was probably living deep in all the stuffing. Therefore, I didn’t make contact with the source of the odor.

So I got my Nok-Out a third time and sprayed that sofa HEAVILY. It soaked it all up like a sponge and took almost a week to dry fully. But when it did dry, the odor was gone and the fungus that was the source, that was gone, too.

It has now been four years and the smell has not returned. The moral of the story is that direct contact with the source is essential so that Nok-Out can do its work.

I think that somehow, direct contact with the odor source has not fully happened for you yet. I want to encourage you to re-think your application protocol. Ted

Nok-Out and SNiPER are available direct from the company at Nokout.com. Also on Amazon. You are invited to call 866-551-1927 to speak directly with Ted if you need help with a specific stinky situation or pet odor.

NOTE: SNiPER is an EPA-registered disinfectant approved to clean COVID-19: EPA registration #71700-2. SNiPER is stronger than Nok-Out but has the same active ingredient, chlorine dioxide.


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14 replies
  1. Bonnie Waderich says:

    Hi Mary,
    I love reading your posts and recipes. You’ve given me some really interesting DIY ideas. Recently you asked readers to post any questions they may have about products and their uses. I am wondering if you could have a column on diatomaceous earth and it’s many uses? Thanks so much from a faithful reader.

  2. Pat Lavenz says:

    I guess if you have a bad smell on a chair or sofa you have to buy gallons of the stuff to cover all of it both top and bottom for it to work. I would just buy another sofa (I buy mine used for cheap) as it is cheaper than buying gallons of chemicals and having to leave it outside to dry for days but that is my opinion.

  3. D.G. says:

    Here’s another idea for Linda. I had a houseguest whose little girl wet the bed. But the mom didn’t tell me! When I went to the guest room to strip the bed a few days later, oh my! The stain was set. Spraying Nok-Out heavily did not do the job. Here’s how Nok-Out still came to the rescue. I got the biggest syringe I could find, filled it with Nok-Out, and injected it into the mattress in several areas where the spot was. Then I aimed a fan at the mattress so it could dry. Several days later, Nok-Out had fixed the problem!

  4. Deb R. says:

    I was glad to see the COVID-19 information. I was wondering if my bottle of Nok-Out would be useful as a disinfectant. Now I know that I need SNiPER for that job.

  5. Brenda says:

    Css as n I spray Nok-Out on the interior surfaces of an old oak sideboard? At first it was just musty smelling; and now it has an obnoxious floral odor from the scented candle and potpourri remedies we tried.
    Please help.

  6. Veronica says:

    Hi Mary,

    My big dog recently had an accident in my car — not on the heavy waterproof seat covers, not on the heavy-duty rubber, lipped floor mats. No, my guy decided to stick his butt between the front seats and let go all over the only unprotected part of my car’s interior — the emergency brake and uncovered carpet down the sides. We cleaned and shampooed several times. Then we treated with Nok-Out, several times. Finally, I ordered another gallon and told my husband to pour it all over the area so it couldn’t help but touch the affected fibers or padding. Still, however, the car stank of dog poop and chemical smell. I was desperate (and nauseous)! Got a bright idea about using activated charcoal. Ordered four pouches, maybe 4 inches square each. The next morning, the smell was gone. Like, gone-gone! Thought I’d share. Thanks!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Given the severity of the problem and the amount of Nok-Out you used, it does follow protocol that it would takes days if not weeks to completely “oxidize.” But you did the right thing making sure that Nok-Out came in direct content with every smidgen of that untimely “deposit.” Happy to hear the problem has been solved!

  7. Michelle S. says:

    I recently bought a certified pre-owned leased SUV from a dealer while on vacation in Florida (it wasn’t planned but I couldn’t pass up the deal). When I went to pick up my “new” car it smelled great from the car deodorizers they put in when they detailed it. But after a few days in the hot sun I started to notice a smell that I can only describe as “wet dog” (those of you who own dogs know that smell). I brought it back to the dealer and they shampooed all the carpets and did some kind of enzyme treatment but the odor persisted. I was at the tail end of my vacation and had to head back home to upstate NY so I could not return to the dealer.

    I bought no less than five different types of deodorizers, lava rocks, charcoal and dampness products and stuffed them under all the seats and in the cargo area but nothing was working. I forgot all about the jug of Nok-Out that I had under my sink. I treated all the seats, rugs and cargo area but the smell got worse. I knew I needed to treat it all again and cover everything because I had no way of knowing exactly where the odor was coming from. So I bought another gallon and really soaked the heck out of all the areas again. And lo and behold, the odor went away after a couple of weeks and has never returned. I am now a loyal customer.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes! Your description along with the outcome is exactly the way that Nok-Out works. It takes time! It’s a chemical reaction going on. Congrats on that new car that has even better than “new car” smell!

  8. Sandy Jackson says:

    Mary, My daughter has this constant battle also. She has 3 very active boys and three very spoiled hound dogs that love her chairs and couch. I noticed that she encases the pillow part of the cushions to her furniture in a plastic bag before putting them in their respective washable covers. She usually launders the covers every week to 10 days and she also changes bags at this time too. Also a plus, the bags make the covers slide on easier.

    • Dolores Fowler says:

      Brilliant! Mary, I have a problem with dog urine on the living room and bedroom carpets. I do need to replace the carpet in those areas and wonder what kind of flooring I should get? I have cement under the existing carpet, which is very old. Can you recommend something? Please!!!

      • Mary Hunt says:

        I suggest you look seriously as “luxury vinyl planking.” You can see this at stores like Home Depot and Lowes. It’s beautiful to look at, easy to install. But it is waterproof—that means it is not porous so pet accidents can be removed. Just understand that even when a pet has an accident on waterproof flooring that has “cracks” at the joins, urine can get into that area, so it still needs to be treated with Nok-Out, making sure it penetrates even into those joins. I don’t have a brand name for you but there are several vinyl products you should look at.

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