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August 21, 2010 5:54 AM   Subscribe

How to scrub a carpeted rental apartment of cat residue?

We're moving into a new townhome this September. New carpets and paint were put in last spring, but the previous tenant had a cat between then and now. My wife is allergic -- we committed before we knew about the cat -- but previous experience suggests that once the cat is no longer around and the place has been thoroughly cleaned she won't have a problem.

I'll be in charge of the thorough pre-move cleaning and am looking for advice. Naturally I'll vacuum the carpet and clean the baseboards, as well as clean the vents and scrub the non-carpeted surfaces -- but what else should I do? Are any particularly good products for neutralizing whatever this cat has left behind?
posted by gerryblog to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ask the landlord about how thorough their between-tenant cleanup is; they might have already done this sort of thing.
posted by carlh at 6:02 AM on August 21, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, I should have mentioned: we're taking over the lease for this other tenant, who has to move out of town unexpected. We are the between-tenant cleanup. The landlord has said they're not doing anything.
posted by gerryblog at 6:04 AM on August 21, 2010

Best answer: I'd rent a steam cleaner for the carpets, a regular vacuum won't get everything out.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 6:14 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

We rented a steam cleaner from the grocery store, which was more than sufficient, and worth the money to save our pet deposit.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:24 AM on August 21, 2010

Best answer: Get some air circulation going. Open up all the windows, or run an air filter overnight. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure to wipe down the blades.
posted by hooray at 6:39 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Make sure to change the air filters for the heating/air conditioner. You can get special ones for people with allergies which may help.
posted by bluefly at 7:18 AM on August 21, 2010

Best answer: If the carpet needs to be cleaned, a professional will do it a lot better than a rental DIY unit.
posted by elmay at 7:36 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Stanley Steemer really does a great job and they are having a 99 dollar special. I think
posted by naplesyellow at 9:00 AM on August 21, 2010

Best answer: How allergic?

I'd clean the place starting at the top - like wiping the fan blades and working to the floor. I'd do dry first and then wet so vacuum with a good filtered vac and then maybe steam clean. After all that's done I'd change filters and run an air purifier to catch anything that that cleaning stirred up.
posted by oneear at 12:38 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Steam the carpets. Send Julie an email; she's brilliant at this kind of stuff. Also, for doing the between-tenant cleanup, you should get reimbursed for part of your deposit.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 6:23 AM on August 23, 2010

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