Monday, March 28, 2011

Arm & Hammer's Carpet & Fabric Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator Does What It Promises!

The Good: Eliminates odors quite well.
The Bad: Does nothing more than that.
The Basics: An average product that does exactly what it promises, though nothing more.

I have been known to be hard on cleaning products that are designed for pet owners. I understand and accept that and I think it makes those few reviews I've done for such things a little more valuable to those who read them. The truth is, ideally a pet cleaner does three things: it eliminates stains, eliminates pet odors and effectively discourages pets from resoiling the same spots. I've yet to find one that does all of those things. Why, then, am I recommending Arm & Hammer's "Carpet & Fabric Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator?" It's quite simple: it does exactly what it promises to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

First, the backstory: I have two beautiful cats named Brillo and Gollum. Brillo is a little heavy Siamese mix with the tendency to whine whenever he is taken from the house and put in the car and to soil areas around the house as an act of rebellion. Gollum is an obedient little black cat who dutifully uses his litterbox. Brillo is the reason I was in the market for a carpet stain remover for pet stains. Brillo is not a fan of me leaving the house for days on end and illustrates this quite well by being sure to urinate somewhere inappropriate within twenty-four hours of my return to the house. Indeed, when I recently reviewed Resolve's Resolve For Pet Stains (reviewed here!) it was Brillo who assisted with most of the research.

Brillo is a little bit of a jerk, but I do love him. I do not, however, like the way he pees in front of my fireplace (yea, heat and urine smell!) and have gone through many products to try to find one that truly works. This led me to first to Resolve For Pet Stains, a carpet stain remover formulated for pets and now to Arm & Hammer's Carpet & Fabric Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator. Because Brillo's soiling place of choice is a dark rug, an odor eliminator eventually made more sense than a stain remover. Both Brillo and Gollum have shown an affinity for their cat litter, so I know that Brillo's poor behavior occasionally truly is the result of his temperament. I want a product that truly lives up to its promises, especially discouraging my cats from resoiling areas, but barring that, for the primary location, I just need something to eliminate the smell. The Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator does just that.

Arm & Hammer's Carpet & Fabric Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator comes in a 24 oz. bottle with a spray trigger top. The nozzle ends in a simple, pretty standard, rotating cap that offers two spraying options: Off and Spray. The "Off" function locks the trigger and prevents anything from being sprayed. This is handy for those who have children kicking around who might otherwise enjoy getting into a bottle like this. So long as the kid has a short attention span, this will thwart them from spraying the product around. The "Spray" setting creates a fine mist that dusts a decent area, about six inches square when held a foot away. The "Spray" function creates a wide dispersion of the Pet Fresh and that works fine for covering the assumed area of soiling (dark carpet, I'm done with feeling around for the wet spots!).

The actual product is a clear, slightly yellow, liquid with a faint smell to it. The scent is inoffensive and almost unnoticeable, something between a mild detergent and just a hint of citrus scent.. Having had plenty of this stuff on my skin - including in an open wound on my hand - I can honestly say that it does not irritate the skin. I'm not tasting it, even for a review!

The directions for use are ridiculously simple. The bottle simply directs: "Spray evenly in a sweeping motion on carpeting, upholstery or any other fabric surface until slightly damp. That's until the fabric surface is slightly damp, not the user or the spray bottle (just thought I'd make that clear). Because this is not designed for stain removal, that's all there is to it.

The directions also recommend testing the product on a discreet area to make sure that it does not have an effect on color fastness of the fabric being sprayed. I've yet to find a fabric that bleeds when this is used on it and I've tried it on the rug, denim, and my curtains. And it does effectively get odors out of all of those fabrics and carpets.

This is a remarkably easy product to use. I flip the cap to the spray setting (yeah, I keep it "Off" otherwise, though I don't know why) and spray it exactly as it mentions on the bottle. This will form a light foam where it comes in contact with cat pee and the foam dissipates within five minutes. There have been times I have sprayed the Pet Fresh and walked away for ten minutes and been unable to find where the stain had been without sticking my hand in it (yea antibacterial soap!).

I have a rich red rug with a decent pile to it. This rug extends to in front of the fireplace, which is where Brillo most frequently likes to make his statements of protest. There is no possible way for me to tell if the urine stain is out by coloring as I can never tell that Brillo has peed there by color. The rug is too dark to carry the color of a urine stain. This is why using the Odor Eliminator instead of a stain remover ultimately made more sense to me. Despite this, it is always quite clear by smell and touch when Brillo has urinated anywhere on that rug. The Pet Fresh cuts through the odor and eliminates it, permanently. It is very effective at that and within moments of applying it, my living room no longer smells bad.

Unfortunately, the product does nothing to truly discourage Brillo from peeing in front of the fireplace later on. The reason this does not bother me too much with the Pet Fresh is that it doesn't promise it will. Do I wish it did more? Certainly. But it doesn't claim to, so it's all right in my book.

The Pet Fresh lasts, even with my disobedient cats. I can usually make a bottle last for six months. The cleaner mentions it contains hydrogen peroxide, but it does not seem to bleach fabrics or hair, which is nice. The scentless quality of the soiled areas often lasts until Brillo decides to make his next protest on the rug. Sigh. Neither Brillo nor Gollum has ever gotten ill from my using this product and it does effectively eliminate pet odors.

For other household cleaners or pet care products, please check out my reviews of:
Speedy White Hearth & Glass Cleaner
Flexi 10' Leash
Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper


For other pet products, please check out my reviews on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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