Puppy chew marks, cat scratches and dog vomit. Sounds like the making of a horror movie, at least for your nice furniture. Try these ideas to fix the damage done to furniture by your beloved pets.

We love our pets. Even when we buy them their own comfortable beds and towering scratching posts, they manage to get on or into furniture, sometimes leaving stains and plenty of other damage in their wake. We’ve got some tips for cleaning up after your furry loved ones.

Take out stains

You can get urine stains out with household items. First, blot it dry using a cloth. Don’t rub or you’ll spread it. Mix a tablespoon of dishwashing soap and a tablespoon of vinegar with two cups of cold water. Dip a clean, colorfast or white cloth into the liquid and sponge the urine stain, working from the inside out. Then gently blot the damp stain using a dry, clean cloth. Repeat these steps a few times until you no longer see the stain.

Prevent stubborn vomit stains by scooping up solid matter with a spoon to avoid spreading, then sprinkle the area with plenty of baking soda. Vacuum the baking soda up with a soft brush attachment only after it has dried completely. Then, sprinkle it again and let it dry a few hours before vacuuming. Add club soda to the stain after vacuuming the second time, and blot it carefully with clean paper towels, switching out towels until they blot clean. Then rinse with clean water and blot dry with a clean rag.

Get rid of odors

If all of the work removing urine or vomit still leaves an odor, or your pet left an overnight gift on your sofa that you’ve just now noticed, you can take additional steps to try to remove the odors left behind.

First, vacuum everything, all of the cushions, underneath, everywhere. If you can launder the fabric that covers throw pillows and cushions, remove and launder it according to the directions on the tag and use detergent with no bleach, along with a cup of white vinegar in each load. Place cushions and pillow outside to air dry. Wash covers a second time if necessary.

When fabrics and cushions are not washable, or for general odors, sprinkle the entire sofa or chair with baking soda and leave it overnight, then vacuum clean. Sometimes you smell the evidence, but can’t see it! Experts advise using a blacklight to find the offending dried spot on your carpet or upholstery.

To keep dogs off furniture, try some orange essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water, and spray the furniture regularly. Dogs tend to avoid citrus fragrances.

Repair wood damage

Dogs and cats can leave scratch marks on chairs, tables or wooden trim on sofas. Smaller scratches made by cats and dogs can sometimes be rubbed out by the flesh of a nut. Or find a crayon or wax stick to match and lightly color, then buff with a clean, soft cloth.

Separation anxiety, boredom or pure puppyhood can cause a dog to chew the heck out of wooden table or chair legs or spindles. It’s like a giant rawhide bone! To repair chewed areas, you likely will need wood filler. Depending on how the dog chewed the wood (in chunks or scrapes), it might help to score the area to help the wood take up the filler. Once it’s applied and dried, sand it down and use a wax fill stick to smooth the surface further. Then paint with a base color to match your wood and stain with clear lacquer.

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