How to Repair a Pet Damaged Carpet to Get Your Security Deposit Back

Uh oh! Did your furry friend damage your carpet? As a pet owner, you understand that accidents (and mischief) happen. You forgive your beloved companion–but your landlord probably won’t. Find out how to repair a pet damaged carpet so you can get your security back safe and sound.

Cleaning Old Stains

Even the most well-behaved, best-trained pets have been known to have a rare accident or two. When move out times rolls around, it’s crucial to clean up any old stains on your carpet.

Here’s what to do once you’ve spotted a stain.

  1. Make a gentle DIY cleanser with dish soap or laundry detergent. Add just a few drops of either cleaning agent to hot water, mix thoroughly, and dab the stained area. Do not pour the liquid over the stain, as that can wind up causing damage to the flooring below the carpet.
  2. Press into the stain with dry paper towels or rags to soak up your soapy solution. Let it air dry, vacuum the area, and then examine it again to see if the stain has been removed. Repeat the process, if necessary.
  3. If you’re finding that the soapy mixture isn’t heavy-duty enough for your set-in stain, break out some distilled white vinegar. Create a mixture of 50% room temperature water and 50% vinegar, and dab the affected area until it’s fully saturated.
  4. Blot up the water and vinegar mixture, and then sprinkle the stain with baking soda to soak up any remaining moisture. Allow the entire spot to air dry, and vacuum the area.

Patching Up a Damaged Carpet

Maybe your cat decided to use your carpet as a scratching post, or your dog tried to dig his way out of your fourth story apartment. Now, you’ve got a patch of the carpet that’s noticeably worn down or even completely destroyed. Don’t worry – you don’t need to replace all of your carpeting. Depending on the severity of the damage, you’ve got a few options.

Here’s what do once you’ve assessed the damage.

  1. If a section of carpet is destroyed, your best bet is to patch your carpet. However, this will be tricky unless your apartment happens to have extra scraps or remnants of the identical carpet lying around. Check in with your landlord or property manager about obtaining a scrap of extra carpet. If that’s not an option, you’ll have to move on to plan B.
  2. Measure the area of carpet you’ll be replacing, take a picture of your carpet, and head to a store that sells carpet remnants. It will be tricky finding something that matches the rest of your home perfectly but find the closest match you can. You’ll need to purchase a utility knife and carpet tape as well.
  3. If you manage to find a carpet patch that blends in perfectly with the rest of your unit’s carpet, you’re in business. Using your utility knife cut out the portion of carpet you’ll be replacing. Stick some carpet tape on the bare surface, and replace the damaged carpet with your measured and trimmed patch.
  4. If you aren’t handy and therefore aren’t confident in your ability to do this maintenance successfully, consider hiring a carpet installer to do this for you. The cost to do this will (likely) be less than your security deposit. However, make sure to get an estimate before proceeding with this option!


Sometimes, after living in a place for a while, there is an unmistakable “pet smell” on the carpets – even if they look completely clean. Luckily, there are a few easy and natural ways to remove those pesky smells completely before moving out.

  1. Did you know that baking soda has the ability to absorb unpleasant smells? Stock up on a few boxes, and sprinkle a light layer over your carpet once all the furniture has been removed. Let it sit all day or all night, and then vacuum it up. As you remove the baking soda, you’ll remove the smells right along with it.
  2. Another option for deodorizing carpet is vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and spray it over the entirety of your carpet. As your carpet dries, the vinegar will help dissipate any pet smells!

Put a little bit of TLC into your apartment, and you and your four-legged friend are bound to get your security deposit back. Ready for your next adventure? Find your next pet-friendly apartment on ApartmentSearch. Browse hundreds of listings to choose budget-savvy apartments with your favorite amenities.

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