Cat Smell in Prelit Garlands

Updated on December 07, 2009
M.K. asks from Chico, CA
7 answers

Cats got into our garage and peed on our Christmas Garlands: green, fake pine garland with lights. Over the summer I set them out in the sun and I thought the smell was gone, so I bagged them up and put them away so the cats couldn't get them. Well, now they reek again (or I guess I should say still). Are they garbage or is there a trick to try? Normally I would use Nature's Miracle, but I don't want to sak the lights and wires. Thanks for your tips!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the ideas... I am leaning towards tearing the lights out of the garland- I hate to be so wasteful and just throw the whole thing away!!

More Answers


answers from Modesto on

Cats, gotta lovem! Um, even you think you successfully got rid of the smell, psychologically you'll still smell it AFTER you have the tree all dressed. I suggest buying a new strand of each, and don't put anything in kitties stocking this year;)

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answers from San Francisco on

In my opinion, you can NEVER get rid of cat urine smell..yuck.. dump the lights and get new ones.. you'll be glad you did. Cat urine is just hard to ever get out....



answers from San Francisco on

Toss em. I keep my holiday decorations in those big rubbermade tubs. They are worth the investment. Plus they stack nicely. Several years ago we had a bad rain storm where water came into the garage and everything on one side of the wall was wet. Likely I had my decoration in the rubbermaid containers and they were/are dry and good as when I put them away. Plus the containers help items keep their shape, items don't get crushed, bent or broken.



answers from Redding on

Dear M.,
If the lights are for indoor/outdoor, don't worry about getting them wet. We have little pre-lit christmas trees that we line our walkway with. They have been through torrential downpours and snow....they survive!
I would suggest spraying a solution of vinegar on them and rinsing them with the hose and letting them air dry. If they are still stinky....hang them outside on a tree or around your mailbox...don't worry about the lights working. Get new ones if you really need them for inside decorating and put them in a sealed rubbermaid tub along with your other christmas decorations so they'll be fresh for next year. I have lots of rosemary growing in my yard and I air dry it and stick it in the containers. Everything smells so nice when we take it out for next time.

Happy decorating!



answers from Sacramento on

Don't know if it will bleach them, but you could try hydrogen peroxide. I've heard this works on cat pee in carpet.

We have also used enzyme cleaners for urine.

If nothing works, just chuck them. And it's too bad. Naughty kitties!!



answers from San Francisco on

I tried your question on my electrician friend.
He said the best advice he can think of is to try plugging them in outside, and leaving them on for a day or so... maybe it would "burn off".
My idea is that if you are able to remove the light strings from the garland somehow, you can clean/soak/hose down the garlands and dry them. Then you can wrap NEW light strands around them.
At least you wouldn't be wasting the whole garlands, just the lights.



answers from San Francisco on

Are the lights rated for outdoor use? You can check the UL tag at the end of the light strand to find out. If they are then they can handle getting damp (not soaked). If that's the case then I would use some cleaner in a spray bottle and a clean rag to try and clean them up then let them dry out well before plugging them in. I've had good luck with "Foltex" and "Kids-N-Pets" for cat urine.

Edit: As with most small electronics you can help them dry out by putting them in a container and covering them with dry rice. This works great for cell phones.

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