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Removing Pet Stains From Carpet

by recycler on August 20, 2012

Don’t let those puppy eyes fool you. He left you a mess to clean.

On our Recycler Pets Facebook page a couple weeks ago, we asked what the angriest your pet has ever made you. One of the responses we received mentioned a pet bulldog being taken for a walk only to pee on the carpet after returning inside.

While the story made us chuckle, we also thought it would be a good opportunity to address a problem that almost all pet owners go through at some point.

Removing pet stains from carpet doesn’t have to be an arduous task. It can actually be done fairly easily, but there are some tricks to the clean up and trying to correct your pet’s future behavior.

Fresh Pet Stains

If the stain is fresh, soak up the urine with a layer of paper towels. The quicker you can get to the stain, the more pee you will be able to remove before it dries and the less dry urine, the easier it’s going to be to remove the odor.

Make sure you stack the layer of paper towels thick on top of the spot to make sure you are getting good absorption. Cover the paper towels with some sheets of newspaper and then stand on the area for one minute. Remove the dampened towels and repeat until there isn’t much dampness remaining. Rinse the area with cold water and then use a wet vac, if you have one, to clear the area.

Instead of just throwing away the damp paper towels, place one in the area where you want your pet to be relieving himself/herself — whether that is in the kitty litter box or the outdoor area you’ve designated to be the “bathroom.” That way you are reminding your pet the right location and that urinating isn’t a bad thing as long as it is done in the right area.

Set-In Stains

Every once in a while your pet my sneak one past you and you won’t find the carpet stain until after it has already dried and set. You can still get rid of the stain and the smell. However, you may want to use a black light and check your floors to make sure there aren’t any other “accidents” on your carpet that your pet slipped past you. Black lights can be purchased relatively inexpensively and are great search tools to help you eliminate all stains and potential odors.

Once you’ve found the stains, there are several home remedies I’ve come across over the years. If you have any carpet cleaner, such as Resolve, you should give that a whirl to begin. If that doesn’t work or you feel you need more stain-fighting firepower, mix a solution of half white vinegar and water and douse the area well. The vinegar in the mixture should neutralize the ammonia in the urine that creates the foul odor. Make sure you are thoroughly reaching the carpet fibers by using a scrubbing brush on the area.

There are then two options…you can use the blotting method described above for fresh stains or you can cover the area in baking soda and let the baking soda absorb the urine, vinegar and water. Personally, since I’m hyperactive, I prefer using the blotting method because then I don’t have to play the waiting game and I have some control over the situation and can put in a little extra elbow grease, if it is needed. Once the baking soda has dried the area, you just have to simply vacuum away the remnants.

There are a couple of things you should avoid when removing pet stains from carpet:

  • Avoid steam cleaners – The heat will produce the opposite reaction than you are looking for. Instead of cleaning the carpet, the heat will bond the protein in the urine to the man-made carpet fibers, permanently setting the stain.
  • Avoid using cleaning chemicals – Ammonia is already in urine. Why would you try to clean or get rid of urine with a chemical that is found in the urine? Some chemicals might cover up the smell to your nose, but not to your pet’s sniffer. Instead, a potent chemical may actually encourage your pet to create another stain as it tries to cover the chemical smell with it’s own scent.

Remember, unless you want to be cleaning up spots every week, the most important step of removing pet stains is what you do to help teach your animal where the proper place is for him/her to use the bathroom.




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