There may be times when our pets have accidents on our favorite carpets, or on the floor. Thankfully, a little cleaning know-how goes a long way. Learn how to remove stains, both old and new and use home remedies to maintain a clean home.
Cleaning new stains
1. Absorb the mess
Wet towels or paper towels topped by something heavy like a book, will quickly absorb fresh puddles. Here's how:
- Wet the paper towels under cool water, wring them so that they are damp but not dripping.
- Place the wet towel over the stain and put something heavy atop to soak up the mess. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
- If using a book, put a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to avoid wetting and staining it.
- If the spot has been wet longer than 10 minutes, it probably soaked into the carpet. Use a towel that is wider than the visible stain area, damper, and heavier in weight.
2. Re-wet with water
Once you've removed the towels, pour a small amount of cold water over the spot again. Here's how:
- Pour water outside the perimeter of the stain, moving in slowly toward the center. This will prevent the water from spreading the urine into a wider area.
- Let the water work through the stain for about a minute.
3. Spray enzyme cleaner over the area
This is a non-toxic and effective method. It works by breaking down stains into their basic elements, eliminating the smells and stains. It will also prevent your pet from urinating in the same spot again. Here's how:
- Most pet stores sell enzymatic cleaners which need to be kept on a wet area for several hours.
- For wool carpets, make sure that the cleaner is wool-safe.
- You can also make your own with clean water, brown sugar, and orange peels.
4. Apply another towel to absorb the cleaner
Once you've soaked the spot with the cleaning agent. Follow the same procedure as step one.
5. Let the towel sit overnight
In the morning, the stain should be gone and so should the smell.
- Dispose of the towels when done or soak them thoroughly under hot water.
- The towels should be washed twice to ensure that no smell or stains are left.
- You may also want to consider steam cleaning the carpet or floor to ensure that no traces of urine are left
Cleaning old stains
1. Finding old stains
Odors tend to give off a general idea of where urine stains might be. Old stains should show up as a yellow or greenish color.
- Be sure to check out hidden spots such as bookshelves, cloth decorations, vents, objects with holes and other small areas your cat could squeeze into.
- If you still can't find the spot consider using ultraviolet light.
- Mark each spot you find with a small strip of blue tape.
2. Try an enzymatic cleaner to start
Follow the same procedure as above:
- Pour cool, distilled water around the perimeter of the stain, starting from the outside of the stain toward the center.
- Spray some enzymatic cleaner on the wet spot and allow it to sit overnight.
- Use a wool-safe cleaner if your carpet is made of wool.
- Cover with a wet cloth towel and leave overnight with a heavy object on top.
- If the stain remains, use a steamer to clean any leftover marks. If the spot is too large to clean yourself, hire a professional cleaner to manage it.
3. Use oxidization if necessary
One of the best ways to remove odors is through the oxidization process. You can make your own solution at home:
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) of bleach with 1 quart (32 ounces/950ml) distilled water. Test on a small patch of the carpet first, ensuring that it won't damage the color. Saturate the area and allow the solution to soak into the carpet for at least 10 minutes.
- You might need to oxidate the carpet several times to remove the stain. But let the carpet dry between treatments. Use a damp towel (as described above) to pull up the solution.
- Do not use on wool or silk carpets. It is only appropriate for synthetic fibers.
Use other remedies
1. Use a vacuum
Source: wikihow.com, wikivisual
- Pour some cold water on the stain and vacuum it immediately using a wet or dry vacuum.
- Repeat the procedure twice or as many times as necessary to remove the stain.
- Do not let the water sit. Use the vacuum immediately.
- For tough stains, you can add some salt to the water.
2. Use baking soda and vinegar
For a natural remedy try the following:
- Spray the area with vinegar and sprinkle enough baking soda to coat the area.
- Cover the stain with a towel for 24 hours.
- Wash the area thoroughly with cold water.
3. Use hydrogen peroxide and dish soap
Before proceeding with this method, dust the stain thoroughly and test the mixture on a small patch of the carpet:
- Apply a thin coat of baking soda.
- Mix up a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Combine gently.
- Saturate the baking soda and the stain completely and use an old toothbrush or your fingers to rub the mixture gently into the carpet.
- Let it sit until it dries and vacuum up the mess, cleaning it again with cool water.
4. Do not use ammonia
Ammonia is high in alkaline and should never be used to clean pet stains. Besides leaving a sticky residue on the carpet, it can damage the carpet fibers and attract dirt and other debris. It can also attract pets back to the area - ammonia contains the same uric acids and salts present in urine.