Tips for cleaning up pet stains.
When I was a kid we had to sneak our pet dog in the house because mom and dad said dogs were not allowed in the house. Well those days seem to be gone forever. Now everyone seems to have a dog or a cat and they have become a part of the family. So much so that there are even custody battles over pets during divorces. With more and more people owning pets in the city, one of the most asked questions we receive is “do you clean up pet stains?”
So today I want to talk to you about “cleaning up pet stains.” As carpet cleaners we have the professional equipment and products to clean up pet stains in our home, but not everyone has that luxury. I know, I know, the first thing you’re going to tell me is that your dog is good and doesn’t have accidents in the house. Well let me tell you. They do. Leave him in the house too long, don’t pick up on their signals, forget when you last put them out, and I can guarantee that they will find a place to go. If you can smell pet urine but are not sure where the smell is coming from get a black light, make the room as dark as possible and turn on the black light. Pet urine fluoresces under a black light and is very easy to see. For those of us in the carpet cleaning industry a black light is indispensable when searching for the source of that urine smell, whether it is from a cat or a dog. Once you identify the stain mark it and then you can clean it. However most spots can be found right away, either by sight, or touch, whether you find a new stain or an old one, what do you do?
When you find a wet pet stain the first thing we recommend you do is blot up as much of the urine as possible. Remember to blot from the outside in, never lay the cloth or paper towel on the stain and step on it. All this will do is push the urine into the underlay and spread the stain. As well as spreading the stain, it will ensure that you smell the “problem” for a much longer time than you need to. Urine can off-gas for up to five years, so be careful about cleaning it up. If you have a spot cleaning machine, use it during this part of the cleanup.
Once you have blotted up the excess, or you are working on a dry stain it’s time to clean the rest of it. There are a large number of cleaners out there on the market that promise to get rid of the stain and the smell. There are also a large number of recipes for homemade cleaners. Most of the retail cleaners and the home made cleaner’s work as advertised, some better than others, so it’s up to you which one you pick. AT EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care, we always recommend enzyme cleaners for pet stains. Enzyme cleaners use natural chemicals manufactured by plants and animals. Just make sure you find the right enzyme cleaner for the job. The cleaner for the hot tub won’t clean up a pet stain so ensure you know what you’re buying. Many retail outlets carry enzyme cleaners and if you’re not sure check with your local Veterinarian as they often carry enzyme cleaners. Use the cleaner as directed, either undiluted on the stain or with your spot machine. Always blot the stain “do not scrub” as scrubbing can permanently damage the carpet. Repeat the process until the stain and smell are gone.
Most of these cleaners can also be used on upholstery and mattresses, but check the label to be sure before using it, and always test it in an out of the way place to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.
Remember that while most carpets should be cleaned yearly by a professional carpet cleaner, you can easily deal with the day to day stuff yourself.
Thanks for reading