Accidents happen and even the most well-behaved dog or cat (or person) may have the occasional accident on your carpet. If not cleaned properly and promptly, pet urine stains can settle into the carpet fiber, padding and sometimes even the floor, causing a very stinky and difficult problem. Most pets will continue to urinate in the same area if the smell is not removed completely. If your pet has urinated on your carpet, or you suspect he has, following these steps can help you contain the problem before it gets out of hand.
Cleaning Urine Stains
Please note that for urine stains on delicate Oriental Rugs or Wool Rugs, or for excessive urine stains and spotting, we recommend that you contact a professional carpet cleaner.
What you will need:
- Cleaning solutions:
- Synthetic Fiber Carpets: Formula 409 Spray Cleaner (or specially designed cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle, found in most pet stores)
- Oriental Rugs: CitraSolve All Natural Cleaner and Borax natural Laundry Booster
- Wool Rugs: 1 teaspoon neutral detergent (i.e. Dreft), 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 quart cool water
- Black light
- Old towels
- Spray Bottle (for cats)
- Clean white washcloth
- Masking tape
- Rubber Gloves
*Always test a small, inconspicuous area of the carpet with the intended cleaning solution first to make sure no staining, color fading or other damage will occur.
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- If the urine stain is fresh, place an old towel over the area and blot up excess moisture, using as much body weight as possible (try standing on the towel).
- If urine has dried, use black light to locate the spot, and mark of a square around the area(s) with masking tape.
- To use the cleaning solutions:
- Synthetic Carpets: Spray area with 409 or other specially designed cleaner and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Oriental Rugs: Moisten washcloth with CitraSolve, lay on top of stain and gently apply pressure with back of spoon to work into stain, remove cloth and sprinkle damp spot with dry Borax.
- Wool Rugs: Moisten area with cleaning solution.
- Blot stain with old towel in a circular motion, working from the outside in (be sure to wear rubber gloves )
- Spray with fresh water to rinse.
- Blot with clean towel to dry until residue is removed.
- Cover stain with clean cloth or stack of paper towels and put heavy weight on top (heavy books, etc.)
- Let sit for several hours or overnight.
- Remove weights and towels and let area dry.
- When area is completely dry, vacuum to remove any remaining residue and restore carpet texture.
NOTE: The cleaning solution recommended for Oriental Rugs can safely be used on synthetic carpets in lieu of the 409 or other commercial cleaner.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If urine stains have been allowed to sit and possibly soak into the padding of your carpet, the stains may require more aggressive treatment, such as professional steam cleaning, or the use of heavy-duty cleaners.
- When large pets leave large messes, a carpet cleaner will be a valuable cleaning tool. Carpet steam cleaners, such as a “Rug Doctor” can be rented or purchased and will help to make removing the urine and cleaning products much less of a chore.
- Do not leave towels used to clean up urine lying around as your pet will take the scent as an open invitation to urinate in the area of the soiled towels. Wash or dispose of them promptly.
- If the flooring under the carpet has been affected replacement of that section maybe necessary. This can be an overwhelming project and we recommend that you contact a professional.
- Avoid walking on any damp areas of carpet. Make sure any spots you cleaned are dry before you walk on them (wet carpet fibers attract more dirt than dry, and you may end up with a bigger stain than you bargained for).
- There are many enzyme urine odor neutralizers available at pet stores. These are products that are placed on the stains and as they dry, the enzymes break down the acids and remove the urine smell from your carpets. Using a solution with water and vinegar will also remove the odor, but you may wish to consider using one of these products if you are having a difficult time removing the smell from the area.
- Enzyms cleaners should never be used on wool carpets or other animal (protein) rugs like silk as they will eat the material along with the stain.
- Especially if you have pets, it is highly recommended that you choose a reputable professional carpet cleaner to deep clean your carpets, but if you choose to deep clean your carpets yourself using rented cleaning machines make sure you don’t over saturate the carpet (it might cause the carpet backing or seams to separate) and make sure you have adequate ventilation, using fans to help disperse the odors from the cleaning solution.
- For additional help finding a reputable carpet cleaner in your area, search the Yellow Pages.
- Whether you have a professional deep clean your carpets or you choose to do it yourself, always allow the carpets to dry completely before letting pets or anyone else walk on them (12 hours is recommended).