When you have a furry friend living with you, then on occasion accidents may happen. These little ‘mistakes’ can be especially tricky and troubling to clean up when they happen on a carpet. However a combination of immediate action, deep cleansing, and behavioral preventative measures can help you get your carpet looking, and smelling, pristine once more.
More Cleaning Articles
Immediate Action When Pet Stains Occur
If the area is still wet then the first thing you want to do is try and soak up as much of that moisture as possible. The more you can get up before it dries, the easier and more successful the entire process will be.
Start by dropping paper towels on the affected area, and then pressing them firmly down into the carpet. Old newspapers can be used for this as well, although with lighter colored carpets you may have a problem with the ink smudging.
Remove the paper towels, and then put a fresh set down, and press firmly once more. Repeat this until the area is only slightly damp. At that point place a final layer of paper down over the stain, and then step on the paper, and stand there for at least a minute. Make sure that you are wearing shoes for this! After that you can remove the paper towels and or newspapers and proceed to the next step.
The last thing you should do is thoroughly rinse the area with cool, clean water. Make sure that the water flushes through the fibers in the floor. Then soak up as much of this moisture as possible using a clean dry towel, or several paper towels. The use of a wet vac may also be helpful in this situation.
Rather than discarding the pet stained paper towels, place them in an area where it is appropriate for the pet to use the bathroom. This can be near a litter box, or wee pads, or in an spot designated for this behavior. Animals react to the smell of their own waste, and will learn that this is the place where those activities are acceptable.
Set In Carpet Stains
Sometimes you will miss a pet stain when it occurs, or won’t notice it until it has a chance to dry and set into the carpet. Unfortunately this is going to make it much more difficult for you to get the area clean, but don’t despair. The following tips will help you to neutralize the smell and remove the stain.
Finding Carpet Pet Stains
Usually the site of an accident will be fairly apparent visually. If not, you can often locate affected areas by using your nose to track them down. If both of these processes fail, a black light can be used to detect areas where accidents have occurred. It’s important to locate all pet stains and clean them thoroughly, in order to ensure that the smell is gone, and the pet will not continue to use that area to relieve themselves.
The Vinegar Pet Stain Solution
The first thing you should try is mixing a solution of 50% white vinegar, with water. This should be applied liberally to the stain, so that it is able to soak down into the carpet, and reach anywhere that the urine may have penetrated to. A scrub brush can also be used to really work it into the fibers of the floor. The vinegar will act to neutralize the urine, eliminating much of the caustic smell. When complete, blot the area dry with a clean cloth or several paper towels.
Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda Carpet Cleaning
This carpet cleaning process starts by dropping a generous handful of baking soda on the stained area. You want to make sure that a small mound rises above the center of the marking, and covers the entire affected area.
Next, mix a half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of plain dishwashing detergent. It’s important that this is plain detergent, and is not caustic in any way. This should then either be poured over the baking soda, or else placed in a spray bottle, and spritzed onto the powder covered stain. Work the mix thoroughly into the carpet using a scrub brush, in order to ensure that it penetrates all the way down.
You may want to test this process out on a small, out of the way section of carpet first, to ensure that it doesn’t discolor the material.
Important Note: Never use Hydrogen Peroxide which is more concentrated than 3%. You should also ensure that the area is well ventilated when applying the solution, and while waiting for it to dry.
When you are satisfied, leave the solution to dry over the course of an hour or two. This will leave behind dry baking powder, which can then be vacuumed up. If the baking soda has clumped up, these clumps can be broken apart into powder and then suctioned up.
All of these carpet cleaning processes can be repeated as many times as necessary to remove the stain, and eliminate any residual odors.
When cleaning pet odor stains from a carpet you want to be sure to never use harsh chemical cleansers that have a strong, caustic smell. These will not cover up the smell of the urine to your pet, and may cause them to actually try remarking the same spot in the carpet.
Cleaning Carpet Pet Stains With a Wet Vac
A wet vac is a machine that flushes the carpet with clean water, and then sucks out the resultant dirty water. This is particularly useful for pet stains, as the water can dive down deep into the carpet, and then suck out any residual waste particles that may remain behind. You can usually rent a wet vac from your local hardware store.
Important Note: NEVER use a steam cleaner to deal with pet odors and stains. The heat from this process will set the stain into the carpet, making it permanent.
Pet Odor Neutralizers
Once you are sure that the carpet is thoroughly cleaned of any stains and odors, the final thing you should do is sprinkle or spray some pet odor neutralizing powder on the affected area. This can usually be purchased from your local pet products retailer.
If the accident is particularly bad, then the urine may actually penetrate down into the carpet padding. In this case it may not be possible to completely clean the carpet of offending particles, without ripping up the floor and replacing the padding itself.
More Information About Carpeting
Preventative Behavioral Techniques
Keeping your carpet free of pet stains is an ongoing process. Not only do you want to clean up old stains, but you also want to do everything in your power to prevent new ones. This can be done by using a variety of behavioral techniques in order to train your pet to only relieve themselves in areas that you designate.
As mentioned earlier one technique for this is to place towels and paper products stained with the pet’s urine, in places where they are allowed to do that behavior. Dogs and cats react very strongly to smell, and by placing those odors in that area, you will signal to them that this is the place where those behaviors are acceptable.
You also want to make extensive use of positive reinforcement. Whenever the pet does use an area where they are allowed to relieve themselves, they should be rewarded extensively. In this way you will ingrain the good behavior in them over time. However this can be a relatively long process, so be prepared to use patience as you try and house break your furry friends.