Pet stains have a way of coming back to haunt you. Long after the odor fades for you, the animals in your house can still smell it. This makes housetraining difficult as your puppy will want to return to that spot and mark it again. Soaking deep into the carpet fibers, it may appear that you have removed it. However, as the upper layers of carpet dry fully, the urine will wick up from the lower levels and cause the stain to mysteriously reappear. The good news is that there are some secret weapons you can keep in your home cleaning arsenal to fully defeat the pet stains and make sure it never darkens your carpet again.
Supplies to Keep on Hand
You will want to have certain supplies on hand at all times. Even if you are not actively housebreaking a dog, you never know when your older dog or cat may get sick and have an accident.
• Paper towels for blotting up as much liquid as possible
• Clean, dry white towels for blotting and cleaning
• Vinegar for removing odors and stains
• Peroxide for blasting out feces stains
• Dawn dish detergent to mix with the peroxide
• Baking soda for stubborn stains
• Salt for absorbing urine and other stains
• Enzymatic cleaners for stains and odors
Start with the Solid Materials
It doesn’t matter if your dog has urinated, your cat threw up a furball or one of your sweet pets defecated on the carpet. The first step is to pick up as much of the solid materials as possible with paper towels. Resist the urge to rub at any residual stain because that will force it deeper into the carpet.
Always Blot, Never Rub
The goal is to absorb as much liquid and residue as possible without rubbing it into the carpet fibers. This is why you will always blot a stain. Scrubbing it only spreads it through a larger area, and you want to avoid that. Even as you start working with cleaners like vinegar and salt, you will blot at the stain rather than rubbing it. If you are advised to rub a cleaner into the stain, work from the outside to the center to avoid spreading it further.
Be Patient with Blotting
You should remove as much urine and feces as possible before cleaning, and that requires patience. If you have a steam cleaner, that will work beautifully to remove the urine and prepare the carpet for cleaning. If not, continue blotting and putting all your weight on the towels until you are no longer pulling up liquid. Once you reach that point, you should continue blotting. Put a few paper towels on the stain, set a clean towel over them and then place a heavy stack of books over the stain. Allow it to soak into the paper towels for an hour or so before returning and proceeding to the next step.
A Little Vinegar Goes a Long Way
Once the carpet is largely dry, pour a small amount of vinegar directly onto the stain. Start blotting the vinegar up in the same manner as you blotted the liquid stain. As the vinegar transfers to your towels, it will take the staining and odor with it. Continue applying the vinegar and gently blotting until the stain is gone and you can no longer smell the urine or feces. Leave some paper towels under a heavy item for as long as you can to pull up as much vinegar as possible. Vinegar is an important step in removing the odor so your pet will not return to the scene of the crime and commit another offense.
This is a mild corrosive, so you should tread carefully when using peroxide. While it is generally safe, it can eat a hole in your carpet or lighten the color if you use too much or let it sit too long. Test the peroxide on an inconspicuous area of the carpet to make sure it’s safe to use. Put the peroxide in a spray bottle and spray a small amount on the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before blotting it up. Rinse the peroxide by spraying the area with clean water and blotting it up. Peroxide is a great choice when animals have defecated on the carpet and you want to remove the stain and odor while disinfecting the area.
Peroxide and Dawn Dish Detergent
Put a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in a bowl along with about a cup of peroxide. Mix the two together thoroughly before spraying on the stain. Blot it up with the clean towels, and then use clean water to rinse the cleaning solution out of the carpet. Take care not to let the mixture sit on the carpet too long, and use water to rinse it afterward to keep the carpet soft.
Frothy Dish Detergent
Suppose the stain is on your fine Oriental carpet. You need to be careful to avoid running the colors together, but you still want to address the stain. Put about two tablespoons of dish detergent in a bowl and mix it with an electric mixer. The detergent will turn into a soapy froth that you can use to safely clean most fine carpets. Working from the outside of the stain towards the center, gently rub the froth into the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before blotting up. Rinse the cleaner out with a damp sponge and blot up the remaining water.
This age-old standby is an excellent choice for tough odors that refuse to fade. If you have recently bought a house or found a stain that’s been in the carpet for a while, baking soda can save the day. When the urine has dried and left behind an impossible stain, get this miracle cleaner out of the cupboard. First, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to pull up whatever loose debris you can. Next, apply the baking soda over the entire stain. Cover the baking soda and stain with a plastic sheet. Put heavy items around the edge to hold the plastic in place and help the baking soda work its magic. Allow it to sit for several hours if not overnight. Then, remove the plastic and vacuum up the baking soda along with the odor and the stain.
Salt to Absorb Stains
Salt is a naturally absorbent material and it’s very affordable. If you don’t have time to blot stains and work on them, try this shortcut to treat a stain even when you aren’t home. First, remove the solid matter. Next, generously sprinkle salt onto the stain and cover it with a towel. Return a few hours later and vacuum the salt up along with the stain.
Pet stores sell special enzymatic cleaners that break down the proteins in urine and make pet stains easier to clean. While the household solutions above work wonders, you may want to invest in the special enzymatic cleaners if you are housebreaking an animal or have one that is sick and prone to having accidents. The enzymatic cleaners work like vinegar. They are sprayed or poured over the stain after you have blotted up as much liquid as possible. Allowed to sit for ten minutes or more, you would then start blotting up the cleaner.
Plug in the Black Light
If you have cleaned the carpet and want to know that the stains are truly gone forever, then invest in a simple black light. Run the light over the carpet to pinpoint stains that are not fully eliminated and treat them accordingly. With the help of this special light, you can trust that stains are gone and not going to return to haunt you.
Invest in a Small Steam Cleaner
You don’t have to purchase a large cleaner to do the entire house, but it’s wise to have a little one that you can use for spills and accidents. With a cleaner, you can let the suction power remove the liquid and cleaners without the tiring blotting. You can also run cleaners like vinegar and the enzymatic stain removers through your steam cleaner.
Call in the Professionals
It’s smart to know how to handle pet stains at home, but you may want to just call in the professionals. Carpet cleaning companies have special cleaning chemicals designed to break down proteins, remove the stains and leave your carpet looking amazing. They can clean the entire room, so you can enjoy a fresh space that looks great and smells even better.
When your pet has an accident, you need to clean the stain thoroughly. Otherwise, it will forever be an eyesore that makes the carpet look dirty even after vacuuming. The residual urine and feces can also make your family sick as you walk, sit and even lay down on the carpet. Try these cleaning methods to remove pet stains.
Remember that the team at High Quality Carpet is available to handle pet stains if you don’t have time to deal with them or just want to know that they are properly treated. Contact us today for professional pet stain removal in Bridgewater NJ and beyond.