Dogs bring immeasurable joy to our lives despite some unavoidable inconveniences we must endure during their puppyhood. Among these are chewed up possessions and small bladders that lead to stain-causing accidents on carpets.
The best approach to cleaning dog pee out of a carpet depends on whether the stain is fresh or set-in. Fortunately, several natural and non-toxic solutions can effectively remove all traces of new and old pets stains, including the unpleasant odors they leave behind.
A newly created stain may seem to require a lot of effort to clean, but most people find that a few simple household products do the trick. You must first blot the stain with paper towels until they are no longer absorbing liquid. You will probably go through several towels as they soak up the liquid. Don’t stop until the towels you use are dry after blotting. Resist the urge to rub the stain; this will only make it penetrate deeper into the carpet fibers.
What Not To Do
Many people douse the stained area with white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes while it works its way into the carpet. The rationale behind this is that the acidic vinegar will attack the odor-producing molecules left by the urine. Although the vinegar may inhibit mold formation beneath your carpet caused by the moist conditions, it may promote your pup’s interest in repeating the same behavior in that spot. Like all urine, your pup’s urine contains ammonia with Ph level resembling that of vinegar. The vinegar will send your pup a message that your carpet is an appropriate pee zone. Other commonly applied treatments, including ammonia-based Windex, will have the same effect and should not be used.
Removing the Stain
A better option is to douse the stain with good old cold water and proceed to dab it with paper towels. The water will carry the urine with it as it absorbs into the towels. The water temperature is critical; if you use hot water, you will encourage the molecules in the urine to bind with those in the carpet fibers, making the stain significantly harder to room. Avoid using a steam cleaner for the same reason. Cold carbonated seltzer water is also acceptable to use because the bubbling action agitates the odor-producing molecules to facilitate their removal. If you own a wet vacuum, you can use it to quickly suck out the moisture from your carpet.
Removing the Odor
Soaking the urine stain with cold water should also be enough to remove the accompanying odor. It is a good idea to follow this with a hefty sprinkling of baking soda over the affected area. This will neutralize any existing odor-producing molecules and absorb remaining moisture before vacuuming it away. Alternatively, you can use any of the enzyme-based specifically formulated to work on dog urine stains. These non-toxic formulas contain enzymes that break down the uric acid in the urine, making it available for good bacteria’s consumption.
Treating Set-in Stains
Removing a set-in stain takes more effort than removing a fresh stain. The mark you can see on your carpet’s surface well after it was created indicates one that is quite a bit larger below the surface. The bacteria in fresh urine immediately begin to multiply in the warm, dark conditions they encounter as they move deeper within the carpet. As they feed off the uric acid, they produce amino acids that become part of the carpet fibers’ structure and manifest as stains.
Start With Water
So how do you treat a stain when you don’t know exactly when it was created? Start the same way you would treat a fresh stain and douse the affected area with cold water. Avoid warm water or steam-cleaning; these will only allow the stain-producing amino acids to bond more firmly with the carpet fibers.
Run a Vacuum
Once you have sufficiently wet the area, you can use a wet vacuum to extract excess moisture, random debris and solidified organic particles produced from the urine drying process. The stain may appear to enlarge as trapped pollutants make their way to the carpet’s service while you are vacuuming. You will also notice a strong odor you did not previously smell. The initially pungent and acidic liquid urine eventually solidifies and transforms into alkaline and odorless salt-like particles. These particles absorb the water used to clean the set-in stain and release a fresh odor of urine as soon as they begin to evaporate. This is an inevitable stage of the cleaning process, but it can be managed with an odor-neutralizing enzyme solution.
What You Should Avoid
When you discover a fresh or old urine stain on your carpet, your immediate concern is to reverse the damage and eliminate any odor. Even if you can start cleaning a stain immediately after your dog creates it, the products you choose for doing this can affect your rug’s prognosis. The following products should never be used on your carpet.
- Vinegar- Regardless of what color vinegar you use, vinegar has a low Ph level, making it highly acidic. Its acidity resembles that of your dog’s urine and will only encourage a repeat offense.
- Ammonia- Many people believe that ammonia is one of the best household products to clean dog urine from a carpet due to its disinfecting qualities. This is faulty reasoning because a dog’s urine contains high concentrations of ammonia and can give your dog the mistaken impression that your rug is an appropriate relief area.
- Hydrogen Peroxide- This is an excellent option for disinfecting wounds, but it yields undesirable results as a rug cleaner. Dog urine won’t necessarily ruin your rug, but the bleach of hydrogen peroxide might significantly fade its colors.
Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaning Service
Many people who apply home cleaning remedies to their carpets for pet stains want to avoid the harsh chemicals employed by many commercial cleaning companies. Sometimes the triumph of removing your dog’s urine stain can end in defeat when a change in weather causes excessive humidity to activate odor-producing urine particles locked in your carpet, causing an unpleasant odor to return.
It is also possible that your efforts may create secondary mold damage when water and other cleaning agents do not get adequately dry and cause mold to grow beneath your carpet. Fortunately, it is possible to find environmentally friendly cleaners who employ green methods to thoroughly disinfect your carpet and remove lingering urine and mold odors without the use of harsh, abrasive chemicals.
If your dog pees on your carpet, don’t despair. Call the professionals at Safe-Dry® Carpet Cleaning to get rid of the mess and eliminate the odor without harsh chemicals.