If you have pets, accidents will happen. For some reason, my dog prefers to vomit on the carpet instead of easy-to-clean tiles, but what can you do? An accident happened.
Cleaning up pet stains is never a fun thing, but there are some ways to make it easier.
1. Make your own cleaning solution with vinegar and water
If you don’t have any pet cleaners on hand, you can make your own DIY cleaner with water and vinegar. Why is it vinegar? Because it is a non-toxic cleaning agent, it does not leave any residue, and because it can neutralize the odor-causing ammonia in the urine.
To make your own DIY cleaning solution, mix equal parts of warm water and vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. I use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar, then 2 tablespoons of baking soda. This may sound like a lot, but you need to use enough to ensure that your solution touches the padding under the carpet to help neutralize any urine that may be immersed.
Spray the urine spot with vinegar and water solution, and then sprinkle it with baking soda. Let the solution sit on the spot for 15 minutes, then blot it dry with a towel, and then with a vacuum cleaner. And remember to keep your pet away from the area when the solution works.
2. Clean up pet urine as soon as possible
The longer the pet urine stays on the carpet, the more likely it will sink and seep into the carpet underneath, making it more difficult to remove the odor. Another reason to clean the urine as soon as possible is to avoid any discoloration. Over time, the alkaline substances in the urine can bleach the carpet dye and cause the carpet to discolor.
To avoid any lingering smell or discoloration, please clean your pet's urine as soon as possible. Before cleaning the area, place a towel or some paper towels on the urine to absorb as much urine as possible.
I use paper towels and stand on the paper towels to absorb as much urine as possible. You may need to repeat this step several times before the towel starts to dry out. Once the towel is dry, you can start cleaning up the stain.
3. When it comes to pet stains, don't rub it
When cleaning the urine on the carpet, remember to soak it up instead of rubbing it. Rubbing will help spread rather than absorb stains. Put a towel or some paper towels on the urine and stand on it to help absorb it into the towel.
Before using the cleaning solution, use a towel to absorb as much urine as possible. For larger stains, you may need to use different towels to complete the process several times before they begin to dry out.
4. Avoid using steam cleaners on urine stains
Using steam cleaners on pet stains can be tempting, but when trying to remove pet urine stains, the heat they generate can be counterproductive. The heat of the steam cleaner can bind the protein in the urine to the carpet fibers.
5. Use baking soda to remove the smell of urine
Using baking soda on the stain will help remove any remaining odors. After cleaning up pet stains, sprinkle some baking soda on it and wipe it gently to penetrate the carpet (I wiped it with an old toothbrush). Let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum it.
Baking soda works by absorbing smell, which is why people put a box of baking soda in the refrigerator. Although baking soda is non-toxic to pets, it can cause stomach upset if ingested; when baking soda enters, keep your pet away from the area.
6. Illuminate old stains with black light
Many pet stains are easy to spot visually, but some do slip away. If you suspect old pet stains on the carpet, you can try to identify it by smell-or you can use a black light.
Urine will glow if illuminated by black light, so running urine on the floor with the lights off will help identify any old stain locations. Use sticky notes to mark the area so that it can be cleaned when the light comes back on.
7. If using bleach-based products, rinse the area after cleaning
Some cleaning fluids contain bleach, chlorine, and other chemicals that may be harmful to pets, so it is important to remove as much of these cleaning fluids as possible after using them to clean pet stains.
You can remove excess cleaning fluid or residue by rinsing the area with some warm water. Using a spray bottle, I spray warm water back into the area until it is completely absorbed by the area, and then dry it with a towel.
8. Use a dustpan to clean up vomit
When cleaning up the dog’s vomit, the first thing I did was put on a pair of rubber gloves and then took out the dustpan. If the vomit I picked up was thick or heavy, I would use a dustpan to pick up most of it, and then use a paper towel to pick up the rest.
As with urine, you need to clean up the vomit as soon as possible to prevent it from entering the carpet and subsequently cleaning the dirty area. If the vomit is dry, you can use a window scraper (aka squeegee) to remove as much vomit as possible before cleaning the area.
9. Be careful when using hydrogen peroxide
I prefer to use vinegar and water to clean pet stains (see Tip #1), but hydrogen peroxide is another popular choice. Although it can be cleaned well, some carpet dyes will be discolored by hydrogen peroxide (most modern carpet fibers will not be affected).
If you are going to use hydrogen peroxide, please test it in a small area first to ensure that it will not visibly bleach your carpet. Also make sure you are using the standard 3% hydrogen peroxide provided by the pharmacy.
10. Use an enzyme based product for old urine stains
Enzyme based pet stain removers make cleaning up old stains a lot easier. They work by breaking up waste particles, and different types of cleaners target specific kinds of stains. The ones made for pet stains are available on amazon and at most pet stores.
To treat an old pet stain you’ll need to saturate the area with your enzymatic pet stain remover and leave it on until all those urine crystals have dissolved. As long as the area is sufficiently damp and waste particles remain the cleaner will continue to do it’s job.