Anyone who owns a new puppy or kitten understands that accidents will happen. As a carpet cleaner, I see on a daily basis, the harmful results of improperly treated dog and cat urine on carpet. Though there are numerous carpet cleaning products on the market today, many have the potential to do more harm than good when it comes to the issues of pet urine and feces.
So here are a few tips to remember when cleaning up accidents:
1. When you identify a stain, act fast.
The sooner you can soak up the moisture from the carpet the better. If urine gets into the carpet-pad or the sub-floor it will be very difficult to eliminate the smell. In situations where it does soak into the sub-floor the cost for extraction and treatment can be exponential. In extreme cases, complete carpet replacement is the only solution. Something to consider if you are a renter and concerned about reclaiming your entire security deposit when you move.
2. When you select a carpet spotter, be sure to test it in a closet or inconspicuous area at least 8 hours before using it.
Many spotting products these days have “oxy” in them. Although “oxy” helps to eliminate stains it can also oxidize the carpet leaving it slightly bleached. The other day I cleaned for a family that had two small Chihuahuas. I found many areas with urine issues. The husband informed me that his wife used a popular carpet spotter with “oxy” to treat the stains. Immediately, I noticed the carpet was lighter in areas where the product was used. I knew from experience that when I cleaned and extracted these areas the spots would become more visible. As expected, on completion of the job, there were numerous bleach spots visible throughout the house where the product had been applied to the urine stains.
Bleach spots are considered by most cleaners to be permanent damage. Always test in a closet as though you were cleaning an actual spot. If a product is going to damage your carpet it’s better in a closet than in the middle of your living room.
3. Always read and follow the instructions carefully. Then rinse.
I have yet to read a spotter bottle that says “thoroughly rinse” as its last step. I recommended following the instructions on your product to the letter, then rinse with a small amount of water before using a wet/dry vacuum to extract the product and excess moisture. If you do not have access to a wet/dry vacuum, dry with a clean hand towel. Repeat the rinsing and drying process for a minimum of three times. If not properly rinsed, some spotters will leave residue in the carpet which will attract soil.
Never leave your carpet wet for more than 24 hours as this can lead to the growth of mold!
These few tips should help you to avoid some costly carpet repairs. Although the best way to avoid these problems is to have your pet properly trained.