There are few odors more pungent than pet urine, and cat urine especially. So when your animals pee in the house, you’re bound to discover it sooner rather than later. And if your pets are peeing on the carpet, you could have a serious sanitary issue on your hands. Unfortunately, the fibers in your carpet are well-suited to soaking up and trapping liquids, which means you could have a very difficult time eliminating the stains and odors caused by pet urine. But there are ways to get the job done and return your carpet to a pristine state. Here are some tips that will help you to purge the pet urine and attendant odors from your carpet.
- Soak up any wetness. The first step when it comes to dealing with pet urine on the carpet is to remove as much as possible before it dries. Although this might not always be possible, say if your pet has an accident in the house while you’re away, any time you can catch it early you’ll have an easier time cleaning it up. And if your carpet isn’t tacked down, roll it up and place paper towels, newspaper, or another absorbent material underneath so that you can get the moisture on both sides before it soaks into the padding or subflooring, making for a much more difficult stain and odor to remove. Do this until the area is as dry as you can get it, blotting rather than rubbing so you don’t spread the stain or grind it into carpet fibers.
- Wash with cold water. Once you have removed as much urine from the carpet as possible it’s time to start washing the affected area, and you should use cool water for the task, rather than hot. The reason is that hot water can cause stains to set, and that’s exactly what you don’t want to happen. Applying cold water and continuing to blot the area dry can help you to absorb any liquid that has worked its way into the fibers of your carpeting.
- Use an odor-neutralizing product. After dealing with the stain, you may still notice lingering odor since pet urine tends to be extremely malodorous. Your best bet here is to attack the area with an odor-neutralizing product (not just one that covers odors). If you’re the eco-friendly type, an easy solution is to sprinkle baking soda on the carpet (and underneath, as well, if you can), let it dry, and then vacuum it up, repeating as needed. You could also use products from Nature’s Miracle, which features bio-enzymatic elements designed to treat both stains and odors associated with pet urine.
- Steam clean. If you’ve had little success removing pet urine from your carpeting, either because you’ve caught it too late (after it has soaked through and dried), you used the wrong products and procedures, or your pets keep peeing in the same spot, your next option is to try steam cleaning the area. This deep cleaning may prove more successful at eliminating stains and odors, especially if you use an odor-neutralizing solvent in the process.
- Replace carpeting. If regular cleaning, steam cleaning, and even a Chem-Dry process don’t do the trick, you may have no choice but to remove the affected carpeting and replace it. Of course, you’ll first want to resolve whatever issues are causing your pets to pee on the carpet in the first place, whether that means relocating the litter box or adding more boxes for multiple cats, taking your dog out for walks more frequently, or addressing any medical issues that may be causing incontinence. But from there you’ll need to cut out the carpet and padding underneath, treat or replace subflooring that has been affected, and re-carpet the areas damaged by pet urine.