A common issue for pet owners is dealing with occasional accidents on carpet. We love our animals, but the messes they create can be a real challenge to properly handle. With so much information and misinformation on the net, many are left doing nothing for fear of doing something wrong. First let’s go over a few DON’TS!
Don’t use vinegar on pet accidents on carpet. I suspect this recommendation comes from vinegar’s disinfecting properties. The problem with vinegar is that it is also an acid. We use vinegar to set Easter Egg dyes and tye dyes. Acids set dyes. Many pet accidents include food dyes. Avoid vinegar to avoid creating a permanent stain.
Don’t rent a Rug Doctor. With under powered vacuums and extremely soapy cleaning solutions you will create a bigger mess.
Don’t use enzymes for large urine stains. Enzymes like Nature’s Miracle are “OK” for small urine spots, but they require large amounts of the enzyme, with proper temperatures and dwell time to have any real impact on the odor. Keep in mind enzymes are NOT particularly effective on stains. They are designed to combat odor. Disinfectants are much more effective.
Don’t use household disinfectants on carpet. While disinfectants are very effective in dealing with urine odors and are the preferred method in hospitals and veterinary clinics, most are NOT carpet friendly. The pictures below are from a customer that returned from a short trip to discover their cat had separation anxiety and urinated heavily in the traffic lane behind the living room couch. In a panic, the customer poured Lysol disinfectant on the spots to knock down the odor. She woke up the next day horrified to see the effects Lysol had on the carpet and called us. The smell was almost gone, but the residue and oils in the Lysol that make it incompatible with carpet left a larger mess. Fortunately, we got to it quick enough to restore the carpet to like new!
So what CAN you do when faced with a pet “pee” spot. The first thing to keep in mind is “the solution to pollution is dilution.” What does this mean? Grab a wet/dry vac and drizzle warm water on the spot WHILE VACUUMING. Your goal is to flush out as much of the urine contamination as possible without over wetting. Of course you won’t have the professional strength vacuum pressure or tools of our truck mount, but this is a good temporary fix until you can have the spot professionally cleaned. If you have a disinfectant compatible with carpet like Ripley’s Odor Killer Extreme, then treating would be your next step. Simply laying a towel on the spot and compressing is pushing the urine deeper into the pad and creating a problem that cannot be solved with household tools and equipment. Of course you can always give us a call for advice. Pet treatments don’t have to be expensive. Waiting too long to deal with it will increase the risk of permanent damage that no one can repair.