Whether your pet has the rare accident or regularly adds his pee-oh-vee to your home’s ambience, cleaning up pet stains and odors is something almost all pet owners ask about at some point. One of my Facebook followers did just that recently:
Q: I was getting ready to take my dog out the other night when I discovered she had just peed on our carpet. What’s the best way to clean it?
Here are my tips, plus a bonus:
A: Don’t you hate it when they jump the gun on you? The good news is that there are some great products and techniques for lifting out odor and stains.
When you discover an accident right away, grab some cleanup towels (we always have a pile of old grubby ones on hand) and blot up as much of the urine as possible. Press down really hard to soak it all up and make sure the urine doesn’t have a chance to penetrate to the carpet pad.
Then toss those towels in the laundry bin and saturate the area with an enzymatic cleaning product. The enzymes break down waste so it doesn’t leave stains, and they neutralize odors rather than mask them. Apply the cleaning solution to an area larger than the actual wet spot from the urine to make sure you get everything. Your dog will be able to smell any remaining urine, even if you can’t.
Place a clean towel over the area and weight it down with a stack of thick books or some other heavy object. The pressure will help to wick the moisture from the carpet. Check the area in 24 hours. It should be mostly dry by then, and you can remove the books and towel. The spot should be free of any stains and odor.
Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners. Ammonia is a by-product of decomposing urine, and the scent will draw your dog’s attention back to the area and encourage her to pee there again.
If your dog keeps having accidents in the same place, get a black light, which can show old stains that aren’t visible to the naked eye, and treat those areas as described above.
Here’s a bonus tip: Download my free e-book, which I created with some help from our friends at Bissell, on cleaning up pet messes!
You can read about all this and more in my weekly Pet Connection newspaper feature!