Anyone who owns a dog can tell you that pet accidents in the home are an unfortunate inevitability. That’s why all pet owners should have a few tricks up their sleeve for dealing with accidents when they occur.
Green Cleaning Solutions
There are several methods for cleaning up dog urine that only require some common household items and are completely non-toxic for both your dogs and your family. Here are a few easy green cleaning options:
- Dish Detergent – If the spot is still fresh, blot it dry as much as you can with paper towels, then put a few drops of dish detergent and a little bit of water on the area. Cover the area with an old towel and step on the towel to make sure it absorbs as much as possible.
- Vinegar & Baking Soda – There are a couple of different ways to use vinegar and baking soda to clean up pet stains. For stains that are a few hours old, sprinkle them with baking soda and let it sit overnight. Once the area has dried overnight, give it a good spray with distilled white vinegar. The carpet should bubble up some as the two compounds interact to clean. The bubbles produced in the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda help to break up the urine particles and remove them from your carpet. You can also mix up baking soda and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it like you would Resolve, or a different carpet cleaning solution. A good proportion to mix is one cup of distilled white vinegar, one cup of water, and two heaping tablespoons of baking soda. Just shake the bottle up and spray onto the affected area, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then blot it up gently with a cloth or paper towels.
- Hydrogen Peroxide- It’s a good idea to test this one on an area of your carpet that isn’t usually visible to make sure that it doesn’t discolor your carpet. To use hydrogen peroxide to clean up stains, all you need to do is spray the area, let it bubble up and break down the components making up the stain (usually about 10-15 minutes), and then blot it up with a rag or paper towels.
These methods are totally safe, and work well on fresher stains. If you’re potty training a new puppy, or your dog has predictable accident behaviors (like peeing when they greet visitors, etc.), it might be a good idea to keep a bottle of vinegar & baking soda solution handy. The mixture stays potent in the bottle for several months and is much cheaper than buying specialized cleaning solutions.
The majority of store-bought pet urine removal cleaning solutions fall under the category of enzymatic cleaners. Enzymatic cleaners work by introducing natural enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of urine molecules and the bacteria that likes to feed on it.
Enzymatic cleaners are super easy to use, and generally don’t even require blotting. Most of them are a simple spray and forget application. Once you spray the solution on the stain, all you have to do is wait for it to soak into the area and dry. The length of time can vary depending on the brand of cleaner.
One thing to note with Enzymatic cleaners is the fact that sometimes the smell can get worse before it gets better, but don’t get discouraged, that’s just the enzymes at work.
Refrain from using solvent based cleaners of surfactants, as these often contain chemicals that can be dangerous to you or your pets, such as chlorine and ammonia. In fact, ammonia cleaners can cause dogs to resoil the area because it smells like something else has marked its territory there and they want to reclaim that area.
Professional Cleaning Services
In some cases these pet stain removal tricks may not work, especially for stains that have set in. If you have old stains that have been dry for some time, it’s best to call a carpet cleaning professional like Curtice Chem-Dry to get rid of the stain and odor. Carpet cleaning professionals have their own arsenal of specialized pet stain removal solutions. Chem-Dry in particular has specialized equipment to find stains you might not even know you have.
In serious cases where an area has been soiled over and over, you could have mold growing or damage to your subflooring. Professional carpet cleaning companies are familiar with these kinds of situations and can help take care of your carpet and all of the layers of your floor underneath to make sure that the area is thoroughly cleaned all the way through.
If you’re potty training your dog, or have an old dog that has frequent accidents, use these tips to keep your home smelling fresh, and your carpets looking nice. Always remember to check the label of any cleaning solution you buy to make sure that it is non-toxic for your pets before using it in your home.