When you have a pet in the house, stains are inevitable. Though knowing how to clean up problem areas promptly and thoroughly will help keep your house clean. So, whether your problem is on the floor, the furniture or worse – the bed – here’s what you need to do:
1. Removing stains from mattresses
At times, accidents are unavoidable. Thankfully, there are ways to get it out.
• If you catch the stain before it sets in and while it is still damp, you will have a good chance of removing it. Soak the urine with a rag or a sponge as much as possible. Then, use a wet cloth to soak the area further with water. Spray with vinegar, killing off the smell and the bacteria. Allow to air-dry (preferably in direct sunlight) and bleach the area further.
• If the stain has dried and set in, use a clean, wet rag, dampening the area and lessening the stain. Once slightly damp, sprinkle the area with borax.
2. Removing stains from the floor
Floors are the most common location for accidents and stains. Prevent any future accidents by removing both the stain and the smell. When a pet can sense the site of an accident, they are more likely to do it again in the same spot.
• The carpet is the easiest to spot and to clean. Like the mattress, soak the area as much as you can. Once cleaned, spray fresh water over the area and use a wet vacuum to soak it up, or use a clean cloth. Soap or detergents are best avoided because they leave a residue that attracts dirt and stains.
• If the stain is set and dry, use a wet vacuum. Steam cleaners make it worse and the heat may set the stain further. With all urine stains, use plain water as chemicals can be hazardous to pets and masks odors. Vinegar can also be used due to its antibacterial and odor-neutralizing properties.
• Be careful with wood floors. If urine isn’t cleaned up quickly enough, the acid in the urine can discolor the wood, which will have to be removed or replaced. If still salvageable, soak the urine up with paper towels then sprinkle the area with baking soda. Leave it overnight then vacuum it up in the morning. Clean the area with a mixture of water and vinegar, drying thoroughly.
3. Removing feces
Urine tends to be a more frequent problem, though it is likely that at some point that your cat will miss the litter box or your dog will accidentally poop in the house. The biggest challenge you will face is getting dog poop out of the carpet:
• First, remove the solid matter with a scooper as quickly as possible. Once cleaned up, prepare a 2:1 mixture of water and vinegar, spraying the area thoroughly. Let it sit for 5 minutes to soak through. Blot the spot and repeat until it is clean. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the area and leave overnight. This will help remove any lingering odors. In the morning, vacuum.
4. Removing pet odor around the house
A common complaint about dogs is their ‘dog smell’ which seems to linger on everything they touch. The smell that they produce, which combines their sweat with the oils their body produces, marks their territory. This identifies themselves to other dogs as well.
• While this scent on its own may be tolerable, when combined with other problems like ear infections and problems with the anal glands, or dental and skin infections, the scent of the dog will magnify. Therefore, if any of these health problems are contributing to your dog’s smell, addressing them will reduce those odors.
• Keep your dog bathed and groomed as this will reduce odors too.
• A change in diet can also contribute to a shift in odor, particularly one that is rich in fatty acids.
• Refrain from giving your dog a bath more than once a month. A simple shower with water is fine when needed, however. Brush the fur often to keep it clean, this can also help with the smell.
5. Using an enzyme cleaner to clean urine
Borax, vinegar and baking soda are all good means to clean urine. But you can also use hydrogen peroxide and dish soap mixed to get stains out of the carpet without leaving a residue.
• The best product to use when cleaning up pet urine is an enzyme cleaner. When cat urine dries, the chemicals in it break down, producing an ammonia-like smell. The enzyme cleaners break the chemicals down into gasses, which evaporate.
• To remove pet urine with an enzyme cleaner, after blotting up all the excess liquid, apply the enzyme cleaner liberally. Let it sit for twenty minutes, covering the spot. This should deter the cat from marking the area again. Aluminum foil works to protect the area from being disturbed.
• After letting it sit, soak up the excess cleaner and allow it to air dry.
• If the urine stain is old, repeat the process a few times until the area is clean.
• If needed, this process can be used on furniture and mattresses.
Image (2): Source