If you have a pet, especially a small dog, there’s a very good chance you’ve dealt with at least a few puppy accidents in your home. Even after your puppy is thoroughly housebroken, if you’re a pet pawrent, you will have the occasional mess to clean up. Your dog may get a temporary bout of diarrhea or drink too much water and wait too long to be walked. Aging pets, just like elderly people, occasionally also have a bathroom accident.
Your dog’s urine is a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones, nitrogen and uric acid. It’s the uric acid that creates a lingering smell even after you’ve cleaned up after your dog.
When pets urinate in unwanted areas, indoors or out, it takes a special cleaning product to remove the remaining odor. Although we may not smell it, pets can and will pee in the same location over and over.
Here are a few handy ways to clean pee spots from just about any surface in your home.
Pet urine stain removal from hardwood floors can be tricky. If you are able to clean up a pet accident on your hardwood floors right after the act, it’s easy to simply wipe up the mess. However, there is usually a lingering smell.
Use a product such Nature’s Miracle or Urine Gone to remove the odor and prevent your dog from peeing in the same place.
If pet urine stains are old and have been there awhile, they can leave a dark black mark and have a powerful smell.
- To remove the pet urine stain, pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain.
- Cover it with a hydrogen peroxide-soaked rag.
- Then cover that with plastic wrap and let everything sit overnight.
- In the morning, the black stains and odor should be gone, and you can sand and refinish your
A common complaint associated with tile flooring is staining due to kitchen mishaps or pet accidents. These stains can sometimes penetrate the porous finish and become quite difficult to remove.
If the pet accident is fairly recent, your can use the following steps to clean the tile and grout.
- Whenever cleaning pet urine, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
- Start by mopping up the mess or use old towels or paper towels to soak it up.
- Next, you will need to treat the area for odors and stains.
- There are a variety of pet urine removers available. Nature’s Miracle is a well-known brand with a high success rate. Kids ‘n Pets is another product designed for removing a variety of stains and odors. Both are effective at removing the stains and odors that come from dog urine. Some have also found simple, white vinegar to be effective in removing pet odors as well. Apply your selected cleaning product liberally to the area.
- Some cleaning products will recommend that the product be scrubbed and rinsed, while most are left to air dry. The extra time on the stain allows the product time to break down the urine proteins and odors to remove them completely.
- If cleaning a tile floor, simply apply the product and wipe the area clean with paper towels. Note that cloths or old towels can be used as well, but they will also hold the odor, even after a regular washing.
Usually, bleach and other oxidants are used in these cases to remove these deep and tough stains. But in the case of deeply saturated stains, bleach doesn’t always work. Consider these options as well: Hydrogen peroxide + Diluted muriatic acid.
- Apply the mixture and scrub the area with a toothbrush or a soft bristle brush.
- Once the stain is removed, quickly wash the area and discard the remaining mixture in a safe and proper manner.
Regardless of when the accident happened, you can restore your carpet to it’s former appearance with some cleaning know-how and a little elbow grease.
For “new” stains (those that are still set):
- Clean up any urine that’s still wet. If the urine dries, it stains the carpet and increases bacteria growth.
- To best remove the stain, place a layer of several paper towels over the wet area of the carpet. Walk on the paper towels so that they absorb as much of the pet pee as possible. Removing wet urine reduces urine smell.
- Create a vinegar cleaning solution consisting of one part white vinegar to one part water. Vinegar neutralizes the ammonia smell of urine without fading carpet fibers, making it a good choice for cleaning and protecting your carpet.
- Slowly pour the solution on the stained area of the carpet. The solution needs to reach the lower fibers in the carpet to completely neutralize the area.
- After allowing the carpet to absorb the solution for 10 minutes, use a layer of paper towels to soak up the liquid.
- Once the carpet is almost dry — which could be several hours later — sprinkle a little baking soda on the area to absorb the odor.
- Allow the baking soda to settle into the carpet fibers for about 15 minutes, and then vacuum the area. This should remove the smelly urine from the carpet.
For stains that have already set:
- Consider renting an extractor or wet vac to remove all traces of heavy stains in carpeting (get one from a local hardware store). This machine works much like a vacuum cleaner and is efficient and economical. Extracting/wet vac machines do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out. When you use these machines or cleaners, carefully follow the instructions. Don’t use any chemicals with these machines; they work much better with plain water.
- Use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer once the area is really clean (available at pet supply stores). Be sure to read and follow the cleaner’s directions for use, including testing the cleaner on a small, hidden portion of fabric first to be sure it doesn’t stain.
A few notes of caution when cleaning your floors from pet stains and accidents…
- Avoid using cleaning chemicals, especially those with strong odors such as ammonia or vinegar. From your pet’s perspective, these don’t effectively eliminate or cover the urine odor and may actually encourage your pet to reinforce the urine scent mark in that area.
- Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers.
After you have cleaned the surface of the urine and odor, consider retraining your dog or taking him to the vet to determine the cause of his frequent urination.
Here’s a great video giving an overview on the commonly used Nature’s Miracle, how it’s made and which product is right for you: