The love for our four-legged friends goes back a long time. Some researchers believe that humans first started to domesticate an ancient relative of the gray wolf in Siberia around 23,000 years ago. While we don’t use dogs to help with hunting Wooly Mammoths any longer, we do bring them into our lives, make them a part of our family, and give them free rein of our homes. This often results in having to spend time cleaning dog urine on carpet.
All those years ago, man from the late Pleistocene didn’t have to worry about Fido peeing on the rugs, rugs weren’t invented for some 10,000 to 15,000 years later. Nowadays, our modern homes are adorned with expensive carpets and handmade area rugs, and (for some crazy reason) our very well-domesticated dogs have not quite figured out how to not leave messes on our floor coverings.
So, to keep our living environments clean and healthy, cleaning up dog urine on carpet is a skill that must be studied and learned. Let us help you keep your floor fabric looking great and pet stain free.
There are not a lot of different kinds of dog urine. The only real variation depends on how dehydrated, or hydrated, your puppers is. Hydration level will change the shade of yellow, while certain medications can add a reddish tint (this is a problem for carpets). However, wet is wet, and cleaning dog urine well requires a little time and attention.
How to clean dog urine:
Blot Dry: If you caught the accident while it is still wet, it is important to get as much urine out of the carpet as possible before it has time to soak into the padding. You can use paper towels to blot up the excess liquid, but that is a bit wasteful. A better option would be to use an unbleached cotton towel to soak up any fresh liquid. For best results, you want to use a wet/dry shop vac, if you have one. If you do, be sure to remove the filter as the liquid going through can ruin fabric filters.
Treat Accordingly: If you managed to catch the spot while it was still wet, and have blot dried, you can use a little water or club soda to “flush” out the remaining urine left in the carpet. Be careful not to “over wet” the carpet. If you are blot drying with a wad of towels, add less water. If you have a shop vac, you can a little more.
If your little puppers was sneaky, and you are finding the spot on the carpet dry, then move onto the next step. We will need to take a few steps to make some chemistry happen.
Cleaning Dog Urine: Chemistry Stuff
When urine leaves the body, it is acidic. This can be a problem for carpet because, generally speaking, carpet is dyed with acid dyes. So, if the dog urine is a bit more acidic, it can cause damage to the dyesites (the parts of the carpet that hold the color). As the water evaporates out of the urine, the carpet is left with urine salts that do not easily dissolve with only water. Also, while urine dries, bacteria will start to change the urine from an acid to a base/alkaline. This can cause color damage (or “bleaching”) in some carpet fibers. Sometimes this “bleaching” happens quickly (wool/viscose). Other times it can take up to a month for the full effects to take hold (synthetic carpets). Regardless of how long you think a spot has been there, you should treat it as soon as possible to reverse the process of damaging your carpet’s color.
Cleaning Dog Urine: Spot Treatment
Now that you understand why we should get that urine stain treated sooner than later, let’s talk about what to do with the dried messes. Ultimately, we want to make the dried urine spot “fresh” again. And, like we stated earlier, just water will not be enough. At a minimum, we want to re-wet the carpet spot with a vinegar/water solution. Nothing too strong, around 5-8 ounces into a 32 ounce spray bottle filled the rest of the way with water (distilled is best). If you have a good enzyme spotter (Nature’s Miracle is good) that is even better. If using an enzyme, follow the directions on the bottle.
PRO TIP: With any solution, always be willing to test in an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t hurt the carpet.
Once you know you are safe to proceed with your chosen product, apply the product onto the carpet to moisten the spot. Once it is damp (not saturated) you will want to remove the liquid from the carpet.
If you have a wet/dry shop vac you can get a bit more aggressive with the amount of liquid added. If you are using an enzyme of some kind, follow the “dwell time” recommendations on the product label before extracting. With a vinegar solution, it can help to let it sit a few minutes to give it time to dissolve the salt crystals from the urine.
Do not expect to be able to completely remove the dog urine odor from the carpet immediately. Can you get it out enough so Fido can’t smell it anymore and never hit it again? Probably not. However, treating the dog urine stain properly can cause the discoloration to either disappear or lighten significantly. You can also stop the damaging effects that the urine has on the color of the carpet. That way, when it is time for your regular cleaning, there is only light damage and no need for re-dying a bleach spot caused by urine sitting untreated for too long.
Not Cleaning Dog Urine: Long Term Risks
There are a lot of risks to not cleaning dog urine on carpet. Left untreated, urine will eventually damage the color of your carpet. It can also establish strong odors that encourage animals to replicate the mess. For the overall health of the living environment, it is essential to either have a professional come out to properly treat and remove the urine from your carpet, or, use the steps above and manage it yourself to limit the damage until it is time for your regular cleaning.
Having pets is more popular now than it has ever been before. And, living with animals requires a lot of time, attention, and mess cleaning. It’s important to understand how to deal with pet messes and avoid unnecessary damage. First Class Green Cleaning is committed to helping Arizona families keep their living environments, healthy, clean, and absent of harmful chemicals. Feel free to CONTACT US here, or call 602-996-6993 with any household cleaning questions or concerns.
Questions About Cleaning Dog Urine on Carpet?
If you have any questions about how to keep your carpets clean living with dogs, please reach out to us at First Class Green Cleaning today.