We've all been there before – you just got home from a tiresome day at work, when an unpleasant smell hits your nostrils with full force. After a brief investigation you find out, to your dismay, that your pet pooch has had an accident on the carpet....usually the same carpet you had cleaned just a few days ago!
Removing spills and stains from carpets can quickly turn into a messy situation. What's even worse is that you can drive the stains deeper making them impossible to remove.
So to guide us through this potentially messy maze, we asked an expert to guide us through these filthy cases. His name is Dean Davies, part of the carpet cleaning department at Fantastic Services.
Dean has tackled more stains than you would want to imagine! Now, let’s see what Dean suggests you to do to get those stains out and treat the smells.
How to Deal with Pet-made "Accidents"
Before explaining how to clean each type of stain that your pooch can leave, here are some general rules of thumb.
Firstly, always clean up the mess as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the more time you give the stain to seep deep into the fibres of your carpeting and become permanent.
However, do be careful and not to do this too vigorously as you can drive the stains deeper making them impossible to remove.
And secondly, make sure to clean the stain in the absence of pets or children - this is a pretty horrible task and some of the chemicals aren't nice either, so best to do it when they aren't around.
OK, now let's look at the specifics
How To Clean Dog Poop Stains From Your Carpet
OK, let's start out of order with number two. Solids are usually easier to deal with than urine as they don't tend to seep in as much....usually!
Remember, if the faeces have got into the carpet you may need a few attempts to completely eradicate the stain.
And on that delightful image, lets look at the steps to clean up doggy do from your carpet
- Remove bigger solids using a pair of rubber gloves, dustpan, and a paint scraper.
- Scrape whatever you can with the paint scraper and place it in the dustpan.
- Gently wipe away any remaining solids with damp towels using light motions.
- Spray the area with a stain remover of choice, then scrub the stains with a cloth soaked in cold soapy water.
- Use multiple paper towels to ensure that all remaining moisture is absorbed.
- Let it dry and then repeat the above steps as many times as needed until the stain is gone.
If you have done this a couple of times, follow our steps to remove stubborn stains.
What’s the Best Way to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet?
When your dog pees on your carpet, there are a few things you need to consider, but whatever you do, don’t use a steam cleaner! The heat from a steam cleaner permanently sets the stain and odor.
The first thing to consider is how long has the urine had to seep deep into the carpet?
If it is still damp you should not have quite as much problem to remove it, whereas dried in urine is much harder to remove.
So let's start with the easier first.
Removing Fresh/Still Wet Dog Urine From Your Carpet
If the urine is fresh (i.e. still damp) you might be surprised to know that good old water is probably all you need. If this is the case, put on some rubber gloves and take the following steps
- Remove any urine that has not yet seeped in by placing paper towels (ideally) or newspaper over the affected area of the carpet.
- If this is an area rug, place newspaper or paper towels under the affected area too
- Remove and replace the paper towels as they soak up the urine until all the excess urine has been soaked up
- Once the towels will not soak up any more urine, rinse the area with cool water
- Repeat the earlier steps to soak up the water with towels or a wet vac.
However, if the urine has dried, you will need to follow the following steps
Removing Older/Dried-In Dog Urine From Your Carpet
If the urine has dried, then it becomes slightly more problematic.
- First, check whether the urine has soaked into the underlay under your carpet. If so you may have no choice but to replace that area of the carpet and padding.
- If the urine has not soaked right through, your best bet is to rent or buy a wet vac. They do the best job at saturating your carpet with clean water and sucking up all the dirty water. Use plain water initially, adding chemicals should only be done if you have to. If you would rather add some elbow grease, you can thoroughly rinse out the stain with water.
- Allow the spot to completely dry.
- If the area still looks stained after drying out, follow the steps below.
- Once the spot is clean, but whiffy, follow the instructions below on removing the odour.
Dealing with urine stains
There are several homemade solutions to remove urine stains but this is the best I have found. Do be careful though as some pets and, indeed, people may be allergic to these ingredients.
- Apply plain white vinegar to the stain and rub it into the fibres with your fingers.
- Let the vinegar sit overnight, then sprinkle the area with some baking soda.
- Leave the powder for a few hours and vacuum the area well once dry.
If the stain is still there you may need to use hydrogen peroxide, which you do like this:
- Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide on an inconspicuous spot to check for colour fastness.
- Apply the hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let it dry out naturally.
If you are facing a really stubborn stain that has already set in, you may need to use an enzyme-based product in order to completely dissolve the stain, or you may find it easier to just call a professional carpet cleaner (but we would say that!)
Our recommendations for carpet cleaning products are below.
One word of caution, The Humane Society actually recommends that you don't use harsh chemicals as this can make your dog actually want to get rid of this smell and remark their territory again. So if your pet does this, you may want to use more gentle solutions or it could just become an escalating set of odours to contend with!
How to remove dog vomit stains
Another of the joys of dog ownership is when they are ill or when run off and eat something they shouldn't and then bring it back up indoors...
If they bring up yellow bile you can follow these steps to clean it.
- Sprinkle table salt onto the affected area.
- Cover it with a damp cloth and leave the stain for a few hours.
- When the time is up, simply remove the cloth.
To clean other types of vomit, you will need to buy a specialist cleaning product from our selection below.
How to remove the unpleasant odours from your carpet
First up we have the home-made solution, using ingrdients you will probably be able to find in your kitchen - this is similar to the method used to remove stains above, so if you have already done that, you might want to drop down to our recommended commercial products instead.
- Mix 50/50 solution of pure white vinegar and water and apply it to the stain.
- Use more paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Sprinkle the area with baking soda and rub it into the carpeting with your fingers.
- Let the powder sit overnight, then vacuum it up once it is dry.
- Enjoy your fresh smelling carpet!
As we mentioned before, the Humane Society urges you not to use heavy cleaning chemicals, like ammonia or vinegar as the strong scent of the chemicals may entice your dog to mark “his” area again. So if your pet has done this previously, we would advise you try other methods
If you use a commercial product, make sure you follow instructions carefully and test out a hidden area of the carpet to make sure the neutralizer doesn’t stain.
What to Look for in a Pet Cleaning Product
First things first – always read the tiny text on a product's label before usе to ensure that it’s safe for your family, and your beloved pet. Whether you're shopping for a carpet stain remover, disinfectant, or deodoriser, there are several important questions you have to ask, such as:
Is the product eco-friendly and biodegradable? Does it include natural ingredients, such as water, yeast- or enzyme-based solutions, or other harmless components?;
Does it also double as a deodoriser? Finding a product that is equally proficient at eliminating the stain and its lingering odour is good news for your wallet;
What about the smell? Some pets or kids may be extremely sensitive to invasive odours, in which case you should keep an eye out for odourless products;
Does it work on carpeting? Many detergents offered at local stores claim to be multi-purpose. However, double-checking if “carpeting” is mentioned anywhere on the label might just help you avoid permanent rug discolouration.
Is the pet stain remover enzyme-based? While these solutions are great for removing urine and other pet-made stains, their effectiveness may be reduced by things, such as high room humidity or by medications that your dog may have taken prior to soiling your carpet. In such cases, purchasing a non-enzyme remover would be the better option.
In the ideal world, you would get a non-toxic cleaning product made with natural ingredients that is also biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and efficient at eliminating and deodorising pet-made messes. Of course, it should also do all of this without discolouring the treated surface.
Unfortunately, in the real world, you will be hard-pressed to find a product that contains all of the above in one convenient package, so you will have to improvise (for instance combining an eco-friendly product with a deodoriser).
You can also opt for home-made solutions. In fact, here are 4 tactics you can adopt to undo your pooch's accident in the safest manner possible.
Tactic #1: use homemade solutions
A good homemade recipe for most pet accidents is to mix baking soda or vinegar with water (1:1 ratio) and then use a spray bottle to tackle the stain. Then, after sprinkling the stain with a bit of salt or baking soda in order to dry it out, simply vacuum the area from remaining residue. We have mentioned this one a few times in this article, but it really does work.
Of course, this is just one of the many recipes you can find online. However, while they are indisputably convenient (using mostly kitchen products), homemade solutions are not guaranteed to work and may trigger pet allergies on some occasions, so use these with caution.
Tactic #2: use commercial products
When the vinegar and baking soda methods have failed, it’s time to move to plan B, which is using store-bought products.
The good news is that these detergents are specifically designed to eliminate the stain, so there’s no guessing work involved. There are also many non-toxic alternatives on the market that you can use safely around your children and pets.
Most pet cleaning solutions usually come as a pre-formed spray or a liquid solution that you need to dissolve in water at a specific ratio. For best results, try to find a biodegradable product that both disinfects and removes the stain, can be used on multiple surfaces, and contains some of the following: water (or similar replacements), oxygen boosters, and plan-based surfactants.
Tactic #3: use the best of both worlds
When even commercial products fail to completely erase the stain, you can always do a mix & match.
For instance, you can experiment by adding baking soda, liquid soap, or vinegar to your biodegradable product in order to improve its efficiency (and finally get rid of that permeating smell). Try not to go overboard, however, especially when treating delicate rug fabrics.
Tactic #4: rely on professional assistance
When all else fails, it’s time to call in the heavy artillery or, in this case, a professional carpet technician.
A certified specialist will have access to top-tier carpet cleaning equipment, will know exactly what type of products can and cannot be used on your rug, and can accurately determine the Ph scale of your carpeting in order to avoid discolouration with 100% certainty.
As an added bonus, you will also receive free tips on how to prolong the life of your carpet, as well as some tips and tricks you can use to discourage Archie from relieving on the same spot.
General Carpet Maintenance Tips
Now that your rug is refreshed, here are some extra tips you can use to ensure that your carpeting will remain immaculate without having to keep your beloved buddy out of the room:
- Vacuum your rugs at least twice a week to keep them free from pet hair and dander;
- Purchase a small hand extractor and use it to handle pet accidents on a smaller scale;
- Don’t use a steam cleaner when dealing with urine – this will only set in the stain further;
- Use a bio-enzymatic product prior to an ordinary carpet cleaner to tackle pee accidents;
- Book a professional service every 12 to 18 months to prolong the life of your carpet.
But what motivated your otherwise loyal and friendly companion to do such an awful thing?
Why Did Your Dog Urinate or Poop in the House?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to the question why your pet did this to you. For instance, this could stem from poor digestion (eating fox poop while outside, for example). However, this incident may also indicate that your dog is feeling stressed out.
Let’s have a quick glance at some of the more common reasons why your fluffy ball may have misbehaved:
- She has a stomachache due to something she ate while exploring the outside world;
- She is stressed out (moving into a new home, second pet, new feeding schedule, etc.);
- She may not be potty trained (in instances where owners adopt adult pets from shelters);
- She is aging or is troubled by an illness (parasites, food intolerance/allergies, bacteria).
While some of these issues may sort themselves out in a couple of weeks, always make sure to contact your local vet as soon as you observe weird pet behaviour to stop potentially dangerous conditions from taking hold.
- 1 How to Deal with Pet-made "Accidents"
- 2 How To Clean Dog Poop Stains From Your Carpet
- 3 What’s the Best Way to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet?
- 4 Dealing with urine stains
- 5 How to remove dog vomit stains
- 6 How to remove the unpleasant odours from your carpet
- 7 What to Look for in a Pet Cleaning Product
- 8 General Carpet Maintenance Tips
- 9 Why Did Your Dog Urinate or Poop in the House?