Cleaning Up Pet Stains

Pet owners will occasionally encounter pet urine accidents that leave unwanted urine stains on carpet and area rugs. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident and may seep into your pad. The types of damage from pet urine can be diverse and are dependent upon the makeup of the urine. Urine content will change over the pet’s life because of the pet’s diet, medications, age, health, sex, and reproductive cycles. Because of these variations, some urine stains may not be removable.

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To treat urine spot damaged areas, blot damp areas as soon as the urine is detected with plain white paper toweling. Apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent (non-bleach and non-lanolin) with one cup of lukewarm water. Do not use automatic dishwashing detergent or laundry detergent. Then, absorb the moisture with paper towel, rinse with warm water and repeat the application of detergent. Continue rinsing and blotting with the detergent solution and water as long as there is a transfer to the toweling or improvement in the spot. Use caution and do not over wet. Follow the detergent application with a solution of one cup white vinegar to two cups water and blot dry. Apply a half-inch layer of paper towels to the affected area and weight down with a flat, heavy, non-fading object. Continue to change the paper towels frequently until the carpet is completely dry.

Urine can affect the dyes used in carpet, although not all occurrences will result in a permanent stain. Success is dependent upon the content of the urine, the dyes, and any treatments applied to the carpet during manufacturing, the finish used, and the time elapsed after the deposit. Some urine spots may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. The dyes may change color immediately after contact with urine.

When urine spots develop slowly and are noticed after much time has elapsed, the dyes and carpet fibers may be permanently damaged. In beige carpet, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind the red and yellow dyes with a resulting stain appearing red, yellow, or orange.

Pet urine, left unattended, can damage carpet in several ways. Moisture can weaken the bond between the layers of the carpet, allowing separation or delamination of the backing material to separate. Seam areas can be particularly vulnerable to damage and can separate.

Another problem, especially with cat urine, is odor. Unless the cat urine can be completely removed, complete odor removal is unlikely. A number of products are available to combat odor, but some may simply mask the odor, and, in times of high humidity, the odor may reappear. Enzyme-based treatments are available at pet stores, veterinarian offices or other retail stores.

RugPad Nation’s GripCore Platinum rug pads use specific backings that prevents pet accidents from ever reaching your carpet or flooring. When an accident does occur, please remember to clean both your rug and rug pad to minimize future pet accidents.

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