Pet stains can be one of the most frustrating types of stains to clean. This however comes from misinformation and bad advice. In searching online for ways to remove pet stains, the vast majority of information available is incorrect. While many products and methods suggested might be in fact proper solutions for various stains, the methods should not be applied to cleaning pet stains.
The most commonly misguided advice is to clean pet stains using vinegar. Unfortunately this might just possibly be the worst way to clean pet stains. Vinegar consists of natural based acids. These acids are helpful in breaking down stains and eliminating them. The problme arises with the scent. Because vinegar is acidic, it contains some of the same odors found in urine. Like vinegar, urine contains traces of acid. Animals - both cats and dogs, typically urinate in the same area. This is an instinct based on scent. If you clean an area with vinegar, your pet might very easily pick that scent up and confuse it with the scent of urine. It is for this reason vinegar should not be used. Using vinegar might actually reinforce your pet to go in the spot you just cleaned. Ammonia has the same effect. In fact, many types of cat litter are ammonia based. It is this odor that draws cats to a litter box.
Another widely encouraged cleaning agent for pet stains are enzyme based cleaners. Enzymes are often well supported and praised because they are "green." Eco-friendly cleaners are extremely popular as people do not want to be releasing hazardous toxins into their carpet. The theory behind enzymes is that a natural component is released into the stains. This component will react in a manner to naturally break down the stains. However enzymes are extremely sensative. For enzymes to work properly, the stain they are being introduced to needs to have the correct biological structure for the breakdown to occur. The process of breakdown by an enxyme is often compared to a lock and key scenario. While there are countless keys and lock, only the correct key will trigger a lock. Likewise with enzymes, only the right enzyme can break down the corresponding stain. Take into consideration all the variables that could affect the stain, whether it be health, diet, temperature and so on, the chances of the match being 100% are limited. Because of this, when enzymes are applied, the stain may appear to be reduced, but after a few days the stain generally reappears and in many cases actually begins to smell worse then it had prior to the attempted elimination of the stain.
Oxidizing type cleaners are also a popular go to for removing pet stains. While these might remove more of a stain then an enzyme based cleaner or vinegar, there are several problems using this type of cleaner. Unlike vinegar & enzymes, which are natural based products, oxidizers contain chemicals. These chemicals can cause several problems. If ingested by your pet, they can cause illness. If your carpet has been treated with stain protector, or previously cleaned with any other chemical, oxidizing cleaners can cause discoloration. If carpet begins to turn pinkish, it is very likely an oxidizing cleaner was the culprit. Because of the use of oxygen, these types of cleaners can also lock the stain in the carpet.
Household cleaners can also cause problems. Several cleaning products are designed to remove spots and stains from carpets. They are typically surface cleaners. In the event of pet stains from urination, the stain goes below the surface and your padding can be affected. This typically is the case with stains that are not visible, but leave a lingering odor that never seems to go away no matter how hard you try to clean it. These type of cleaners, while they might remove the visible stain, do not remove the smell and only lead to a long, never ending struggle to find a way to mask the odor.
Amazon Price: $44.95 Buy Now
(price as of May 4, 2016)
The best way to remove pet stains is by using a surfactant based cleaner. Surfactant based cleaners like Genesis 950 are green. They are sold in concentrate form and need to be mixed with water. This is an economical advantage as well, as most cleaners can contain up to 98% water. A surfactant based cleaner works to break the bonds of stains and lift them from the surface. In addition to breaking up the stains, surfactants kill germs and bacteria, which in turn removes the odors.
When cleaning pet stains from carpet it is recommended to use such a cleaner in a carpet cleaning machine or steam cleaner. This will allow you to clean not only the surface, but the padding as well. Simply clean the area using a mixture of the surfactant and water and allow it to sit for about 10 - 15 minutes. This will allow the mixture to break apart all the stains and thoroughly deodorize the padding as well as the carpet. After you have let the mixture sit, go over the area a second time with only water in the tank. Doing so will completely flush the carpet, pulling up everything that might cause further staining or odor issues. Next, extract as much water out as you can and let the carpet dry.
If done properly, you will not only remove the stains, but you will remove the odor. This in turn will prevent your pet from smelling anything in the carpet which may make them want to go there again. Cleaning pet stains does not have to be a challenge. It can be done simply, inexpensively and quickly. When it is done correctly, you will also reduce future accidents from happen. On top of that, you won't be embarrassed by unsightly stains or foul odors.
Amazon Price: $64.20 Buy Now
(price as of May 4, 2016)