For many dog and cat owners, pet odor removal from carpets is an unfortunate fact of life. Puppies and kittens have a tendency to mess up flooring quite a bit before they are properly trained, and by the time they’re going outside or in the litter box, the floor may resemble a warzone. There are, however, a few ways a homeowner can wipe out the smells and stains that animals leave behind. In some cases, a professional may be needed to handle a particularly difficult and soiled situation.
The first thing to do when attempting pet odor removal is to locate the problem area on the carpet. This is often easier said than done, as dark flooring can make the area practically invisible. If finding the spot is too hard to do with the naked eye, illuminate the area with a black light. This type of bulb will highlight areas where Fluffy or Spot have been doing their business and will make give a starting spot when it comes to tackling the problem. Another way to track down soiled spots is to watch how other animals track through the home. If there are multiple dogs or cats in the house, they will stop and thoroughly investigate and sniff any area where other animals have evacuated. Cleaning these spots thoroughly can mitigate the problem.
It’s important to fix the issue as soon as it is detected, for a couple of reasons. Animals have a tendency to use the bathroom where they detect the scent of urine or feces, so the problem could snowball and training the pup or kitten will be that much more difficult. Pet odor removal must also be done immediately because if the soiled patch of carpet is allowed to sit for too long, it will require more dramatic methods to get rid of it. If the animals are allowed to soil the flooring for weeks at a time, and the fabric is not cleaned thoroughly every time, the carpet may need to be replaced, which is significantly more expensive and obnoxious than dealing with the issue in the first place.
The best way to approach pet odor removal is to clean from the outside of the stain in. Starting from the center may push the stain out further and deeper into the flooring. Scrub inward with a bristle brush and paper towels. Use the paper towels to absorb liquid, and don’t scrub with them, as they may tear and get intertwined with carpet fibers.
Natural pet odor removal substances include vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, lemon or club soda. Rubbing alcohol can be applied directly to the area and blotted up once it sits for a few minutes. Vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice mixed with water can also be applied this way. If the problem is more widespread or doesn’t respond to these gentle methods, consider purchasing an enzyme solution from the pet store. These solutions digest the proteins found in dog and cat urine and fecal matter.
However, even that is often not enough to neutralize the problem, especially with more potent feline urine. If the smell remains after a few attempts to clean it, hire a professional to sanitize the flooring. This is a solution that is cost effective and quick, and will leave the carpet immaculate.