Let’s face it: even with the best house-training, accidents happen. From puppies who are not quite sure where the bathroom is, to cats who overshoot the litter box, to seniors whose bladders are not all they used to be, pet urine is just a fact of life in households with animals.
A quick look around any home or pet supply store reveals that there is no shortage of products to help clean and deodorize those pet urine stains. Sometimes, though, the simplest solutions can be the best.
If You Find a Fresh Urine Stain
If your pet has an accident, the first step is to clean and blot as much of the stain as possible. Do not rub it into the carpet or upholstery but, instead, blot.
After blotting as much as you can with a rag or paper towel, step two is to try to remove even more of the stain. Club soda, poured on the stain itself, can help bubble up more urine hiding in the rug pad.
Blot up the solution (again taking care not to rub it into the carpet, but just to blot gently). Next, place a clean, white towel (so you do not transfer any dyes from the towel to the carpet or upholstery) onto the stain and weigh it down with a brick. Allow it to wick up as much of the stain as it can overnight.
Removing the Scent of Pet Urine
While our noses may no longer pick up the smell, our pet’s super-strong olfactory senses probably can. To keep them from returning to the scene of the crime, utilize enzyme cleaners, which are specially made products designed to destroy rather than mask organic stains. These eat up and neutralize the cause of the odor; most have little or no scent. If you do not have an enzyme cleaner at hand, you will find some good substitutes in your cupboard. Do not pick the ammonia (urine contains ammonia so you will just make it worse). Instead, reach for white vinegar. Add about ¼ cup of white vinegar to a quart of water. Pour the vinegar and water solution on the stain, blot, and top with a white towel overnight. Table salt can also help absorb fresh urine and remove some of its scent. (Be careful to keep the salt out of reach of your pets. Dogs especially will try to eat salt and can suffer from salt toxicity.) Baking soda is another great household product for removing that urine scent. Still detectable? Rub the area with a dryer sheet.
Removing Old Urine Stains
We all know what it is like to smell the scent of pet urine — but what if we cannot track it down? Dried urine is more difficult to find than fresh, but a black light will make the task easy. An inexpensive black light flashlight will cause urine stains to glow in the dark. Once you have identified the source of the smell, treat it like a fresh urine stain by trying to flood the stained area with a vinegar and water solution and then treating it with an enzyme cleaner.
Pet stains happen…it is all just part of living with and loving dogs and cats. Just remember: it is a small price to pay for all you get in return.