Removing urine odors and stains from carpets

The information about how you can eliminate pet urine problems is further down this page. If you read this information first, it will help you to understand the importance the recommendation I give you.

What is animal urine?
Animal urine consists primarily of water, yellow pigment, urea, uric acid, cholesterol, enzymes, and traces of other chemicals. The urine 
leaves the animal’s body as an acid compound, but due to rapid bacterial action, the urine changes into a highly alkaline compound. 
Urine deposits form alkaline salts. It is the alkaline salts and the yellow pigment called urobilogen that cause the yellow spots we 
think of as urine.

Procrastination is the enemy for removing stains.
The amount of time that these components remain in the carpet fibers has a great deal to do with the success rate of completely 
removing both the spots and the odor. The off-gassing of the bacteria creates ammonia, which can cause a loss of color in fabrics. 

It can be permanent. 
When this happens, 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. This color loss from old urine stains 
is often mistakenly associated with the current presence of urine. There are times with old urine that we cannot remove the stain, 
simply because it is not a stain but a loss of color.

Fresh urine does not stink.
Fresh urine does not actually have an unpleasant odor, but the ammonia smell of old urine is due to bacterial decomposition of 
the urea in the urine, urine salts, and the bacterial excrement itself. Nature's bacteria will continue to feed as long as there is a food 
source, and moisture. That is why the ammonia smell becomes stronger on humid days, or soon after a carpet has been cleaned 
if insufficient or ineffective chemicals have used in the cleaning process. This is where most do-it-yourself cleaners have difficulties.

Urine left in carpets might destroy them.
Pet urine, left unattended, can damage carpet in several ways. Moisture can weaken the layers of the carpet, allowing separation 
or delamination of the backing material. Seam areas can be particularly damaged and can separate. 

Situations to be aware of when doing this work yourself.
With urine over 12 hours old, the bacteria must be killed. Cleaning without an enzyme or proper disinfectant will not eliminate the odor.

Don’t hide the problem…search out and destroy the bacteria.
Sometimes the urine stain may have removed, but the bacteria were never destroyed. This results in a spot that has urine odor, 
but you don’t know where it is, because you can’t see the stain. To effectively get rid of the odor, you must locate and treat every area that has urine. You can either crawl around with your nose in the carpet sniffing for urine, you can pull up the carpet and 
look at the back of the carpet for the stains there, or you can use a UV long-wave blacklight made for urine detection. You can find 
these at most pet supply stores.
Always follow directions carefully, however, when it comes to using solutions to kill bacteria, overkill is always better. Always imagine how 
much urine went into the carpet originally and how deep into the carpet it went. You need to match at least that amount.

All pet urine situations are not created equal.
The process most effectively used will vary depending on the severity of each different situation.

What do you do when you find fresh urine?
(This is for individual spots, not for saturated areas.)
1. Remove most of the urine by blotting with a clean white towel. Press down to soak up as much      of the urine as possible. Repeat
 this process until no urine appears on towel.
2. Then mix together one teaspoon mild liquid non-bleach laundry detergent and 1 quart water.
3. Wet a clean white cloth into the solution and then blot the spot and continue to blot until stain is not apparent. 
4. Rinse all detergent from the carpet with fresh water.
5. Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar per cup of warm water.
6. Blot the area with this solution to remove the residue from the detergent.

What cleaning solution should you use?
This is an extremely important decision. For a problem like urine, I highly recommend that you purchase professional products 
made for urine remediation.
If you have a local carpet cleaning store in your area, I would go there and explain what your situation is and ask what they would 
recommend. If you are not 100% confident in the knowledge of the salesperson, ask to speak with the owner or manager. 

The two main choices in cleaning agents to kill bacteria are using an enzyme or using a disinfectant.
If the disinfectant you choose does not have a deodorizer in it, you will want to get some carpet deodorizer.
You will also want to purchase a urine stain remover which is an acidic cleaner you use before you attack the bacteria.
My personal suggestions for the products to use would be to go online to Jon Don Supply and check out the following products; 
Pro’s Choice Urine Pre-treatment Plus to remove the urine and the stain, Pro’s Choice Molecular Modifier as an enzyme to 
eliminate the bacteria, and Thornell Odorcide 210, which is an encapsulation product that you can use after you have done 
everything else, and if there is a faint lingering odor. If you choose to disinfect the carpet instead of using an enzyme, then I would 
look on the Jon Don site for Dri-Eaz Milgo Plus. This is a quaternary cleaner that will kill the bacteria on contact. You must thoroughly 
rinse this product from your carpets after use. After you use this product, you might choose to put a stain guard product back on 
your carpets in this area because this product will cause your stain guard protectant to become ineffective. 
If you have mostly surface urine spots, then I would choose the enzyme approach. If you have a more serious problem where the 
urine is deep in the padding and/or has been concentrated, I would choose the disinfectant approach.
Follow the instructions for any product you purchase. 

Urine stains over 12 hours old
(This is for individual spots, not for saturated areas.)
1.  The first step is to locate all of the urine areas, both the visible stains and the ones you cannot        see. Purchasing a UV blacklight 
designed for urine detection will help you locate the areas.
2.  Use the proper cleaning agents. If you do not kill the bacteria, you will continue to have a problem. 
3.  Remove as much of the visible urine using a white absorbent cloth wetted with an acidic  solution to remove the stain. If you have a carpet cleaning machine, without over wetting the carpet, extract as much of the urine from the carpet as possible adding the acidic stain removing solution to your water.
4.  Saturate the stained area with your bacteria-killing cleaning solution of choice. If you use an enzyme, you are going to be leaving the enzyme in the carpet and letting it dry naturally. With a disinfectant, you will be flushing out the urine and the disinfectant. 
Follow instructions for the products you purchase.
Always follow directions carefully, however, when it comes to using solutions to kill bacteria, overkill is always better. Always imagine how 
much urine went into the carpet originally and how deep into the carpet it went. You need to match at least that amount.

Areas where cats have urinated several times.
Cats usually have 1-3 favorite places where they will go over and over. It is almost always up against a wall, usually in a corner, and usually 
area about three feet long by two feet wide along both walls at that corner. Cats tend to go repeatedly in the same place, saturating the 
carpet fibers, the carpet backing, the pad, and even the wood floor underneath. Tack strip and trim can also become saturated with urine. 
One reason why cat urine staining and odor is more difficult to remove is because the fibers become saturated with urine and as the water 
content in the urine evaporates, the urine becomes more and more concentrated. 
With cats, about 90% of the time the only effective treatment is to:

1. Pull up the carpet, remove the affected pad.
2. Disinfect the sub-floor, using Urine Prespray and a good disinfectant.
3. Seal the sub floor with Kilz seal paint.
4. Extract as much of the urine from the carpet as possible.
5. Saturate the carpet with the Urine Prespray and a good disinfectant.
6. Let sit for 15 minutes.
7. Flush and extract the affected carpet.
8. Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 until there is no more urine odor in carpet.
9. Install new pad and reinstall carpet.
10. Thoroughly clean all surrounding carpets.
Always follow directions carefully, however, when it comes to using 
solutions to kill bacteria, overkill is always better. Always imagine how 
much urine went into the carpet originally and how deep into the carpet
 it went. You need to match at least that amount.
If this process does not completely work, there is a technology called 
encapsulation using the Odorcide product that might be helpful. 

What you should know about dog urine.
Dogs piddle all over the carpet, seemly where ever the notion hits them; occasionally dogs will have a spot they use several times but the rule of 
thumb is all over the carpet. Dogs that have not been neutered or spayed may mark their territories.
The size of the urine spot is the main factor in deciding which process to use. The concern is that spots larger than about the size of a hand is 
enough urine to soak into the backing of the carpet. Always follow directions carefully, however, when it comes to using 
solutions to kill bacteria, overkill is always better. Always imagine how much urine went into the carpet originally and how deep into the carpet 
it went. You need to match at least that amount.
Occasionally, with severe urine problems where there has been overlapping urine stains or very large stains, the only effective treatment is to follow the
 procedure for severe cat urine problem. 

SUMMARY - Timing is crucial for removing stains and odors. If you can remove urine before 12 hours, odor will not be a problem. After 12 hours, 
you need to both remove the stain and kill the bacteria. Stains big enough to penetrate the backing of the carpet need to be flushed out completely. 
It may be necessary to replace the padding in these cases as outlined in cat urine elimination. Long-standing urine may cause color loss to carpet, 
resulting in permanent stains. With long-standing urine is more difficult to remove odor as well. If you have any questions, please call an IICRC 
certified professional.

Other pet and carpet issues - Other problems in your carpets caused by your beloved pets are:
Vomit - The acid in stain can cause the stain to set more quickly, so getting the stain up as soon as you see it is important. Scrape up and then blot up 
all of the vomit as possible. Blot with water, being careful to not push vomit into backing of carpet, then we recommend using an enzyme 
cleaner. Use as directed.
Diarrhea or poop - Remove as much material as possible, blot using water or flush out using a carpet machine. Then saturate area with 
Natures Miracle, gently agitate into fibers, wait for at least ½ hour, and then rinse out. If odor remains, reapply the enzyme cleaner, cover
 with piece of plastic, and flush out the spot the next day.
General soil from animals - Animals have oil on their bodies just like we do. When they lay on the carpets or furniture, they leave a film of oil. 
The oil then attracts dust and dirt. This usually cleans up very easily when you clean your carpets. If you have a more serious problem with 
this, there are four things you can do to correct the problem. Bathe your dogs on regular basis; clean your carpets more often, keep a mat by the 
door where the animal comes in and out to remove dirt from feet, and if your dog has bare patches of dirt to lay on or digs holes outside, you need 
to correct this situation. 

Good luck!

How to eliminate pet stains & pet odors
cleaning pet stains
killing bacteria in carpets
love your pets but not the mess
pet urine problems
clean carpets, happy pets
remove urine with enzymes
remove urine odors with odorcide
remove urine odors with urine removers
Dri_Eaz disinfectant kills urine bacteria
Molecular Modifier Enzyme for treating urine in carpets
Urine Pre-Treatment stain remover
Odorcide for urine odor treatment
seal floor with sealer
Seal the urine odor with Kilz
Love your pets, but not the mess
online estimate for pet stain removal
or call  907-346-4000
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