Pets are often a loving addition to the home, but sometimes even the best-behaved pet can mess up carpets. Although we try our best to train our animals, kittens and puppies can have accidents, as well as poorly or elderly cats and dogs. Stains from cat urine and dog urine are problematic for two reasons: firstly, they contain germs and bacteria that can cause illness; and secondly, the presence of ammonia makes for a lingering smell, even after the area has been washed. It is, therefore, a good idea to use a suitable pet odour remover that not only tackles the smell, but also provides a deep-clean.
Although specialised carpet cleaners for pet odour removal are great, some people prefer to use a homemade solution. A mixture of one part water and one part white vinegar can be just as effective as a specialised product, and is simple to make and use.
How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Smells and Stains from Carpets
Cleaning up animal messes can be divided up into three separate tasks: removing urine, removing solids, and getting rid of the smell. Here’s some excellent ways to tackle all three categories:
Use an old bath towel to blot up any excess liquid. It’s best to do this as soon as possible after the incident, while the stain is still wet. It’s also a good idea to use a white or light-coloured towel, to prevent colours from running into your carpet.
Use a specialized carpet cleaner bought from the pet store. Apply it directly to the carpet, and leave to dry. Don’t be tempted to use a regular carpet cleaner; dog and cat urine remover products contain chemicals specifically designed to break down the bacteria in your pet’s urine.
Alternatively, apply a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar to the stain, or a non-coloured mouthwash that contains alcohol. Leave these products to soak into the stain for about 30 minutes.
If you have a carpet cleaning device, use this to draw out any moisture. Alternatively, dry with a clean bath towel.
Allow to air-dry and vacuum the carpet as normal.
Some solids are very easy to remove with a paper towel or plastic glove.
Unfortunately, some other ‘solids’ aren’t very solid at all. If this is the case, use a piece of cardboard to remove as much as possible from the fibres of the carpet. It’s always best to do this straight away, before it has had time to dry.
Mix together dishwashing soap or laundry detergent with warm water, and gently work into the remaining stain. Make sure you mix your solution well – the more suds the better!
In both cases, a pet odour remover or a homemade concoction of mouthwash or vinegar can now be applied, before blotting, air-drying, and vacuuming.
Cat urine smell – and, for that matter, dog urine smell – is never pleasant. You’ll always need to use pet odour remover after removing these types of stains.
For a quick, natural, and effective solution, sprinkle the clean stain with baking soda or unused coffee grounds. Make sure you sprinkle liberally to ensure every part of the stain is covered.
Leave your chosen product on the stain for a few hours – preferably overnight. Simply vacuum in the morning and the smell should be gone. These products work by absorbing the smells, removing them from the carpet.
Pet Hair Remover Products and Solutions
Of course, it’s not just cat urine and dog mess that can ruin the look and smell of your home, pet hair can too. This is especially problematic in the spring and summer months when cats and dogs begin the shed their winter coats. Here are some tips for getting rid of fur and fluff around the home:
Vacuum the area first to remove as much hair from the surface of the carpet or furniture as possible.
The best pet hair remover is water. Use a damp hand sponge, or even a baby-wipe to encourage the hair to clump together, making it easy to pick up and throw away.
For small areas, simple spot-cleaning will do the trick. Use Velcro or sticky tape to pick up clumps of hair and loose strands.
You may wish to dedicate some time to brushing your animals on a regular basis, especially if they are long-haired breeds. This can encourage molting and reduce the amount of loose hair that falls off day-by-day.
Be sure to hang on to your old bath towels for when your pet has an accident. Blot the liquid with an old towel as soon as possible to soak up excess liquid.
After you have cleaned the stain, sprinkle with baking soda or unused coffee granules to help remove lingering pet odour smells.
Pet hair is also prone to clinging to your carpets. Simply use a damp hand sponge or baby wipe to collect together the animal hair and then throw away.