Cleaning Up Pet Urine on your Carpets

Cleaning Up Pet Urine on your Carpets

Do you share your household with a pet of some kind? If you do, you are not alone- the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada reports that at least 50% of all Canadian households own some kind of pet, and this number is predicted to continue increasing. A recent survey estimated that Canadians own 5.9 million dogs and 7.9 million cats.

Not only are we sharing our homes and our lives with animals of all kinds, but we also appear to be humanizing them more and more- an Ipsos Reid survey recently found that 8 in 10 Canadian pet owners consider their pet to be a family member, and a Purina study found that 90% of owners talk to their pets- 25% of pet owners even tell their pets secrets!

It stands to reason that if we have humanized our dogs and cats to the point that we buy them designer collars and send them off to luxury spas to get a pedicure, then we’d never dream of making our pets sleep outside. Most pets now have equal (or greater) access to all of our personal space, often including the beds and the sofa. And this fact brings us to the less cuddly reality of what happens when we bring domesticated animals so intimately into our lives- they share our homes, cars, and even offices, but not our bathrooms…..

Pet Urine in Your Carpets

When dogs and cats decide to use our floors as their bathrooms, our first reaction is disbelief and we are likely shocked and disgusted that they could do such a thing. This reaction is due to a misconception that our pet is a four-legged human, and if a human in our household was to use the floor instead of the bathroom, it would be very upsetting. The truth is that dogs and cats are not people, and your pet has done something natural by relieving himself when the urge struck.

Clean Up Pet Urine on Carpets Quickly to Mitigate Damage

The best way to avoid having to deal with the problem of urine on your carpets is to properly housebreak your dog. However, housebreaking takes time, and even a well-trained and housebroken pet might have the occasional accident. When an accident happens on your carpet, and you witness it, the faster you can begin blotting up the urine, the better your results will be. For best results, place paper towels over the area wetted with urine, and then step with your shoe directly on the towels. As soon as you see that the towels are damp, remove them and repeat the process with dry towels. Do this until the towels are no longer absorbing any of the urine. Now get some fresh, clean water, and sprinkle the wetted area with the water- a spray bottle is a good way of dispensing the water evenly but not too heavy on the problem area. Remember, however much water you dispense onto the carpet is the amount you will have to remove by paper-towel blotting. When you spray on the water, make sure the carpet fibres are very wet, but the water should definitely be absorbed by the carpet fibres and not pool. Repeat the blotting process with towels until you are no longer able to extract any moisture. Once you’ve completed this, protect the area from foot traffic and allow it to dry. Placing a small fan on the floor such that the air passes over the wet area will speed up the drying time. If the wet area is in a high-traffic area, a hair dryer set on low heat may be used to speed up the drying process. This “first-response” cleaning process will go a long way towards preventing permanent damage to your carpets- untreated or mistreated urine spots could become permanent stains. Immediate blotting may also remove a sufficient amount of the pet’s urine to temporarily reduce the odour. Keep in mind that this “blotting and rinsing” procedure is most effective immediately after the pet has had an accident, but unfortunately, most pet accidents happen when the pet is left alone and are only discovered when someone notices the smell. Also, blotting will never be 100% effective- this is because the urine penetrates to the base of the carpet fibres, and often will passes through the backing of the carpet, should be preserved but definitely not at the cost of development. into the under-laid cushioning below the carpet, and sometimes, even into the plywood sub-floor. Additional cleaning challenges come from the composition of the urine- its smell and intensity (stainability) are directly related to the diet, presence of medication, age, and breed of the pet. And of course, there is the quantity to consider- a large dog that was left home alone too long could create a much bigger problem than a little puppy that hasn’t quite learned to control its bladder. Whatever the situation or circumstances, you will need the services of a professional carpet cleaning company like Citrus-O that specializes in urine removal to come and perform a specialty cleaning in order to completely eliminate the odour-causing urine in your carpets.

Citrus-O Specializes in Pet Urine Cleaning

You may have noticed that we did not suggest putting any kind of chemical, cleaning solution, or household chemistry on the areas of urine you were blotting up. This is because the haphazard mixing of seemingly safe household items in your kitchen cabinet can create powerful chemical reactions that may leave you with a bigger problem than you’re trying to solve. Please believe that vinegar belongs on salad and baking soda is for baking (just two items that the internet might suggest you splash and scrub into your carpet in an attempt to neutralize the smell of urine). Even over-the-counter treatments designed specifically for treating urine are not recommended- this is because the average homeowner does not have the specialized equipment required to adequately and safely extract the treatment from the carpet once it’s been applied. And extraction is what successful urine removal is all about. According to Rob Hanks, president of Bridgepoint Systems and Interlink Supply (leading suppliers of professional carpet cleaning solutions), “Sanitizers and disinfectants stop the action of the bacteria, which are partially responsible for the odour, but they don’t do anything to actually remove the urine. If the urine remains, bacteria will eventually return and the odour will be just as bad as it was previously. There are many products that mask or hide the odour but to permanently remove the odour, you need to get rid of the source.” Your ultimate goal is to remove the urine, which is the source of the odour-causing volatile compounds, without damaging your carpet. You need a professional carpet cleaning company like Citrus-O that has specialized tools and equipment to handle this extraction.

The Citrus-O Urine Removal & Urine Odour Removal Process

When a Citrus-O cleaning technician comes to your home to take care of a pet odour problem, or in other words, for urine removal, he will first put on a pair of yellow sunglasses, and with your permission, he will then darken the room and begin to inspect it with a powerful ultra-violet, or “black” light. By passing the light methodically over the entire carpet, your cleaning technician can quickly and obviously locate all the spots of urine due to their iridescent glow, regardless of their age. Your technician will mark these spots, and then re-inspect the marked areas using an electronic tool called a “moisture probe”. Since the UV light only shows surface staining on the carpet, using a moisture probe (which tests for both moisture and urine salts) allows us to determine the affected areas in the under-pad and sub-floor that we cannot see with the naked eye or with the UV light. This determination will allow us to successfully remove all traces of the urine. Keep in mind that a urine spot is kind of like an iceberg in that two-thirds of the problem lies below the surface, out of sight. Once all the urine spots have been identified, Citrus-O will use a 5 step, specialty cleaning process to treat and remove the odour-causing urine deposits.

  1. The first step is a hot water rinse and wand double-extraction. The purpose of the initially hot water rinse is to remove any foreign substances such as previous spotters used by the customer, urine salts, topical residual oils, etc. By removing any foreign substances we safeguard against any chemical reaction that may set stains.
  1. The second step is to saturate the affected areas in the carpets, underlay, and subfloor with Citrus-O’s Ultra Odour Remover (Citrus-O’s custom odour-neutralizing product) to eliminate the odour-causing contaminants.
  1. After saturating the carpet and sub-surface, the solution and contaminants are fully extracted with our exclusive WaterClaw extraction tool. The WaterClaw is scientifically designed to provide maximum suction and is essential for proper, complete extraction.
  1. Next, we perform our complete, normal cleaning procedure. Using our Rotovac 360 cleaning equipment, we clean, sanitize, and deodorize the entire area using other natural, citrus-based products – Ultra Clean & Ultra Rinse.
  1. To complete the job we topically apply Ultra Urine Remover (Citrus-O’s proprietary urine-stain treatment product) and agitate with a carpet rake.

The Most Expensive Option is To Replace the Carpet

Specialized cleaning as described above takes time and involves a number of expensive cleaning solutions and a unique group of tools, so it is more costly than normal carpet cleaning. This cost factor often raises the question of whether it is more cost-effective to just replace the old carpet with a new one. In our opinion, this should only be a consideration if the carpet in question is already heavily worn, is badly and permanently stained, or is at the reasonable end of its life. Otherwise, specialty cleaning is the most cost-effective and efficient way to go. According to our calculations, the least expensive, new carpeting generally available will be a minimum of three times more expensive than a professional urine removal cleaning. In addition, there is also the inconvenience factor to consider with carpet replacement- furniture must be moved or stored, old carpeting must be ripped out and disposed of, the sub-floor still must be washed and sealed, and the new installation must take place. On the other hand, a specialty urine removal cleaning will take between one and two hours per average-sized room, and once the carpets have dried, there will be no further disruptions to the customer’s household.

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