By Tina Jepson
If you’re the proud owner of an adorable pet, then you’re probably a bit curious about how to remove pet stains from everything from hardwood to carpeted floors, cars, couches and more.
I get it. Not only do I have pets, but I’ve dealt with pet-related cleaning issues even before I was the proud owner of man’s best friend. You see, when I first moved into my “new-to-me” home, I was as excited as any new homeowner. But the minute we started moving boxes and arranging furniture, I couldn’t help but notice traces of the previous owner’s pet. (The word “pet” may actually be an understatement here, as the dog was possibly half-giant.) Aside from scratches on the doors and windowsills, pet urine smells emanated from the upstairs carpet, and the hardwoods had deep, dark stains. I don’t know how I missed these things during our walkthrough, but all I knew was that they needed to be resolved, and quick!
Pet stains are a pain, but there are three really simple ways to effectively remove them. Here’s how:
1. White Distilled Vinegar+Baking Soda
Before we get into the magic that’s vinegar+baking soda (or as I like to call it, nature’s ultimate cleaner) let’s consider why this combination works so well on carpets and other fabrics when it comes to pet urine, in particular.
First, the vinegar acts as a disinfectant and dissolving substance, breaking down the uric acid. On the other hand, baking soda acts as an odor equalizer and absorptive powerhouse. When combined, these household staples work together to literally decompose and neutralize any stain and odor that gets in its way.
Did you ever make one of those science fair volcanoes when you were a kid? You’re about to find out that they have practical applications too!
If you notice a pet stain caused by urine, act fast to remove any lingering messiness. Next, soak the carpet/fabric thoroughly with white distilled vinegar.
Then, sprinkle just enough baking soda to cover the stain and let it sit for at least 24 hours. It’ll bubble and fizz, which means it’s working! To be on the safe side, cover the stain with a plastic container (I used a frisbee) to keep kids and pets away.
The next day, run over the baking soda with a vacuum cleaner and voila! No more pet stain.
2. Water+Hydrogen Peroxide
Hardwoods are an easy floor to clean, but if a pet accident sits too long, it’s a recipe for disaster. In what seems like no time at all, liquids from urine, feces, and vomit seep into hardwoods, causing a stubborn stain.
Again, focus on getting as much of the liquid up as possible as soon as you find it using absorbent paper towels. Then, place a clean rag down directly over the stain and pour a 1:1 mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide over top.
Don’t completely soak the rag. Instead, just dampen it enough so that it stays moist. After 24 hours, remove the towel and the stain will be gone.
3. Dish Soap+Water+Vinegar
Dish soap is another effective tool you can use to clean up any sort of pet accident on surfaces like the carpet, couches, and the interior of your car.
Simply mix a half-cup warm water with a few drops of dish soap and 1/8 a cup of vinegar. Using a clean rag, dab the spot and scrub thoroughly, and the spot should lift almost instantly.
Stains from pet accidents are bound to happen. However, it’s important to remember that cleaning up pet accidents isn’t just about removing urine stains, it’s equally necessary to focus on getting rid of pet odors. You may not notice them, but your guests just might!
For more cleaning tips, check out these Top 9 Apps to Aid Your Spring Cleaning.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Tina Jepson and www.dreamstime.com