Pet urine can cause permanent damage to your floors and
fabrics. It can also create an unhealthy indoor environment.
When urine is
first deposited onto a floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is
on the acid side of the pH Scale. It is easier to remove right then when it is
Once it dries it turns “alkaline” or to a high pH between 10 to12 on the
scale and becomes more difficult to remove. The warm acid state of the urine
offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begin to flourish almost
immediately. In this original acid state the urine begins to oxidize and react
with the carpet to create a color change, which will become permanent if the
urine is not removed immediately. Some of this color change can be attributed
to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine passes through bacterial and
chemical change. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fabric or floor
type, it will change the dye structure, therefore causing permanent staining.
Even if the soluble deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may
already be done.
There are two sources of odors associated with urine. The first comes from
bacteria that grow abundantly in dark warm places with a never-ending food
source. A pet can feed the bacteria daily! This bacteria growth and breakdown
of the urine creates amino acids. These complex organic compounds will often
work deep into the fibers to a point of becoming part of the fiber. This can
present a challenging situation. The waste materials and gases from the
decomposing urine create an unpleasant odor. When dried urine is remoistened,
it gives off an ammonia gas. If smelled once it is seldom forgotten.
The second source of odor is chemical odor that is present
even when the bacteria have been killed. This explains the reason that more
than sanitizing is necessary toneutralize odors from urine. Urine also presents
additional odor problems when the relative humidity is high. The salts and
crystals that are left behind as the urine dries are hydrophilic and draw water
to them. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months because the
salts attract the moisture, the moisture evaporates putting out a greater
proportion of odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and
under the carpet to get rid of the odor. That’s why cleaning existing urine
spots WILL NOT remove any associated odor. In fact, it could INCREASE the odor
in the air space for a temporary period of time.
Do-It-Yourself Pet Stain Removal
The best tool to have is a small one gallon wet vac or small spot removal
machine. A small wet vac can be purchased for under $40.00. We recommend a
small machine because the more convenient, the more likely you are to get it
out for an accident.
If you can get the urine up while it is fresh you will have a better chance of
100% removal. Simply suck the urine right out of the carpet. Then apply some Crystal Spot and let it sit a few minutes. Then pour a measuring
cup of warm water on the spot and suck it out to rinse the carpet. Always dry
the carpet as much as possible and never scrub or rub the carpet. This will
distort the face fiber and break down the fiber protection and allow for easy
If the urine spot is older than 24 hours, apply Crystal Spot,
rinse the carpet with warm water and wet vac. Then you can mix 1 part white
distilled vinegar with 2 parts water and apply it to the spot, rinse with warm
water, and wet vac. Do not use the vinegar on fresh spots as the acid from the
vinegar can not counter the acid from fresh urine. The vinegar works best after
24 hours when the urine has become alkaline.
The Best Cleaning Agents For Urine
Enzymes are the best cleaning agent for urine, vomit and feces. An enzyme is
the only cleaning agent that actually eats up the bad bacteria. For the best
results use an enzyme spotter after you have rinsed the carpet, especially if
the spot is not a fresh one. We recommend Nature’s Miracle, which can be
purchased at any local pet store. Always read the directions before use!
Products to Avoid
Try to stay away from products with high pH such as ammonia, Resolve and oxygen
bleaches. These products will leave the carpet with a residue and in a high pH
state, which will enable the carpet to attract dirt like a magnet. In some
instances the use of the wrong product can cause the urine stain to be
permanent. Please call State of the Art Cleaning Services first if you are not sure about a
product you may want to try.
How Professionals Remove Odor
Remember, in order to remove the odor, all of the alkaline salt deposits the
urine leaves behind must be completely removed. This can be quite extensive and
time consuming. In worse cases, all of the following steps will be done. When
damage is not so bad a few steps are left out.
• Step 1 - Pull up carpet. • Step 2 - Remove affected pad. • Step 3 - Clean back of carpet. • Step 4 - Treat floor with an enzyme treatment. • Step 5 - Seal floor if needed with an odor barrier. • Step 6 - Treat back of carpet with enzyme treatment. • Step 7 - Install new tack strip. • Step 8 - Install new pad. • Step 9 - Re-install carpet. • Step 10 - Clean carpet.