If you have a pet, it is only a matter of time before Fido tinkles on your carpet or Kitty coughs up a hairball on your rug. No matter how well you train your pets, accidents happen. But if you don’t clean up the accident right away, you could be left with a nasty stain on your carpet or rug.
Keep your carpets looking as fresh as possible with the following tips.
Clean it as soon as possible
Ideally, you’ll clean up the mess as soon as you see it. This helps prevent the stain from getting deep into the fibers of your carpet or rug. For urine, soak up as much of the liquid as possible, then spray it with a mixture of water and vinegar, blot with towels, then let dry. This should help prevent a stain and smell from forming. For feces or vomit, carefully pick it up in a paper towel. Be careful not to push the mess further into the carpet. Afterward, spray it with a stain cleaner, scrub it with a bristle brush, and absorb any excess fluid with a towel. If there is a lingering smell, spray the area with a vinegar and water mixture or sprinkle baking soda over the area.
Check under furniture
Animals don’t only have accidents in the middle of the room where they’re easy to spot. If you smell an accident, but can’t find where it is located, start checking under furniture. Do this as soon as you smell something suspicious so that you can clean it up as soon as possible. Remember, the longer an accident site unattended, the more likely it will set into your carpet and leave a stain.
Lift stains with home remedies
Sometimes stains are unavoidable. If the puppy piddles on your floor as soon as you left for work, the urine has plenty of time to soak into the deep fibers of your carpet. If you come home to a stain, use a home remedy to lift the stain. Avoid using commercial cleaners that could potentially make your pet sick. A common solution is pouring white vinegar directly onto the area. Make sure the area is wet, but not soaked. Then, sprinkle baking powder over the vinegar. The mixture will begin to fizz. Allow the vinegar to dry completely, then vacuum up the baking soda. This should get rid of the stain and the smell.
Steam clean stubborn stains
If the stain is persistent despite soaking it with vinegar and baking soda, your next step is to steam clean your carpet. Steam carpet cleaning forces a pressurized stream of boiling water directly into your carpet. This loosens any debris and bacteria in your carpet, effectively cleaning and disinfecting the area. Once the carpet dries, it should be free of any stains. Most people rent a steam cleaner only once or twice a year. However, if your pet has frequent accidents, it may be worth the investment of purchasing one.
Neutralize the area
Sometimes pet smells will linger even after you’ve cleaned up the area and gotten rid of the stain. If your floor still smells like a litter box, you may need to use an enzyme-neutralizing cleaner. Look for one that is safe for pets. Before you use the cleaner on your entire carpet, test it on a small section to make sure that it won’t discolor your floor. If the smell continues to linger, the odor could be coming from the rug pad underneath your carpet. You may need to completely replace the pad to get rid of the odor.
Change your pet’s behavior
Accidents happen, but if your pet is developing a habit of urinating or defecating on your carpet, you’re going to need to change their behavior. For cats, persistently put them in their little box when you see them starting to go on the carpet. For dogs, schedule set times throughout the day and praise them when they do their business outside. Keeping them on a schedule helps prevent unwanted accidents. If your pet is genuinely struggling to hold their bladder or bowels, take them to the vet to rule out any health concerns.
Pets are delightful, but they are also messy. Take the time to immediately clean up any accidents your pet may have. If the accident leaves a stain, try home remedies before chemical solutions. Don’t yell at your pet for accidents; this could make your pet afraid of you and could lead to them have even more accidents in the house.