If you are potty training, have a family member with incontinent issues or have a new pet, the chances are you are going to end with a few accidents on your floors or chairs. Urine is not the easiest of stains to clean up as it is the salt within the urine that crystallizes and acts as a desiccant – this means that the salts attract moisture and never really dry out, so on hot days or rainy days the smell may become worse.
Some cleaning agents will help remove the stain and the odors but most just mask the smell on a temporary basis only; as the months and even years pass after the urine stain has been left the salts will still be active and it is these properties that form bacteria and make the smell that lingers in the air. In order to get rid of nasty smells altogether we need to clean the stain and deodorize the area
There are several chemical based products available for dealing with all types of urine stains from pets to people and a selection can be found here and I would also recommend washing the carpets with clothes washing powder, as not only will this clean the stain but will also deodorize the area too.
However, if you wish to attack the cleaning in a more natural way, below are some tips and techniques to try:
ALWAYS, always, always dab up as much of the pee before attempting to clean. Note the word DAB not rub. Use an old rag you can wash, paper towels or even newspaper. Stand on the cloth and apply pressure to the pee stain, keep repeating this cycle until the the paper towels/cloth does not seen to be absorbing any further. This step is the first step regardless of if you are using chemical or natural methods, the less pee we have to deal with the better right?
1. Using Vinegar – Use neat in a spray bottle or at a 80:20 dilution if you would prefer to weaken the smell a little. Always test on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first. Spray the vinegar mist over the damp patch – the vinegar will not remove the urine but it will help to break it down and loosen it from the fibers of your carpets or furniture. Once sprayed, get scrubbing… rinse and repeat the cycle if necessary. When the carpet has been scrubbed within an inch of its life (especially important if puppy wee to stop them follow their own scent and peeing in exactly the same spot again!), dab up any excess water and sprinkle the carpet with baking soda, leave over night and vacuum up the next morning
2. Using baking powder – Using 1 part baking powder and 2 parts water, make a paste that should be a toothpaste like consistency. Scrub the paste into the damp spot and again, using elbow grease get scrubbing the spot. Once you have scrubbed the fibres with the paste, leave on the stain over night – wash and dab dry the following day
Once the stain has been washed always deodorizer the area with a sprinkle of baking powder, the use of a perfumed fabric spray or household items such as mouthwash
3. If you find that the smell or stain isn’t lifting after chemical and natural methods then it is time to call in a professional carpet cleaner to treat much deeper into the fibers
4. However sometimes no matter what you do it may already be too late and the carpet or an area or carpet will need replacing – if urine has gone unnoticed and was not cleaned straight away it will seep in past the fibers to the backing of the carpet and into the underlay to the floor or through to your cushions if a sofa – this is as serious problems and all the baking powder in the world will not help.
Prevention is most certainly better than cure in the case of urine, so my advice is to always have your product of choice and cloths ready to use in an accessible area as if you are about to embark on a puppy or start potty training a toddler, you need to be on “Pee Patrol” and ready to act straight away on those little accidents that happen