All dog owners need to know how to remove dog urine odor from carpet.
Few things are more frustrating than trying to keep your home clean and it seems like your dog is secretly conspiring against you. We all want our home to look clean and smell fresh. the problem is we love our animals too and they can make your job very difficult. It seems like no matter how hard you work we still have polka dotted carpets and it smells like you live in a kennel. Okay maybe that’s a little extreme but you get the picture.
It seems no matter who we ask or where we look for answers everybody says something different. do we use vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, one of twenty different products at the supermarket or Home Center? what in the world are we supposed to do? Most people have tried some if not all of these so-called remedies without success. Many have even tried “professional” cleaners again without success. There has to be a way doesn’t there? Someone must have an answer right?
Well yes, of course, there’s an answer, there’s always a right way to do something it’s just a matter of figuring out who has the correct answer. After spending over 20 years working in the cleaning industry and spending many hours in the classroom getting certified and trained I can give you these answers. It turns out there’s a good reason why you haven’t been able to find any answers in this area. because this is not an easily fixed problem. There is no simply spray this on and your problem is fixed cleaning product. There is no simple remedy to cure this problem, this is going to take some work. So let’s Dive Right In and get to it.
Why is removing dog urine from carpet so difficult?
The first problem is if your dog has an accident on the carpet it isn’t going to stay on the surface of your carpet. You see carpet is a porous surface so any liquid on the surface will quickly make its way through the carpet and into the padding underneath. So unless you have a specially designed pet pad then your padding actually will have more of the urine in it than your carpet will have. This is because the carpet pad is nothing more than foam, so under your carpet is basically a sponge. The more your pet goes on your carpet the more the padding under your carpet will become saturated. This is such a problem because you can’t reach it. You can treat the carpet all you want but the odor is coming from the padding.
Another problem is that when you treat the spot from the surface of the carpet you end up getting the padding wet. What do you think happens when urine in your pad gets wet. This is how it works. Your pet has an accident, and you clean it up the best you can. However, you didn’t get it out of the pad so the spot will dry out and you will forget about it. Until you sit down near that old spot one day and pow that smell hits you upside the head. You see urine has a sneaky trick that it deploys when you least expect it. It lies in wait for a humid day and starts to absorb moisture right out of the air in your home triggering the smell all over again. This is because when the urine dries out it leaves ammonia crystals which will never truly dry out and the more humid your home becomes the more your spot with reactivate and start to smell again. This can be a real problem if you clean your carpet as well because you are introducing water into the problem area. This is why when somebody that has urine spots that are not visible will develop an odor problem when they get their carpet cleaned. The water used to clean the carpet is reactivating the ammonia crystals and causing odor.
The next problem we run into with urine spots is as it starts to dry out the pH of the spot will change from acidic to alkaline.in fact very alkaline so much in fact that it can remove the color from certain types of carpet causing permanent damage.
you need to understand how pH works.
What is pH and how does it affect how you will clean your pet spot. pH is pretty complicated so let’s try to keep it simple. Think of it like this pH our way of saying if something is acidic (lemon juice) or alkaline (Ammonia). when something is very alkaline it can be damaging to certain carpet fibers. Also when we clean something we need to know what the pH is so we can use the proper cleaning product in order to remove the stain. What you want to do is use a cleaning product that is the opposite pH of the spot are removing.
so if the pet spot that is fresh it will be slightly acidic so you want to use an alkaline cleaner. as opposed to a spot that is old in which you will need to use an acidic cleaner. However, if you’re treating a fresh thought you should clean it with your alkaline cleaner and then follow it up with an acid treatment in order to keep any bacterial growth to a minimum.
I know this all sounds very complicated.
So let’s make it a little bit easier. there are some cleaning products available today that can sort of break these rules. They are what’s called oxidizers, oxidizers are alkaline but it can be used very effectively in removing pet spots or stains and removing odor from carpet. I will get into how to use these in just a little bit.
First I want to go over the problem of pet stains causing a permanent stain. These things can happen for several reasons. Sometimes it can be the animal is just old and therefore might have some health issues that are causing the stains. Other times it can be a medication or vitamin mix that your dog is taking. sometimes it can even be a result of the food that your dog is being fed. When dealing with these types of stains where they are either a bright yellow or a dark gold color it’s imperative that you get to them as soon as you find them. Otherwise, you may not be able to remove the stain.
Typically urine odor is the biggest issue that most people have when we’re talking about pet spots. Fresh urine typically will not have much older at all unless you’re dog is sick. however, after the urine sits for a length of time bacterial growth will happen. As the bacteria grow they will begin to have their own waste. This is where the odor comes from.
Why don’t pet odor removers work?
Usually, if you go into a store and you buy a pet odor product you will usually get is an enzyme product. Now enzymes work great when they’re wet and kept at a certain temperature. The problem is that in your home it is not easy to keep those areas wet nor are you able to keep the area at a specific temperature. As a result, as soon as these products dry out they stop working. When they stop working the bacteria will continue to grow all over again. As a result, you continue to buy the same product to treat the same stain forever. Wow, that sounds like a way to get you to buy a lot of product. I was in a house just the other day and there were three bottles of these products on the counter in various states of use. They are not going to work so your first step is to stop buying these products.
Nobody wants their house to smell bad. We are also not willing to get rid of our animals. So what’s the answer what can we do about this odor? luckily there are some cleaning products that are dual purpose so if you’re dealing with a stain as well as odor one or two products will be all that you need.
So let’s get into how to remove dog urine and stains from carpet.
For a fresh urine spot:
What you will need
- Spot cleaner
- Vinegar (Mix 1 part vinegar 3 parts water)
That’s typically all you will need for a simple pet spot that’s fresh. all you need to do is spray on your spot cleaner and blot it up with a towel. You will want to do this a couple of times just to make sure that you’re not getting any more transfer into your towel. When it is no longer yellow you’re ready to move on. Now what you need to do is saturate the area with vinegar let it sit for a few minutes that soak the excess up with a towel.
So what you doing here is removing the urine with your spot cleaner. Then when you apply the vinegar what you’re doing is preventing bacterial growth bacteria don’t grow well in an acidic environment. you’re going to want to apply enough vinegar so that if your pad has urine in it it’s also making contact with the vinegar. what I recommend is use a spraybottle and apply it till it’s very wet. that’s it walk away and let it sit for a while before you soak it up. If there is any color left in the spot see the next step.
There is one more technique I’d like to teach you.
This is for those of you that have a carpet cleaning machine or a Shop-Vac. What you want to do is using just the hose of the machine put it directly down on to the spot you were treating And turn the machine on. Then pull up slightly on the hose this should pull the carpet slightly off of the pad. Next, take your vinegar mixture usually a large cup full should do for most spots. As you were pulling up slightly on the carpet slowly pour the vinegar mixture onto the spot and around a hose. what this will do is flush the urine out of the carpet and directly into the vacuum Without getting an excessive amount of moisture into the pad.
For an old urine spot with no odor. Or a new spot that didn’t come out with vinegar.
What you will need.
- Urine stain remover
Remember when we talked about oxidizers this urine stain remover is an oxidizer. It’s specifically designed to attack the color of urine stains. If you find a stain that you didn’t notice until it dried out and there’s a yellow stain on your carpet. First, start by doing a vinegar treatment and absorb with a towel till you get no more transfer. Then apply this product. You will want to make sure it’s efficiently damp but not sopping wet. if you Spray one treatment of this product and the stain is not gone after the area is dry you can apply a second time. Now you’ll see that I recommend wearing gloves, this product can really sting your hands you don’t want to use it without gloves. However, if you are like me you’re not going to listen to this advice and you’ll still get it on your hands just wash them off with clear water it will not do any lasting harm. Now it goes without saying that you’re going to keep your pet off of this area until it’s completely dry.
Removing old dog urine and odor from carpet
What you will need
- A shop vac or carpet cleaning machine
this product is another kind of oxidizer. however, it’s used a little differently. This product is designed to saturate the carpet as well as the pad. Now I’m going to go over two ways to do this type of treatment.
the first type of treatment I’m going to tell you how to do is a single spot that’s causing odor. for the single spot you’re going to
need to mix up depending on the size of the spot about a quarter gallon if the spot is about a foot round for a smaller spot, you can mix a smaller quantity. The directions on the bottle are pretty self-explanatory however let’s go into how to do this treatment.
First of all this product needs to be mixed very hot would I recommend about a half hour before you’re ready to do this treatment turn up your water heater all the way. Afterward, don’t forget to turn it back down. Next, put as much of this hot water as you need into a small bucket. Then, add the proper amount of product into your water and stir until dissolved. One thing to be aware of making sure there’s a sufficient amount of room in your bucket because this product is going to foam significantly. After your product is dissolved what you want to do is pour it directly on top of your spot slowly let it soak in as you go. You need to add as much product as necessary to duplicate the size of the spot. Before I go any further one word of caution if you have wood subfloors you may not want to do this treatment as it will damage your subfloor. If you do have wood subfloors you can still do this treatment however you cannot soak it nearly as much nor leave it as long.
Now you want to let it soak typically for 30 to 45 minutes. After that time is up what you want to do is use a Shop-Vac or carpet cleaning machine to extract as much water as possible from the spot. After that fold up a terry cloth towel into a small square and stand on the spot in order to soak up as much water as possible from your padding underneath. now if possible use a small fan to dry the area as fast as possible.
Removing dog odor from carpet where you can get to the padding.
What you will need
- Odor barrier (or Kilz primer)
- New padding
- Padding tape
- Pad glue or staples
- Pump up sprayer or paint brush and paint roller
- Painters plastic
- Large paint stir stick
- Blue painters tape
- Large carpet cleaning machine
- Carpet installation tools (rental centers have these kits)
This type of treatment is for areas that have severe odor contamination. If what you need is a nuclear strike of odor removal this is it. This is exactly how I as professional would remove severe odor from carpet and pad. This can be used in any area with any type of subfloor ( concrete or wood) where the contamination is close enough to a wall that we can pull the carpet back to expose the padding underneath.
This is quite the process so be prepared for some work. But keep in mind this process can run into several hundred dollars for a professional to do.
First, you will need to pull the carpet back from the exposed area. You can do this sometimes with just your fingers Corners are the easiest. Grab tight on to the corner of the carpet and pull hard. if it doesn’t come loose you may need to use some pliers to get a good grip on the carpet. once the carpet starts to pull back slowly pull. It will peel off of the tack strip holding it by the walls. As you pull it back be careful especially if you see a seam because the seems can be weak when they’re exposed to urine for any length of time. if you do run into a seam you want to pull it directly from the edge of the wall till you get past the seam. You will want to continue to pull back the carpet until you are past the point where the urine contamination is.
Once the carpet is pulled back typically you’ll be able to see how much contamination you have by looking at the reverse of the carpet. The backside of the carpet will show where your stains are and how many. This isn’t always the case but most of the time you’ll be able to clearly see the stains on the reserve side of the carpet.
The next step is to remove the contaminated pad from the subfloor. You will need to use a utility knife with a brand new blade to cut the padding you don’t have to cut in a perfectly straight line just make sure that you remove any of the contaminated pad. Once you have the pad area cut out you’ll be able to pull it off of your floor. if you have a concrete floor this will be glued down and if it’s a wood floor you’ll have Staples to remove. Clean this area thoroughly with a scraper to get off any residual glue or make sure the staples are removed.
after the padding remove you will need to wipe down the subfloor with a vinegar and water solution. you don’t need to work too hard at this just wipe it down.
now you will need to apply the odor barrier or Kilz primer
if you’re using the odor barrier you can apply it with a brush or a roller. You will need to brush the edges, You want to cover any of the tack strip that were affected with urine. Then you can use a roller to do any flat areas. as an alternative to this, it can be sprayed onto the affected surface with a pump up sprayer.
If you are going to use the Kilz primer simply paint the surface with the primer that has been affected.
Next, you will be covering the area with 2 mil plastic sheeting material. This can be purchased at any Home Center in the painting area. you will want to cover the entire area with one sheet of plastic extending up the walls about 6 in. In addition, make sure that the plastic extends about 1 foot past where the old padding was removed.use some painters tape to keep the plastic from falling down next to the wall. when you’re finished with the step what you’ve made is sort of a shallow tub. this is where we’re going to treat the affected carpet. At this point, you can lay the carpet back down and get ready to mix the OSR.
how much you mix is dependent on how big your area is typically it’s going to take about 1 gallon per 3 square feet to treat with this product. So if you’re mixing for 10 ft I would Mix 4 gallons just to make sure you have enough. Now to mix this product remember about a half hour before you’re going to be ready to mix you want to turn your water heater up all the way to make sure we have very hot water. Fill the bucket as much as you need with hot water. next start adding your product to the bucket. Once you added as much product as you need begin to stir. You will want to stir until the product is completely dissolved. Remember this product is going to foam so you will not want to fill the bucket all the way with water even if you need 5 gallons don’t fill a 5-gallon bucket to the top or you will quickly be overflowing the bucket. In fact, what I typically will do is fill the bucket with hot water move it to the area you going to treat then add the product to the bucket there. That way if it overflows it doesn’t really matter because you’re already at the area being treated. After the product is Thoroughly dissolved simply dump the buckets into the area making sure that you don’t overflow your plastic liner.
Next, we’re going to wait for about 1/2 hour. during this time I typically will use a stiff broom or brush of some sort to go over the area making sure it is Thoroughly wet. As you’re waiting you will notice that your area is now a bubbling Brew. This is the oxidation process happening.
after the half-hour is over it’s time to extract all of the water from the area using the carpet extractor. Keep in mind we are only extracting the water we are not rinsing with water this product will continue to work until it is completely dry and then after it dries it will self-neutralize leaving no residue behind.
If this was an area of severe contamination where your pet has gone there many many times you may want to do this last step two times in order to remove the maximum amount of contamination.
when the treatment is finished and the water is extracted pull back the carpet and now it’s time to install the new padding and reinstall your carpet. First for the padding. Before we do the padding you want to trim the plastic back to the edge of the tack strip with the utility knife. You also want to trim it to the edge of the padding. Next, lay a piece of padding that overlaps the existing padding by about 6 inches. now with a brand new blade in your utility knife extended all the way out cut through both pieces of padding. Doing it this way will allow you to have a perfect fit on this new piece of padding. Just continue cutting both pieces of pad until you have your perfect fit. Once you have the perfect fit remove the extra cut pieces and tape the two pieces together using your pad tape. Next glue or staple the pad into place.
once your pad is down you will want to use the knee kicker in the carpet installation kit to gently pull the carpet towards the wall. As you do this the tack strip will grab onto the carpet and keep it in place. When you’re doing this don’t kick too hard damp carpet can be easy to tear so go easy on it. After you’ve kicked it towards the wall all the way around you’ll want to take the item that looks like a chisel and gently push the carpet down towards the floor next to the wall.
that’s it you’re done just let it dry.
I know that’s a lot of information but this subject is huge anybody that has a pet has this issue and I wanted to make sure that you knew how to take care of it the right way. there’s far too much misinformation out there and bad products that don’t work and waste your money. Stop buying the products that don’t work and start actually removing the odor and getting rid of these things the right way. start doing your cleaning like a professional.