They’re what pet parents call “unwelcome surprises.” Pet messes. And you never know where you’re going to find them. There could be pee or poop on the carpet, or vomit on the floor. If you can deal with them right away, you’re in luck. If not, they can be harder to remove. That’s why we’re sharing some expert tips to help you conquer tough pet stains on carpets and other surfaces.
First though, let’s state the obvious. If you have a dog, take her for lots of walks so she can do her business outside! And if you’re going to be away from home for long stretches of time, put down dog pads so she has a place to go to go potty indoors. We like the new OUT! Ultimate Pro-Grip dog pads that don’t slip or bunch up (that means less pet mess!). That’s the easiest way to deal with pet messes in the house.
If you have a cat, consider getting him a jumbo-sized cat litter box and filling it with lots of litter. That way he can bury his pee and poop and avoid the “I’m not getting into that dirty litter box” syndrome. Or you can splurge on a self-cleaning automatic litter box so your kitty has a clean bed of litter every time he goes potty. One worth checking out: the Litter Robot. And if the litter-box just isn’t cutting it? Check out our article on how to get your cat to use the litter box again.
Even if you follow these steps, you’re still sometimes going to have to deal with pet “accidents.” But that’s okay, you can handle those. We would know, too — we literally wrote the (e)book on cleaning pet stains and odors. If you’re around when they happen, quickly scoop/blot up the mess with paper towels. Then soak the stain with a pet stain and odor remover. Always start by adding product from the outside and work your way in toward the stain. This keeps the pet mess contained and allows the stain and odor to work. And don’t be stingy, use enough! Let it dry – don’t remove it immediately, you need to let it do its job – and when it’s dry, vacuum.
But what if you’re not around and the stain sets? You do need to treat old, tough pet stains differently than new stains, according to Scott Plasek, the stain and odor expert with Simple Solution. These are his tips for conquering tough pet stains:
For tough stains in carpets, use a stain and odor remover with an Oxygen-activated (Oxy) formula, like Simple Solution’s Orange Oxy Charged formula. If the stain is really deep in your carpet, buy or rent a carpet cleaning machine – if you don’t already have one – and use a professional-strength carpet shampoo formulated to remove pet stains. For stains on hard surfaces, (e.g., hardwood, tile and concrete), you’ll need to use a multi-surface pet stain cleaner with an OXY formula.
With the spray cleaners, saturate the stain and let it sit. You’ll need to use more of the cleaner than for new stains, and let it stay wet for longer. After the stain starts to loosen, flood the stain again and blot. Let it dry. Vacuum. Repeat if needed until the stain is gone.
If you’re using a carpet shampoo in a carpet cleaning machine, follow these three steps. First, use a pre-treat on all stains. This will help loosen the stain material from the carpet fibers before the machine agitates the fibers to clean them. Second, use the right amount of carpet shampoo; more is “not” better in this case. By using the right amount, you’re helping make sure the stain is removed, along with the residue of the shampoo. Too much shampoo will overwhelm the machine’s capacity to remove it from the carpet. Lastly, if the stain is extreme, has been on the carpet for some time or has been saturated multiple times, it may require more than one application. So, pre-treat, clean and let dry again.
Two more tips from Scott: Look for products that don’t leave a chemical residue and are safe to use around pets and people. And always follow the instructions on the product’s label for best results!