Welcome, fair readers, to the third part of our Stain and Odor series of posts. We’ve walked you through cleaning pet messes and particularly bad odors, but now we’d like to talk about the science behind cleaning; it really does takes a lab coat to create some truly innovative stain- and odor-destroying products. In this post, we’ve interviewed our resident stain and odor specialist, Scott Plasek to figure out how a stain and odor product is tested and produced: pet-chemistry Live The Pet Life: What goes on behind the scenes in Simple Solution’s Pet Stain & Odor Lab? Scott Plasek: First, as you can imagine, we do a lot of stuff that is smelly and messy! We build formulations that are designed to remove the nasty stuff your dog or cat leaves behind, so we handle things that most people don’t want to. Second, we deal with a lot of science, such as breaking down organic waste materials to base-level science so we can figure out how to remove them from surfaces. And third, we have to be knowledgeable about the properties of all surfaces that could receive pet stain and odors to make sure we build formulations that will not harm them. chemistry-vials-chemicals LTPL: How do you find the right formula for your products? SP: We always start with the science of the waste product that we need to remove. By breaking down the waste compounds, we can build a base formulation that will work effectively at removing the problem area. Then we test, test again, and then test some more until we get the results that make the best formula. LTPL: What’s the difference between liquid and foam when it comes to pet stain and odor removers? SP: Contrary to belief, foam is not always the best solution to a waste problem. In terms of stains, foam does tend to lift dirt and other materials from fibers in carpet, but does not work well when it comes to odors, when contact time is key. For odors, longer contact time is always better, so more liquid and less foam is best.     LTPL: What can you tell our readers about the machine that tests your products on carpets? SP: We love our machine! We use it to test for a number of things, such as removal of pet waste material by weight. The machine measures the carpet or surface and lets us know if, when cleaned with our Simple Solution formulas, the items will return to their original brightness or color. LTPL: What are the hardest pet stains for you to test? SP: Blood is always the hardest stain to remove from anything, especially once set. Simple Solution products are designed to work effectively on blood stains, new or old. For new stains, blot with a cloth to remove excess, saturate the spot, blot some more. For old stains, thoroughly saturate the stain and let sit. After the stain starts to loosen from the surface, saturate again and start to blot. When dry, vacuum. For severe blood stains, it may take multiple applications. LTPL: What happens when the “good” bacteria in your products fight the “bad” bacteria that cause pet odors? SP: Bacteria live all around us, constantly. Normal pet waste contains bacteria that help make an odor that people do not like. We engineer the bacteria in the Simple Solution products to find these odor-causing bacteria and they become the food for the good bacteria. The most important part to know is that bacteria must have moisture to live and thrive, so to help these “good” bacteria win out, you must thoroughly saturate the area and let it sit.   LTPL: Have you ever met a pet stain or odor that defeated you? SP: Not yet. In pet stain and odor, the main issue for consumers is not using enough product. A good rule of thumb is this: a normal size dog’s urine spot on the carpet will require at least a quarter of the bottle (8 oz.) of Simple Solution product to remove the new spot. This will ensure that there are enough bacteria to thrive and consume the bad bacteria. For stains, spray and wait for the formula to work as per the instructions. Many consumers spray and remove immediately, which is not the right way. Spray and let the product work and you will see great results.   LTPL: Do you have any insider tips from your lab that you can share with our readers? SP: Yes, I would be happy to:

  1. Read the [product’s] directions and follow them.
  2. Apply the right amount of product; using less than what is needed will not get the results you want.
  3. Use the right product for your needs. OXY products work great on stains and not so good on odors, while bacteria products work great on odor-causing areas and not as great on stains.

A big thanks to Scott and Simple Solution for the great information! If you have any questions about a specific stain and odor, you can check out our posts on the topic, leave a message in the comments, or even contact Simple Solution directly!