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Even the best trained dogs and cats will occasionally have accidents in the house. Urine leaves a very unpleasant smell in the house that lingers when not properly cleaned. Cleaning urine is easier than one might think.
Animal urine is composed of three types of chemicals; urea, urochrome and uric acid. Urea is the sticky part of the urine that causes it to cling to fibers. Urochrome is the chemical that makes urine appear yellow. Uric acid is the part of animal urine that causes the most damage. It is composed of crystals that adhere to the carpet fiber and cause the reoccurring odor.
Start cleaning urine puddles by absorbing the liquid. Place a cloth or paper towel over the urine puddle and press down firmly. Never rub the cloth over the stain, as it spreads the uric acid crystals to other parts of the carpet where they attach to the fibers. Allow the cloth to sit until all the urine is absorbed.
The next step in cleaning urine is to dilute it. Pour water over the urine spot and absorb the liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel. Keep repeating this process until the yellow color of urochrome is no longer visible on the cloth.
Cleaning urine stains involves scrubbing the carpet with a basic stain remover and a scrub brush. Stain remover will remove the stain itself and the yellow discoloration. Scrub in a circular motion, beginning on the inside of the stain and working outwards.
The process of cleaning urine involves an additional step that removing other types of stains don't require. You have to use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the uric acid that clings to the carpet fibers or the smell will linger until the carpet is replaced. Enzymatic cleaners can be found at pet supply stores in the cat litter aisle. Pour the cleaner directly on the urine stain and allow it to penetrate into the carpet and padding.
Absorb the remaining liquid with a dry cloth. When thoroughly dry, vacuum the carpet to pull the fibers upward and remove the remaining uric acid crystals. Vacuuming the carpet when it is still wet may result in electrocution.
Sprinkle an odor-removing carpet powder on the carpet and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Check for stains and odors. Repeat the process of cleaning urine stains if necessary.
My youngest grandson had a urinary accident in our guest bedroom a few months ago, and we found out first hand how difficult cleaning urine from a mattress can be. We had to take it outside in order to air out the room. My wife decided to buy enzymatic cleaners from a pet store instead of trying anything from the human stores.
I think we did a few cycles of spraying with the enzymatic pet urine removers and drying the mattress outside in the sun. After a few days, I felt like we had done as much as we could. We put the mattress back on the box springs with the stained side down, then added a new mattress topper. So far I haven't noticed any urine odors coming from that room, but I may be a little nose blind because of all that time spent cleaning the mattress.
One thing I learned about cleaning urine is to try to get it up as soon as possible. If you decide it can wait for a few hours, or if it happens overnight, you may find yourself dealing with a much bigger and smellier problem. It doesn't take long for urine to become thicker in consistency and stronger in odor, so pet owners need to at least throw down some paper towels or newspaper if they can't get to the mess right away.
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