No matter how well-trained household pets are, accidents are an inevitable part of life. However, permanent carpet pet stains don’t have to be! Take a look at these 5 tips for dealing with pet stains in your carpets for some handy suggestions on how to minimize the mess.
1. Catch it as early as you can!
One of the best ways to keep the long-term effects of pet messes to a minimum is to catch them early before the set into your carpet fibers. Once stains dry into the carpet, they’re much harder to remove.
The first thing to do when you find a puddle on the carpet is to immediately lay towels or napkins on top without pressing to soak up excess liquid. Then gently blot up as much as you can without pushing the mess deeper into the carpet.
2. Use common household items like vinegar and baking soda.
Vinegar and baking soda are both well-known odor neutralizers, and are often more commonly on hand in the house than specialized carpet cleaners are.
Once you’ve blotted up as much liquid as you can, pour a bit of vinegar on the stain and gently work it into the topmost layer of the carpet. Don’t press too hard. After letting it sit for a few minutes, sprinkle baking soda on top and leave it overnight before vacuuming everything away.
3. Use a wet vac if you’re using commercial cleaner.
Speaking of vacuums, carpet vacuums or “wet vacs” are a great way to thoroughly clean messes out of your carpet. After the majority of the stain has been blotted away, then you can use a carpet cleaner or wet-vac-friendly soap to thoroughly wash the carpet.
A good tip to keep in mind while cleaning up carpet pet stains with a wet vac is to clean the area around the stain first and work your way in. This will reduce any chances of the mess spreading.
4. Always choose a cleaner with enzymes for pet messes.
Whenever possible, follow up with an enzyme cleaner. These are specially formulated to neutralize pet odors in particular–even those that only your pet can smell.
If your pet can pick up on evidence that a spot in the carpet has been soiled in the past, they’ll be more likely to use the same spot again. Using an enzyme carpet cleaner will eliminate pet confusion and reduce the risk of future carpet pet stains.
5. Make sure you don’t over-soak your carpet.
No matter which combination of the aforementioned methods you use to tackle carpet pet stains, keep in mind that you don’t want to over-soak your carpet. Using too much water or vinegar to pull up the mess can carry the dirty liquid deeper into your carpets.
Similarly, excessive use of commercial carpet cleaners or other liquids can soak too far into your carpets and damage the backing, making them more susceptible to future damage or staining.
The first step in successfully removing carpet pet stains is to catch them early and blot away as much liquid as possible before it dries and sets. However, vinegar and baking soda will do a great job at lifting stains and neutralizing odors no matter when you put them to work.
Whether you start with vinegar and baking soda or opt for a commercial cleaner from the start, always look for a cleaner that’s formulated to neutralize pet odors with enzymes. This will do the best job at removing odors and preventing future messes.