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Dos and Don’ts for Pet Stains in Carpet

With 68% of U.S. households home to one or more cats and dogs, it’s no surprise that getting pet stains out of carpet is on the short list of homeowners’ daily concerns. If you’ve ever been frustrated that a pet stain hasn’t fully disappeared no matter how hard you scrub, this article is for you. We’ll tell you everything you need to know to get your carpets looking fresh and new again.

DO: Strike when the stain is fresh

You stand a much better chance of completely removing pet stains from your carpet if you hit them while they’re fresh. For a fresh urine stain, start by grabbing paper towels and placing layers on top of the stain. Apply pressure by standing on the paper towels (pro tip: this works best with shoes on), and repeat the process until the area is barely damp. Follow with your normal carpet spot cleaner and say goodbye to the stain.

For solid messes, remove as much as you can from the surface, taking care not to work it further into the carpet—to help with this, you can use a putty knife and dust pan to lift away messes without affecting the nap. Once all the solid material is removed, use a spot cleaner to take care of the rest.

DON’T: Use hot water for pet stains

Whenever you want something really clean, you use hot water, right? When you’re dealing with pet stains on carpet, this couldn’t be more wrong. Pet stains contain proteins that actually bond with carpet fibers when heated, so using hot water will set those stains permanently. So unhand that steam cleaner and use cold water to get the stain out.

DO: Use an enzymatic carpet cleaner

Most commonly available carpet spot cleaners just mask odors and even contain brightening pigments that cover stains instead of truly removing them. Enzymatic carpet treatments, on the other hand, work by actually breaking down stains and neutralizing them. To use an enzymatic carpet cleaner effectively for pet stains, start by removing most of the staining material, then spray the area with cleaner, making sure to use enough so it reaches down to the carpet pad. Let the enzymes work their magic overnight, then vacuum in the morning.

DON’T: Scrub the pet stain out

Similar to using hot water, you’d think that the only way to get your carpet really clean is to scrub the heck out of it. Resist the urge to do this, seriously. Scrubbing can easily damage the nap of your carpet and lead to bigger problems than stains. To avoid breaking down the fibers of your carpeting, remember to blot—this motion still helps release any staining material from the carpet without damaging it.

DO: Try a natural remedy

If you’re not into the idea of using chemicals to get pet stains out of your carpet, the time-trusted combo of vinegar and baking soda can work wonders, too. Before you run for the pantry, though, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. If you put the baking soda down first, you’re in for a fizzy mess that doesn’t do much good. Instead, start with the vinegar, using enough to dampen the carpet fibers thoroughly. Next, apply baking soda on top of the vinegar. You should hear some crackling, and you’ll begin to see the once-white baking soda start taking on the color of the stain. Wait until the area is dry, vacuum and you’re good to go.

DON’T: Expect stains to disappear in one pass

You’ve cleaned a stain, the carpet looks great, and the next day you look again and the stain’s back. Sound familiar? It’s not because you did a bad job the first time. This common occurrence is actually caused by a process called “wicking,” where staining material deep in the carpet backing and pad travels up into the fibers. Depending on the severity of the stain, you may have to visit it several times before it fully disappears.

National Property Inspections is your source for all kinds of tips to help you keep your household clean and safe for your family. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Making a Better Move With Kids and Pets

Help ease the stress of moving for children and pets.

To help children make the transition from an old home to a new home, try to ease some of the initial fear or apprehension by offering information:

  • Look up things about the new home online, on maps or in reference books. Make a scavenger hunt or other game out of the activity.
  • Have a special goodbye or moving party. Make sure to collect addresses and phone numbers. Consider giving older kids prepaid phone cards to help them stay connected.
  • Pack a special moving box for each child with snacks, a favorite toy, pillow and other special possessions. Help them place it in their new room first to help it feel like home.
  • Go on a memory walk inside and outside the home you are leaving as a family. As you discuss memories, it might be easy to point out that most of the memories involve the family and not the walls they live in.
  • Walk the new home. Discuss similarities and differences. Explore the home with interest.
  • Re-establish family routines as quickly as possible. This will reassure children that some things never change.
  • Visit new schools and new neighborhoods as a family to help children acclimate and find friends. Join local activities.

Moving With Pets
Moving to a new home with pets can mean some trying times. Try limiting the pet to a “safe” room. Make sure familiar toys, beds and dishes are available and let the pet explore the house and neighborhood slowly. When you leave, put the pet in that room. Once boxes are unpacked and furniture is in its place, allow the pet to explore slowly. Keep dogs on a leash to prevent meeting your neighbors while searching for your lost pets.

(Part of the above information obtained from the Humane Society of the United States.)