DIY Cleaning Methods: Removing Pet Urine & Cleaning Carpets

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What You'll Need
White vinegar
Paper towels
Baking soda
Scrubbing brush

Cat and dog urine stains are smelly and incredibly tough to get out of carpeting and other materials. In many cases, the products sold to eliminate the stains can smell just as bad. Plus, because pets are territorial, if the odor isn’t completely eliminated, the odds are good that they will soil the same location again and again.

Here’s a safe and effective way to neutralize pet urine so that your home will smell and look better.

Step 1—Wet

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1 quart of warm water. Lightly pour the solution onto the stain, but don’t over-saturate the area.

Step 2—Blot

Place dry paper towels over the stain and set something heavy on top of it. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours.

Step 3—Brush

Remove the paper towels and use a bristle brush to raise the carpet fibers back up.

If some of the odor remains, while the area is damp, sprinkle some baking soda onto the area and work it into the rug with the brush. After the area is dry, vacuum up the baking soda.

Keeping Carpets Clean and Odor-free

Even apart from the occasional pet accident, carpets see more traffic than virtually any other surface in the home, so cleaning them properly is key to maintaining a clean, healthy space. Here are a few essential tips for making sure your carpets are as clean as possible.

  • Vacuum your carpet a minimum of once a week, or more if you have pets.
  • Once a month, use the crevice tool on your vacuum near the baseboards and tough-to-reach areas.
  • On plush carpets, make multiple slow passes for the greatest benefit.
  • Test spot cleaner in an inconspicuous place to ensure colorfastness.
  • For deep cleaning, use a carpet cleaner with a rug shampoo and a rinse extractor. Once you deep clean an area, fluff the fibers against the nap to help bring the carpet back to life and to allow for more thorough drying. Make sure the room is well ventilated and avoid walking on the carpet while it is still damp.