One reason that many people avoid having pets is that they are worried about potential housebreaking accidents. Cat and dog urine can be very hard to remove, especially the lingering smell. Cat urine is especially difficult to remove and the smell is distinctive and strong. In fact, the odor is so distinctive that there is even a new marijuana strain named after it, the Cheetah Piss Strain.
However, the good news is that you can remove the stain and odor from animal accidents if you take the correct steps. The most important thing to do when cleaning up a pet accident is to do it right away. A fresh accident is much easier to clean up than a dried one, and if you clean it right away you are much less likely to have to deal with lingering odors. Here are some of the things you can try to help clean a pet accident thoroughly:
Blot the Area
As soon as you notice an accident, use paper towels to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Do this multiple times until there’s nothing else to remove. This will help to prevent the smell from spreading and becoming more difficult to remove. The more liquid that you can remove, the easier it will be to eliminate any lingering smell.
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Use an Enzymatic Cleaner
Enzymatic cleaners are specially designed to break down the proteins in urine and feces, which are the main sources of odor in house training accidents. Look for a cleaner specifically designed for pet messes.
In most cases, these cleaners are designed to be used immediately for the best results, so if possible, use them after you have soaked up as much liquid as you can, but before the area dries. Follow the instructions on the cleaner for the best results, and remember that some solutions can stain or bleach some surfaces.
Mix one part white vinegar with one part water and apply the solution to the affected area. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before blotting up the excess liquid with a clean cloth. Vinegar can help to remove the smell of urine because the acid in the vinegar can help to neutralize the alkalines in the urine and break it down. Some experts recommend using vinegar first and then following it with the enzymatic cleaner for the best results.
Another advantage of using vinegar is the strong smell helps to mask and break down the ammonia scent, reducing the temptation for the animal to use that area again.
You can also try using baking soda on an area that smells of pet urine. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. Baking soda has been used for years as a deodorant and odor-neutralizer. It’s used for many different smells and odors, so it may help with pet urine.
Remember not to apply it at the same time as you apply vinegar, or the chemical reaction that occurs may keep either from working well. Once baking soda and vinegar have combined, you are left with a few different substances, including water and carbon dioxide, neither of which will help with your urine problem.
Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Apply the solution to the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before blotting it up with a clean cloth. You can also try using hydrogen peroxide alone. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be an effective bleaching agent and it is especially good at removing stains such as blood.
It may also be effective at removing stains from pet housetraining accidents. This will work best if you are able to clean the stains when they are fresh. Remember that hydrogen peroxide can cause bleaching so test it in a hidden area if you are worried that your carpet or other stained surfaces might be affected.
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Once you have removed all of the stains and cleaned the area as much as you can, you may still notice a small amount of odor in the area. Try placing odor-absorbing products such as activated charcoal, baking soda, or cat litter in a container near the affected area to absorb any lingering odors.
Over time, these absorbers will help with the smell in the room. You may have to leave them in place for several days or weeks to remove the rest of the odors.
You can also try using a steam cleaner to clean the affected area. The high temperature will kill any bacteria and help remove the smell. Steam cleaning may set in any remaining stain, however, so make sure that you have removed any visible remains from the pet accident before using the steam cleaner.
Steam cleaning is also not safe for all surfaces, and can damage unsealed wood floors. However, steam is fine on most floors.
Along with using odor absorbers near the accident, you can also use an air purifier to help remove any lingering odors in the air. Running an air purifier can help to make the room smell better, but if there is any lingering odor on the surface or any remaining urine, the smell will return once the air purifier is removed. This is why the initial thorough cleaning is the most important step to removing odor.
For hard cases, such as old pet stains, lingering odors, or long-lasting problems, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area. This is useful if the pet accident has happened repeatedly, it wasn’t noticed in time to clean before it was dried, or in the case of pet hoarding or animal neglect.
In some situations, people will notice odor problems after they move into a newly leased or purchased home, and professional cleaning may be the best way to find and remove these problems.
The best way to remove the smell of house training accidents is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Be sure to supervise your pet and provide plenty of opportunities for them to go outside. Crate training is one of the best ways to help avoid accidents because most pets are hesitant to use the bathroom in their bedding area.
Once animals are older and better trained, they may be able to roam the house unattended, but many owners prefer to keep them in their crates while they are gone to help prevent accidents and chewing problems, and because the animals feel safe and secure in their crates.