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How to Remove Pet Stains & Odors

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Pets can make plenty of smelly messes on the carpet, and If you have a puppy or kitten living in your home, then you are probably all too familiar with the challenge of removing pet stains from carpet. Pet urine can cause permanent damage to your floors and fabrics if not treated right away. It can also create an unhealthy indoor environment.

The Science of Pet Urine Stains

When urine is first deposited onto a floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acid side of the pH Scale. It is in this state that it is the easiest to remove…while it’s fresh. The warm acid state of the urine offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begins to flourish almost immediately. In this original acid state the urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a color change, which will become permanent if the urine is not removed immediately.

Once it dries it becomes “alkaline” with a pH between 10 to 12 on the scale and becomes more difficult to remove. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fabric or floor type, it will change the dye structure, therefore causing permanent staining. Even if the soluble deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already have been done.

Urine also presents additional odor problems when the relative humidity is high. The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries are hydrophilic and draw water to them. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months because the salts attract the moisture, the moisture evaporates putting out a greater proportion of odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet to get rid of the odor. That’s why cleaning existing urine spots WILL NOT remove any associated odor. In fact, it could INCREASE the odor in the air space for a temporary period of time.


For those willing to undertake the challenge themselves, the best tool we can recommend is a small spot removal machine like this one. We recommend something small because the more convenient it is, the more likely you are to get it out for an accident. If you can get the urine up while it is fresh you will have a much better chance of 100% removal. Simply suck the urine right out of the carpet right away.

Enzymes are the best cleaning agent for urine, vomit and feces. An enzyme is the only cleaning agent that actually eats up the bad bacteria. For the best results, use an enzyme spotter after you have rinsed the carpet, especially if the spot is not a fresh one. We recommend Nature’s Miracle. Always read the directions before use!

Products to Avoid

Try to stay away from products with high pH such as ammonia, Resolve and oxygen bleaches. These products will leave the carpet with a residue and in a high pH state, which will enable the carpet to attract dirt like a magnet. In some instances the use of these wrong products can cause the urine stain to become permanent. Please call Clean Indeed first at 515-441-1918 if you are unsure about a product you wish to try.

How Professionals Remove Odor

Remember, in order to remove the odor, all of the alkaline salt deposits the urine leaves behind must be completely removed. This can be quite extensive and time consuming. In worse cases, all of the following steps will be done. When damage is not so bad a few steps are left out.

1. Pull up carpet

2. Remove affected pad

3. Clean back of carpet

4. Treat floor with an enzyme treatment

5. Seal floor if needed with an odor barrier

6. Treat back of carpet with enzyme treatment

7. Install new tack strip

8. Install new pad

9. Re-install carpet

10. Clean carpet

11. Topically apply enzyme.

Disclaimer: Use these techniques at your own risk. Always read directions on any spotter before using them. Pre-test each spotter in an area that is inconspicuous (like a closet corner) before using. If the stain or odor persists, call Clean Indeed at 515-441-1918

We are here to help when you need it!

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