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Remove Pet Stains from Carpet and Upholstery

March 5, 2024

Remove Pet Stains from Carpet and Upholstery


As a pet owner, I know how difficult it can be to keep carpets and upholstery free of stains and odors. Pets can leave behind urine, feces, vomit, and other messy accidents that seem impossible to remove. However, with the right products and techniques, you can get pet stains and odors out of fabric and restore your home’s cleanliness. In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide on how to remove pet stains from carpet and upholstery.

Act Quickly When Accidents Happen

The most important thing is to act quickly when you discover a pet stain. The longer the stain sits, the more difficult it will be to remove. As soon as you notice an accident:

  • Blot up excess liquid: Use an absorbent cloth or paper towels to soak up as much of the urine, feces, or vomit as possible. Don’t rub the stain, which can spread it deeper into the fibers. Gently blot.

  • Use an enzyme cleaner: Enzyme cleaners work to break down the proteins and chemicals in pet stains and neutralize odors. Spray or pour the enzyme cleaner directly onto the stain and allow it to soak in for 5-10 minutes.

  • Rinse with water: Once the enzyme cleaner has soaked in, rinse the area with clean water to flush out any remaining residue from the stain. Blot dry with a clean cloth.

  • Allow the area to dry: It’s important not to place furniture or walk on carpet while it’s damp. Give the area several hours to fully dry before allowing pets back on it.

Remove Dried or Old Stains

For stains that have already dried or have set in:

  • Scrape off solids: If the stain contains dried feces or vomit, use a dull knife or spoon to gently lift and scrape off as much of the solid material as possible. Try not to rub it deeper into the fibers.

  • Vacuum: Use your vacuum’s hose attachment to suck up any loose debris or hair in the area around the stain.

  • Pretreat with a stain remover: Spray pet stain removers, carpet cleaners, or degreasers directly onto old stains to help break down residue prior to cleaning. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes.

  • Clean with an extractor: Using a carpet extractor is the best way to draw out old stains from deep within fibers. The hot water and suction lift stains to the surface so they can be removed.

  • Use a steam cleaner: For upholstery, a handheld steam cleaner uses very hot, pressurized steam to breakdown stains. Use an upholstery attachment and hold nozzle 2-3 inches above fabric.

  • Try a vinegar rinse: If stains remain after cleaning, mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water in a spray bottle. Spritz on stain, let sit briefly, and blot with a cloth. The vinegar helps remove residual odor and detergent.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Here are some effective homemade pet stain cleaning solutions you can make using common household ingredients:

Enzyme Cleaner

  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon enzyme powder (meat tenderizer or lipase powder)

Mix ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake before each use. The enzyme powder helps remove proteins in organic stains.

Detergent Solution

  • 1/4 cup laundry detergent (powder or liquid)
  • 1 quart warm water

Mix together and apply onto stain with a sponge or spray bottle. For light stains, this solution alone may lift the stain without rinsing.

Vinegar Solution

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 3 parts water

Spray vinegar solution onto stain. The acid in vinegar helps remove odor and residual detergent that may attract pets back to the area.

Prevention Tips

Here are some tips to help prevent pet stains in your home:

  • Use urine-resistant treatments on carpets and upholstery when purchasing new furniture or replacing old carpet.

  • Restrict access to rooms with carpet and upholstery using baby gates or by closing doors.

  • Cover upholstery with washable quilts or blankets where pets sleep or sit.

  • Take dogs out to eliminate more frequently to avoid accidents.

  • Clean accidents immediately to avoid staining.

With some supplies on hand and quick action, you can keep your home fresh and remove pet stains from carpets and upholstery. Consistent cleaning and prevention will help minimize staining and odors.

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