Phew! What is that smell?
You might have uttered those words a few times, and when it happens, it is often from pet urine in carpet or perhaps some clothing attacked by a baby or toddler.
When left untreated, many problems can arise, the most noticeable being by the nose.
With carpet and other surfaces in the home, one of the toughest chores in urine odor removal is the first one — finding the location of the odor. Following your sense of smell often helps, and keeping an eye on the offending pet(s) and tracking them to the source can also work. Professionals, like your favorite carpet cleaner, have special detection devices that locate exactly where urine contamination is located.
Then you must clean and treat the area. A small spotting machine with water and a small amount of detergent can remove what’s in the carpet pile, but there’s really no way to get deep down in the backing or pad where some of the urine might have penetrated. That’s something only the pros can do. But getting to a urine spot while still damp and using lots of blotting with disposable towels is a great urine removal 101 tip. Once it dries, it becomes much more challenging.
Remember this: If left untreated, especially if the pet continues its accident-prone activities, and urine builds up in carpet, it doesn’t really dry out. Urine crystalizes and a salt-like substance forms, which attracts moisture from the air. That’s why you notice urine odors in the summer more so than in the winter, because winter air is drier.
What about clothing?
If fresh, a normal laundering should suffice. You might want to wash separately from other garments. Wash with cold water if colorfastness is a concern, although hot water does clean better.
But occasionally, urine odors can persist in clothing because of the age of the contamination or other factors. When this happens, a pre-soak is necessary. Fill a sink or tub (or use a bucket if the item will fit) and fill it up with hot water. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar per gallon of water that you are using. Soak the clothes for two hours. The vinegar, being acidic, will counteract the aging urine salts that have built up.
Bottom line? Fresh urine contamination in carpet or clothing is easy to remove. Get to it quick. Blot the carpet, rinse with a spotting machine, but never apply products to the area because that can just make it worse. Don’t be tempted by those products on the shelf at your grocery store. For clothing, put it in the laundry right away.
But if odors persist and urine contamination and related odors are ruining your day, it’s time to get some help. Don’t delay — call your cleaning experts today. After all, it pays to call a pro!