Aside from creating an unhealthy indoor environment, contamination in carpet and area rug fibers from pet urine can cause permanent damage to surfaces with which it comes in contact. The problem is twofold: bacteria and pH. When urine is first deposited onto a rug, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acidic side of the pH scale. It is easier to remove right then and there when its fresh. The initial acidic state is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begins to accumulate almost immediately. Once it dries and when bacteria feeds on it further and produces its own waste, it becomes alkaline. This is a much higher pH between 10 to 12 on the scale below and is much harder to remove.
The urine soon begins to oxidize and react with the carpet dye to create a color change. This will become permanent if the urine is not removed immediately. Some of the color change can be attributed to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine passes through bacterial and chemical change. If left for days or weeks and depending on the fiber construction, urine will change the dye structure altogether. It will therefore cause permanent discoloration. Even if the soluble urine salt deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done to some degree. The classic yellow-gold “stain” left by urine is often a lack of one of the dyes in face yarns. It is not, as many presume, a color added to the yarn by the urine itself.
Why does it smell so bad?
Urine odor comes both from the waste source and from the bacteria that uses it as a food source. A problematic pet can feed the bacteria daily with repeated incidents. This bacterial growth and the breakdown of the waste creates complex organic continuing contamination issue in your home compounds. These will work deep into the fibers to a point of becoming part of the fiber and dye structure itself. This can present more than a difficult situation to remedy. The waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine create that common ammonia-like unpleasant odor.
The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries attract moisture. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months or on a rainy day because the salts attract the moisture. Because of this, urine contamination is never really bone dry. Moisture from the salts evaporate and put out odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet to begin to address the accompanying odor. ANYWHERE the urine touches must be completely rinsed, neutralized and attended to with specialized products.
DO IT YOURSELF EMERGENCY PET STAIN REMOVAL
If you can get the urine out while it is fresh, you will have a much better chance of total removal. Simply vacuum the urine right out with a small wet vacuum or small spot removal machine. Sincerely Yours recommends a small machine because its more convenient and easier to store. Simply vacuum the urine right out of the carpet initially until no more comes out. Then apply copious amounts a 50 percent solution of white vinegar and cold water. Let it sit a few minutes and then vacuum it all out. Repeat the process, making sure the vinegar-water solution totally covers and extends beyond ANYWHERE the urine might have traveled to. Again, do not be afraid to wet your carpet. After all, your pet just did.
No wet vacuum? No problem. Fold up a bath towel so it is an absorbent cushion and place it on the urine. Now stand on it for a full ten seconds. Lift up the towel and you will see how much is absorbed. Flip it over to a dry side and repeat absorbing the urine. Then with other towels, do the same thing after applying the vinegar- water solution. Just throw those nasty towels in the washing machine after you’re done and you can effectively correct the urine problem without a wet vacuum.
Is the Urine Older Than a Day or So?
You should really consider professional assistance. If you are in the Columbia, S.C. area, call Sincerely Yours, Inc. at (803) 788-5555 and we will help you. Too many times, people consider that the final solution to the problem is blotting it up and spraying on a deodorant. Really a discoloration and odor problem is working hard behind the scenes. There is no need to live with that odor if you don’t have to.
How Professionals Like Us Remove Odor
As we discussed earlier, in order to attempt to remove urine contamination and its odor, all of the alkaline salts the urine deposits must be totally neutralized and professionally rinsed out. To really correct the problem, procedures to do this can be extensive and time consuming. In many of the more severe situations, all of the following steps will be done and many of them will need to be repeated to achieve positive results.
Pet urine rugs will need to be cleaned using specially formulated detergents. Your rug will be placed in our rug pit so it can be immersed and scrubbed to agitate and remove urine deposits.
The most important step is a thorough rinsing of the detergents and any residual urine left in your rug. Your rug will be placed in a centrifugal wringer and clean water introduced (much like the spin cycle on your washing machine). You rug is rinsed until the water exiting the centrifuge runs clear.
You rug is nearly dry when it leaves our centrifuge. Your rug is now moved to our drying room where it is placed on the drying tower. It is typically dry in 4-8 hours.
Your rug is inspected for any finishing touches that may be required.
Prior to wrapping in virgin Kraft paper, your rug will be vacuumed.