Removing Pet Stains in Your Home

By Diane Morgan

Dogs make messes—there’s no doubt about it. Mud, blood, urine, saliva, hair, vomit, and poop seem to go with the territory. While pet stains never seem to bother dogs, they can send their owners into fits of anguish. The good news is that messes, while messy, do not have to be permanently messy. Nearly any stain a dog throws at you can be removed. 

Find the Stain

Of all stains, urine is the most troublesome. Once a dog pees on the rug, he will generally continue to pee there, attracted by his personal scent, or in the case of multiple dogs, a literal peeing contest. Each dog wishes to leave his calling card last. 

That is why it is important to remove the stain and neutralize the odor completely as soon as possible. Even if you can’t smell the spot anymore, you dog or cat surely can. To discover old urine stains, use a black light urine detector (available in pet stores). Turn out the lights in the room; the black light will reveal the culprit stains.

Distract Your Pet From the Stain

Once you have scoured the area, do something to distract your pet from it, even if means rearranging a chair or two. If your previously housetrained pet has started eliminating in the house, have him checked by your veterinarian for possible medical issues.

Clean the Stain

Before using any product, soak up as much of the urine as you can using paper towels and newspaper. If you can, slide newspaper under the soiled item. Place paper towels on top of the stain, and cover with another layer of newspaper. Press hard, or if you can, stand on the stain for a minute or so. Then take away the towels and newspapers and repeat the process until the stain is almost dry. Rinse the area with cool water and a wet vac. Do not use a steam cleaner; this will only set in the stain permanently, especially if the rug contains synthetic fibers.

Then apply a specially formulated pet stain remover, like Wee-Wee® Stain and Odor Products.

If you choose a powerful enzyme cleaner to remove stains, it’s important that all traces of any previous cleaners be rinsed out; otherwise the enzyme action of the new cleaner will work on them, not on the urine stain.

If the stain appears on something machine washable, add a whole pound of baking soda to your detergent. Let the items air-dry. If the stain is still visible (or if you can still smell it), rewash the load and this time add an enzymatic cleaner.