Living with pets means occasionally having to deal with pet stains and the odor that comes with them. There are many products on the market claiming to be pet stain and odor removers, but often they only mask the odor. Cats have a much keener sense of smell than humans, and if your cat can still smell the odor, there’s a pretty good chance he may soil that spot again at some point.
If you prefer to use all-natural products, there are some cleaning solutions you can make at home with items you probably have in your pantry. One mixture is a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. In a spray bottle, mix two cups of white vinegar, two cups of lukewarm water, and four tablespoons baking soda.
Another all-natural mixture is hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Combine one cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon dish washing liquid. White vinegar alone is also an option. Dilute it with water to remove odors.
It’s best to try any product on a fresh stain. Remove as much of the stain as possible, cover with paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. It may be necessary to do this multiple times to remove the moisture to the point of slight dampness, then apply cleaner.
If the stain you’re working on is set in, a wet vac or Bissell SpotBot works well. I’ve had really good results with the SpotBot. It’s best not to use a steam clean to remove pet stains, since the heat from the steam will permanently set the stain and odor in carpet or upholstery.
Above I referenced some natural cleaning solutions, but there are some products on the market that work well too. I’ve heard some people have gotten good results with Oxy Clean, or another product called ZeroOdor (available at zeroodorpet.com).
Once you’ve cleaned the affected area, you may not see, or smell, the stain or odor, but there may still be bacteria lurking. Turn out the lights, then shine a black light on the carpet or upholstery to reveal any hidden stains. If any are uncovered with the black light, outline them lightly with chalk so you can locate them when you turn the lights on.
As with any new product, do a patch test to be sure it won’t cause permanent damage to your carpet or upholstery. Apply to a small area, then allow it to dry for a day or two to be sure there won’t be any damage.