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Friday, November 28, 2014

Question

What will get the odor of dog urine out of carpet?


Answer

Answer #1

Salt crystal matrices within uric acid are the causes of the unpleasant odors associated with dog urine in carpets. Once the urine starts to decay it produces amines (ammonia) while the second stage of decay produces mercaptans, characteristic of skunk spray.

The uric acid salt crystals will remain dormant until any form of moisture comes in contact with them. Whether it is water, humidity, or even more urine, once these crystals are wetted, they will begin to produce the strong ammonia-like odors associated with urine.

As odor control is all about source removal, eliminating the existence of these crystals will eliminate noxious urine odors
Simply washing the area is not enough. The urine may have soaked through the carpet and underlay and possibly into the substrate. Nor will standard cleaners such as bleach or disinfectants (which are alkaline) eliminate these salt crystals. Use a black light to find where these fluids have been deposited.

The most common solution is to thoroughly soak the soiled area, including substrate and underlay, with an acid side cleaner to rinse out any alkaline urine salt deposits. Rinse the site completely with an alkaline cleaner, and then apply a properly designed odor counteractant and neutralizer to safely eradicate the odors.

An enzyme product could also be used to digest the odor-causing protein. It’s important to follow the instructions for these products in order for them to be successful. These products are safe to use not only on carpet but also on clothing, bedding, draperies, upholstery, and other water-safe surfaces. In addition to urine, they are helpful in neutralizing vomit, feces, blood, mildew and other organic sources.

Be generous with the product and saturate the carpet. The urine most likely has soaked all the way down into the carpet pad and this must be treated as well. The product must have at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours, to digest the protein in the urine. The area must stay moist and not be allowed to dry out for this time period. You can do this by covering the area with a plastic garbage bag. Avoid plastic with print as the ink could “tattoo” the carpet. A phone book or some other heavy object over the bag will help secure it. After 24 hours, uncover the area and allow it to dry thoroughly. Resist the temptation to shampoo this area. The product should not be removed from the carpet until it has done its job.

Additionally, there are several general biological cleaners on the market today all containing a blend of universal enzymes that have some effectiveness. The enzymes that really work are specifically designed to consume these uric salt crystals, sometimes providing a pleasant fragrance for immediate odor relief. The best ones do not simply mask the odor, they eliminate it.

As a final step, use a black light again on the affected areas. Those spots that have been neutralized will have a dull glow rather than the vibrant, almost neon colored spots that have not been neutralized.

Servitech Training Ltd.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Brent R. Bourne (250.818.4435, servitech@telus.net)

Answer #2

Biological products provide a very good solution to many odor control problems as they will help clean pet stain spots plus provide residual activity to destroy the organics that cause the odors. This prevents the odor from returning.

Many biological products can also be used in extractors for cleaning large areas of carpet.

Ask your supplier or purchase a retail product such as "Urine Out" pet stain and odor remover.

Lois Davis (loid@novozymes.com)

Answer #3

Hydrogen peroxide-based products also seem to do a very good job eliminating pet odors in carpets. These products are good cleaners as well.

When looking for a product that eliminates odors, it is very important to find one that will not contribute to rapid resoiling of the carpet. Another issue to consider is the health and safety attributes of the product, especially if you have infants who crawl on the carpets and then put their fingers in their mouths. Some odor eliminators contain solvents that can be harmful.

Thus, I encourage you to consider products that have been tested, not only for their ability to clean carpets and eliminate odors but also to reduce adverse impacts on health, safety and the environment. One very simple way to do this is to look for products that have been "certified" by Green Seal, which is a not-for-profit environmental standards setting organization.

There are currently 14 or so major manufacturers that have had their products "certified" to meet GS-37, Green Seal's standard for Industrial and Institutional cleaners. And several of these companies have GS-37-certified products that are based on hydrogen peroxide that I believe would meet your needs. More than likely your local janitorial supply house carries one of them.

Whatever product you purchase, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous part of the carpet first to make sure it won’t harm the carpet.

The Ashkin Group
Bloomington IN
Stephen Ashkin ( 812.332.7950; steveashkin@ashkingroup.com)

Answer #4

I have no easy answer to offer here, as there are many variables. Replacing the carpet and possibly the pad, as well as sanding and coating the floor below with a sealer is pretty much a sure bet and in some extreme cases that's what it will take.

Usually pets find a favorite spot and return to it often. If it's a one-time occurrence, which is rare, have the soiled area of carpet wet extraction cleaned and follow with a saturating application of a disinfectant deodorant. If that doesn't do it, then you need to pull the carpet loose from the tack strip, clean the backing of the carpet and apply the disinfectant deodorizer and replace the pad. If the backing of the carpet and pad are severely stained, discolored or mildewed, this indicates repeated heavily soiling from the urine, in which case the carpet and pad should be replaced.

The bottom line when dealing with urine is that there are no guarantees and your treatment plan should match the degree and level of exposure to urine. If it's a little, it's probably going to be fairly easy. If the carpet and/or pad has been repeatedly soaked, you'll have to replace carpet and pad to totally get rid of the damage and odor.

Certainly many companies will be happy to attempt to solve the problem and spend your money, but I doubt that any will guarantee complete removal.

Cleaning Consultant Services Inc.
Seattle WA
William R. Griffin (206.682.9748; wgriffin@cleaningconsultants.com)