Effective Techniques for Cleaning Urine Stains
As any pet owner or parent of a young child knows, cleaning urine stains is a problem that will inevitably pop up from time to time, potty training or not. Urine stains present a large problem because they can leave an unpleasant and lingering odor, can permanently discolor carpeting or mattresses, and can lead to additional urine stains in households with animals.
Although it’s not a fun task, or even particularly easy, there are things you can do to help you in cleaning urine stains off of your floors and even mattresses. This article presents several techniques to the reader, and offers some helpful advice.
Understanding the Science Behind It
Cleaning urine up is very difficult, particularly if you do not understand the science behind it. Urine is not like a soda or wine, it has many different composites that are working against you as soon as it hits the carpet, grout, or mattress.
You see, urine is actually comprised of three different kinds of chemicals. Urea is a very sticky composite that causes the urine to actually cling to fibers and grouting. Uric acid is the very damaging composite, and is composed of tiny crystals that also adhere to fibers and result in that impossible to remove odor. The yellow coloring comes from urochrome, resulting in the unsightly stains that appear over and over again.
If you are lucky enough to come across a fresh stain and not one that has been hiding behind your couch for a month, then you can start acting immediately and making it much easier on yourself. To begin with you need to absorb as much of the urine as possible. Get a clean cloth or very absorbent paper towel and press it into the urine stain. Do not rub it in though—all this does is spread it around to unaffected areas.
You will also need to dilute the urine at this point. Pour a little water onto the stain and begin sopping it up with another clean cloth or paper towel. Continue doing this until all of the yellow urochrome is gone and no longer appears on your clean cloth or towel.
Whether you like it or not, some scrubbing is going to have to take place. Thankfully, because you didn’t spread the stain and you had the foresight to dilute it, this will be significantly easier for you.
Get a good, basic stain remover and a decent scrub brush or rough cloth. Apply the stain remover and being scrubbing at it in a circular motion, starting from the inner stain and going to the outer parts. This will help to remove any lingering yellowness and knock some of the sticky urea.
After your basic stain remove has been used, you need to bust out the enzymatic cleaner as well. This removes the damaging uric acid that can permanently ruin a carpet, causing the smell to stick around until the carpet is replaced. These products range in price, but any decent pet store should have a few to choose from. Allow the liquid to penetrate the stain, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and then you can begin dabbing it up with a clean dry cloth.
Getting Rid of the Smell
Now that the stain is gone, and hopefully dry, you will still likely want your carpet smelling normal again and not like any chemicals or faint hints of urine that may have escaped. Grab a decent carpet powder and sprinkle some over the place where the stain was. The powder will land on the carpet fibers and will help attract additional uric acid crystals. After a few minutes, you can vacuum the powder up, leaving you with good smelling flooring.
Please note: do not try carpet powder on beds or mattresses. Instead, try using a linen refresher or odor neutralizing spray.