Dog stains can permanently damage your floors, regardless of whether you have carpeting or wood floors in your home. Old urine stains can be difficult to remove because they have already had time to set. The good news is that there are effective steps you can take to remove stains and underlying odors from your flooring.
Cleaning Up Old Stains
- Locate all the urine stains within your home. You can find them by sight, smell or by turning off all the lights in your home and shining a black light over the areas where you suspect your dog has urinated. If you use a black light, mark the stain spots with chalk so you can still find them after you've turned the regular lights back on.
- Thoroughly clean the stained area of carpet using a wet vacuum. This machine will force clean water through the stained area and suck out all the old, dirty water.
- Spray the area thoroughly with a cleaning product specially designed to neutralize pet odors. Any good quality enzyme cleaner should do the job or you can make your own by mixing one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water.
- Make sure you follow the instructions for the product's use exactly as they are given.
- Apply a commercial stain removal product to the stain if it is still visible. You may have to try several different products before you get the results you are hoping for.
Additional Stain Issues
If the urine sank down through the carpeting and into the padding, you may have to remove the carpeting and the padding completely in order to get rid of the odor. If you have wooden or painted floors, you may need to sand down the stained area and reapply a fresh coat of varnish or paint to completely eliminate the stain and seal the area. Get rid of the stain completely to prevent dogs from coming back and urinating on the same area again. Dogs will often be attracted back to the same location either due to habit or because they are marking their territory.
You may have better success with some stains than others. Don't be discouraged if you have to try to clean a set stain multiple times or try different products. If you're unsure whether a product will damage your carpet, test the product on a small section of the carpet that is not easily seen.
Different types of carpet require different types of care. Research which specific ingredients are safe for your particular carpet before you start using cleaners. Do not clean natural fiber carpets with a steam cleaner or carpet shampooer because the heat will cause the stain to set and you will have a more difficult time removing it.