Sunday, April 5, 2009


Removing Pet Odors And Stains

To successfully train your pet to avoid those 'scent marked' areas of his urination and/or defecation:

  1. Find all soiled areas using your nose and eyes. A black-light bulb will usually show even old urine stains. Turn out all lights in the room; use the black-light to identify soiled areas and lightly outline the areas with chalk.
  2. Clean the soiled areas appropriately to remove the odors (see below).
  3. Make the areas unattractive and/or unavailable (see below).
  4. Make his potty area attractive.
  5. Train your pet to use the appropriate place to eliminate by using positive reinforcement (eg praise, treats and play times immediately after he has eliminated).

These steps work as a team for your effort to be successful. For example, if you fail to completely clean the area (including removing the odor), your pet will be able to smell his personal scent and he'll continue to return to the 'scent marked' area for his urination and/or defecation. Bear in mind that even if you can't smell traces of his urine, your pet can. Hence your most important chore is to completely remove (neutralize) that odor.

Do Not Use these methods to remove odor:

  • Steam Cleaners ' Do not use steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery as the heat will permanently set the odor and stain by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers.
  • Cleaning Chemicals (especially those with strong odors such as ammonia or vinegar) ' From your pet's perspective, these don't effectively eliminate or cover the urine odor. It may actually encourage your pet's inclination to reinforce the urine scent mark in that area.

To Clean Washable Items:

  • Machine-wash as usual, adding a one pound box of baking soda to your regular detergent. If possible, air-dry the items.
  • If you can still see the stain or smell the urine, machine-wash the item again and add an enzymatic cleaner. Be sure to follow the directions for using the cleaner carefully.
  • During the re-training period, a good way to discourage your pet from using the bedding is to cover the bed with a vinyl, flannel-backed tablecloth. They're machine washable, inexpensive and unattractive to your pet.

To Clean Carpeted Ares and Upholstery:

  • Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, especially from carpet, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot and cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. Stand on this padding for about a minute. Remove the padding and repeat the process until the area is barely damp.
  • If possible, take the fresh, urine-soaked paper towel to your dog's potty area and let him see you doing it. Don't act angry when you do this but try to project a 'happy' attitude to him. This will help to remind him that eliminating isn't a 'bad' behavior as long as it's done in the right place.
  • Rinse the 'accident zone' thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting or by using a 'wet-vac', 'shop-vac' or 'extractor'.
  • If you've previously used cleaners or chemicals of any kind on the area, then neutralizing cleaners won't be effective until you've rinsed every trace of the old cleaner from the carpet. Even if you haven't used chemicals recently, any trace of a non-protein-based substance will weaken the effect of the enzymatic cleaner. The cleaner will use up its 'energy' on the old cleaners instead of on the protein stains you want removed.
  • To remove all traces of old chemicals and clean old or heavy stains in carpeting, consider using or renting an extractor or wet-vac. This machine operates much like a vacuum cleaner and is efficient and economical. Extracting/wet-vac machines do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When using these machines or cleaners, be sure to follow instructions carefully. Don't use any chemicals with these machines ' they work more effectively with plain water.
  • Once the area is totally clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer available at pet supply stores. Test the affected surface for staining first.
  • If the areas still looks stained after it's completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, try any good carpet stain remover.
  • If urine has soaked down into the padding underneath your carpet, your job will be more difficult as you may need to remove and replace that portion of the carpet and padding.

To Clean Floors and Walls:

  • If the wood on your furniture, walls, baseboard or floor is discolored, it means that the varnish or paint has been affected by the acid in the urine.
  • You will need to remove and replace the layer of varnish or paint.
  • Try to use washable enamel paints and some washable wallpapers as these materials respond more favorably to enzymatic cleaners

- extracted from Dumb Friends League (SCTR_R99)

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner


  1. very nice instructions on how to manage your home and keep it free from pet odours and stains.