Pet stains on carpet? Above & Beyond Carpet Care can help out!
Keep in mind that pet stains, red wine, coffee, inks and most colored stains are definitely some of the stains that are really difficult for the homeowner to remove. Most of the time it's best to leave these up to the professional for complete removal. But the homeowner should always be blotting these stains (all spills or pet stains) immediately by stepping on dry terry cloth towels and repeating this over and over until all the moisture is all absorbed into the towel. Blot, blot, blot until dry… Never scrub the carpet. Just step on dry folded terry cloth towels & keep moving the dry towel many times…. Blot repeatedly to remove all moisture from the carpet.
For minor incidental pet stains we will share with you some great tips below on treating these stains and odor before your professional carpet cleaner comes to do complete removal. Read on as we explain how pet stains can effect the carpet and even cause permanent irreversible damage and then weigh the different options of treating these stains yourself or calling in a professional.
Should you call a professional right away?
We would like to share with you some important information on why pet stains can be so harmful to carpet or area rugs, and when you are considering treating these stains, you should realize that your home spotting treatment is often only a temporary “band aid” fix until you schedule a professional to completely remove the stains. We also realize that you may not be able to schedule a professional to treat these stains every time they happen and you may not even need to have a professional stain removal if the stain is very small. As a rule of thumb, if the stain is bigger than a baseball, you will have a very difficult time in removing the spot. You should still treat the stain in the methods I describe below rather than do nothing if you are not going to hire a professional right away.
A baseball size spot on the carpet could be the size of a basketball on the backside of the carpet. It is also important to know this early on because you will want to prevent, if at all possible, these stains from happening. It is much better to do a home treatment to remove some of the contaminants to prevent permanent color loss and discolorations rather than do nothing for weeks or months while the urine sits in the carpet and damages the carpet color. I will tell you that in my 23 years of cleaning carpet professionally, pet stains are the stains that will ruin the carpet or make professional restoration so expensive that replacement is the only logical option.
Why are pet stains so difficult to remove?
One of the reasons that pet stains are one of the most difficult stains to remove is because often the contamination has penetrated to the back of the carpet and pad. Only a professional can completely remove the pet stain contaminants from the back of the carpet and pad. Therefore, because of evaporation while the stains are drying, there will always be some pet urine that wicks up to the surface carpet yarns, thus making it very difficult to remove completely. A professional uses a powerful truckmount vacuum machine and a sub-surface “Water Claw” device to thoroughly rinse the carpet backing and pad for complete urine removal. We have specialized products for this very thing and strong products for removing odor and stains from the carpet. In some cases, it will be nessesary for the professional to pull back the carpet, remove & replace the pad and wash both sides of the carpet. This can be costly and unless it is the corner of the room it is sometimes not worth it. So you really want to keep these stains to a minimum.
A lot of times pet urine can discolor carpet because of its unique chemistry. Pet urine starts out as a strong acid when it comes out of the animal and after it dries, the pet urine changes chemistry and turns to a strong alkaline salt. That is why there can be a strong ammonia smell that emanates from pet stains.
Pet stains can be very damaging to wool carpet in a very short period of time. The pet urine can also attack the dyes in synthetic carpet as well. If left untreated, or not removed completely by a professional from the back of the carpet, pet urine will remove the color from the yarns, leaving permanent discoloration.
After a period of time the pet stain commonly may appear orange or yellow in color. This is because the blue dyes in the carpet are being attacked by the strong alkaline salts of the pet urine. The pet urine can also be soil-attracting and appear soiled or darker in color after time or left untreated. If too much time has elapsed before a professional carpet cleaner can treat the spots and remove the contaminants, it could be too late. The carpet dye has already been compromised. The previous dark-soiled stain appears lighter in color (or orange) due to color loss and the blue dyes are the ones most commonly attacked. This discoloration can be seen after the dark soiling is removed after steam cleaning.
For example, a brown carpet is made up of three colors; red, yellow and blue. When the blue dye is attacked by pet urine alkaline salts the yellow and red dyes remain and the stain appears orange-ish in color. This discoloration could possibly be corrected with carpet dying after the urine is completely removed. Ask your professional during the cleaning process if the carpet color damage can be corrected and if the results would be acceptable.
To sum up, the homeowner should blot up and possibly treat the stains with the recommended stain remover and bacterial enzymes prior to calling a professional; don’t expect that you will be able to completely remove 100% of the stains. Pet stains can be the most damaging stains on carpet. In addition, some carpets loose color faster than others. For wool carpet, it is very important to treat immediately, and always call a professional.
Next, I will give you some tips on how to treat small pet accidents using products that are safe to use at home. If you are "puppy-training", these tips will be very helpful to treat the incidental pet stains that may occur prior to having your carpet professionally cleaned. And remember, it is important to call a professional to prevent permanent discolorations in the future. The longer it sits in the carpet the more risk there will be. If you have removed the stain and odor, chances are that you have done a good job removing the alkaline salts and contaminants and have stabilized the dyes. You should not have a problem in the future with discolorations.
Our recommended products:
We recommend “Avenge” Spotter for synthetic carpet and “Above & Beyond Carpet Care Responsible Care” spotter for wool. These spotters can be purchased at www.carpetsupport.com. We also recommend two bacterial enzymes and diluted household white vinegar for the final step in removal.
Using just about everything under the kitchen sink is NEVER a good idea! Many products will damage carpet and make the stain much more difficult for the professional to remove. And in some cases, cause other permanent discolorations.
So, if you feel motivated to try to treat the stains before we arrive, here are a few tips we recommend for the homeowner. You will find our recommended products for purchase on our website at www.carpetsupport.com