How to Remove Pet Urine in Carpet

How to get rid of pet urine odor in carpet is a common question for our Nashville pet odor service. Welcome to our dog and cat odor removal page. Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions of how to remove dog urine or pet odors from your rugs. Note: It does not include vinegar and baking soda! As a professional carpet cleaning company, dog urine odors in carpet is so repetitive a service that it seems like Groundhog Day for us.

Whole House Smell Like Dog Pee?

Carpet cleaners in Nashville are continually mediating between the ongoing argument of who’s to blame for dog pee odors: landlord who allowed the dogs, tenant who allowed the behavior, previous owner’s cat, or the new owner’s dog. I have even had a pet owner believe that her pet was so potty trained that the only thing that could’ve peed on her rug was my technician. I’m not kidding! We have truly seen and heard it all. It’s just my humble opinion, but I believe a dog is an extension of their owner’s ego. As a dog owner myself, I don’t want to believe my dog would do such a thing, so therefore I don’t believe it. Cognitive dissonance at its best.

Unfortunately, many professional carpet cleaners believe that oxidizers such as hydrogen peroxide stops dog urine odor permanently, but they’re sorely mistaking. Mother Nature has been using decomposing bacteria since the start of time to break down organic material such as dead trees, decaying leaves, road kill, and yes: pet urine.

Why Pet Urine Stinks in Carpet

Urine contains a substance called uric acid or uric salt. Within this salt is nitrogen, an important nutrient for life. When a dog or cat pees on the soil in your backyard, that soil quickly breaks it down because it contains a lot of decomposing bacteria that produce digestive enzymes. Your carpet, pad and subfloor is practically sterile, which means it doesn’t have the decomposing bacteria to quickly break down the nitrogen, the true odor source.

Carpet mimics your lawn with its soft fibers and cushioned pad beneath. However, when an animal pees indoors, the carpet, pad and subfloor is practically sterile, so it doesn’t contain the decomposing bacteria found in the soil outdoors. This means Mother Nature will have to scrounge up what little decomposing bacteria she can find to break down the urine in the fibers. And because it’s a limited amount, the decomposing process takes much longer.

Know The Nitrogen Cycle

The decomposing bacteria’s goal is to consume as much nitrogen within that pet urine as possible. And because nitrogen’s gaseous form is ammonia gas, it’s no wonder why rotting urine smells like ammonia. The bacteria breaks down the nitrogen and off-gasses ammonia. This ammonia is crucial to life as it nurtures all living things through the Nitrogen Cycle.

Salt is a natural desiccant, which means it absorbs moisture right out of the atmosphere. This is why you smell dog urine more on rainy days, or during days of high humidity even in the dead of Winter! You can place a five gallon bucket of water in a room loaded with cat urine and that uric salt will draw that moisture right out of the bucket ultimately allowing the decomposing bacteria to thrive.

So now you know exactly why and how dog pee odors start and continue, lets learn more about how to eliminate that stinky problem once and for all. But first, big disclaimer: The only way to completely remove urine from your carpet is to replace the carpet, pad and wood or concrete subfloor beneath – no exceptions! Yes, dog and cat pee is that invasive of a problem! While I wish I could tell you otherwise, even the best pet pee eliminators cannot fully remove all of the dog urine odors. Replacement is the only way to achieve complete odor elimination success.

pet odor removal everclean carpet cleaning nashville tn

There are several ways to remove dog, cat, even rabbit urine from your carpet. As a reminder, you can only remove a significant amount of pee, enough where you should not smell it while standing in the room. However, if you become Sherlock homes by sticking your nose in an older urine spot, you will very likely smell peepee. As you start your journey of fresh air, it is best to use an ultra violet black light in a darkened room to locate the per urine first.

The phosphorus within urice salt fluoresces under ultra violet light. This also means you likely cannot see all the of urine you might think is there. When you do find a pee spot, keep in mind that the pee beneath the rug mushrooms out, so the urine is likely three times the size of the pee spot on the carpet. If you have polyester fibers, and you, a previous tenant, owner or anyone recently cleaned the carpet there is a chance they have cleaned away the phosphorus making it much harder to find the pet urine with a UV light. So do you have polyester fibers?

Your Type of Carpet is Important

Polyester Carpet

A telling sign that you have polyester fibers is that you’re probably unhappy with how it looks. Polyester carpet (oil-based fibers) tend to lay on their sides like fallen timber, so they’re usually matted down especially in traffic lanes. If you have looped carpet, known as berber, it is likely polyester fibers as most berber are oil-based. An easy way to find out if you have oil-based fibers is to see if the rug fibers is matting down. Another way to spot polyester is that stains come right up as the oil and water repel each other, but they reappear a few days later in a process known as wicking.

Wicking occurs when water evaporates up the shaft of the smooth-bore fiber. The water evaporates but leaves the soil at the tip of the fibers. Fun, right? Simply wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol if you’re battling wicking stains. If you have polyester fibers and you cleaned it recently, you will likely need to wait few days or weeks for the urine in the pad to re-wick back to the surface. Once that occurs, you will likely see it again with the UV blacklight, though faintly. If you don’t have time, you can use a moisture meter or the old fashioned smell test to locate urine, though both are not as accurate as UV flashlight.

Nylon Carpet

Hopefully, you have nylon carpet. Nylon fibers wears so much better than polyester and makes pet urine treatment so much easier. Because nylon is porous, you will always be able to see green glow of pet pee under an ultra violet light. This means you’ll never be able to remove all of the urine from the fiber, but that’s ok. Once you turn the UV light off, you usually cannot see the pee spot. Besides covering the urine stains with a UV brightener, which is found in many textile cleaning detergents, sprays and odor eliminators, you will never be able to fully remove the pee stain that appears with a UV flashlight.

Pet Urine Removal Cleaners

The first method of dog urine odor removal is the dirty of dirties: Flush Extraction. As I sat in the ER years ago with the doctor rinsing saline solution into my gaping wound before having it stitched I asked, “how do you know when it’s clean?” Without hesitation or even looking up, he said, “the solution to pollution is dilution.” The flush extraction is simply that, overwhelming the source of the problem (uric salt) with water to dilute it back out. Caution: because carpet pad is a sponge, we do not recommend flushing it out as it could result in carpet mold. If carpet, pad and the subfloor are wet longer than 24 hours, mold could set in, a much bigger problem than cat pee odors.

If you do attempt to flush the pee out of your carpet, you’ll want to make sure you remove as much water as possible after getting the urine spot wet. You’ll want to saturate the pee spot using a hot water with just a drop of liquid dish detergent. Step on the spot with a rubber soled shoe to disperse the cleaner into the pad below. Then take a thick cotton towel that is folded up and place it over the urine spot. Now stand on the towel so your weight wicks the liquid back up into the towel so the pad is only damp. Repeat with more dry towels until you know most of the water has been removed. It is then best to inject the area with a probiotic cleaner, such as Ur-Out, so it can decompose any remaining pet urine.

Enzyme Pet Odor Removers

Most cat odor removal cleaners don’t work because the application instructions are misguided. They give you a spray bottle and tell you to spray the surface of the carpet while the source of the urine odor is in the carpet pad below! Applying an enzyme pet urine remover must be done correctly so it eliminates as much nitrogen (ammonia gas) as possible. Going back to the soil example, your pad is practically sterile; it’s doesn’t contain the amount of decomposing bacteria required to quickly and efficiently break down that cat pee in your carpet. What little bacteria that’s there takes a lot longer to breakdown the odors.

The product we use, and recommend, delivers more probiotic bacteria into your pad beneath the carpet so the bacteria can destroy the ammonia odors quickly and permanently. Ur-Out is also 99% natural ingredients containing probiotic enzyme-producing bacteria, essential orange solvent and plant-based surfactant. After applying Ur-Out, it quickly creates an enzymatic feeding frenzy that removes the urine odors fast and forever.

How to Apply Ur-Out Odor Remover

Pet urine is about 98% water. Once that water evaporates, the remaining 2% solids are composed of electrolytes, proteins, fats and starches. Ur-Out breaks these solids down into smaller, unnoticeable molecules.

Mixing Ur-Out

Ur-Out is highly concentrated and requires only a little amount to work efficiently. Ur-Out is in dormant form, which means it needs to be activated for maximum results. Activating Ur-Out is easy, simply mix it with hot water (bath water temperature only!), and then apply it to the dog urine. That’s it!

When using hot water, you want to make sure the water will not burn your skin. If it can burn your skin, it can also burn the probiotic bacteria rendering it useless. As if you’re testing the water in a bath or shower, make sure it’s a nice, comfortable temperature. When Ur-Out is mixed with hot water, and applied a food source (cat urine), it starts producing enzymes exponentially for maximum results.

Applying Ur-Out Pet Odor Eliminator

Locating each pee spot with an ultra violet light is highly recommended for best results. When you find a urine spot, remember that each dog urine spot mushrooms out within the pad about 2/3rd’s more than what you see on the fibers. Simply pour the warm, pre-mixed Ur-Out on to the urine stain ensuring adequate and complete coverage. Using a rubber soled shoe, step on the spot to disperse the small Ur-Out puddle within the carpet pad ensuring that all areas are moistened.

Leave Ur-Out in the pad to dry naturally. The pee odors disappear as Ur-Out dries. Once completely dry, spritz the carpet fibers with warm water or rubbing alcohol. Then gently clean the fibers with a clean terry clothe to remove any residue. If an odor persists, it may required additional treatments and/or replacement if the urine has saturated the subfloor. Otherwise, you’re done!

Ur-Out Pet Odor Remover

ur-out pet urine odor remover from carpet

Oxygen Pet Odor Cleaners

While many professional carpet cleaners believe oxidizers eliminate urine odors, they’re only partially correct. Oxidizers kill the bacteria, which temporarily stops the Nitrogen Cycle, but once the oxidizer evaporates, the bacteria returns and so will the urine odors.

Oxidizers do remove the urine odor instantly; however, over time Mother Nature will send in more decomposing bacteria to convert the nitrogen to ammonia gas (stinky odors). Strong oxidizers, such as 12% hydrogen peroxide, are incredibly useful at removing dog or cat urine stains, however.

We recommend using Yell-Out, a pet urine stain remover made by the same company that makes Ur-Out. Yell-Out is a soap-free urine stain eliminator that works by removing pet pee stains completely! And because it’s soap-free, you don’t have to worry about the pee spot becoming dirty from all the sticky soap residue found in so many carpet stain removers. Caution: Yell-Out is a strong oxidizer so be careful when using it. You can purchase Yell-Out at UrOutOdor.com.

Counteractant Pet Odor Deodorizers

The science behind counteractants involves changing the molecular structure or shape of the odor molecule so you can’t smell it in the air. I’m sure this method works for some, but not for us at EverClean. This method may need continual applications as it eventually evaporates. Counteractants do a great job at supplementing deodorizers, but should not be used as the main odor eliminator unless it is for temporary purposes only.

Counteractant cat urine deodorizers simply mask the dog or cat pee odor. It is effectively pouring fragrance onto a stinky mess of bacteria to stop the odor. We call it a deodorizer because that’s exactly what it does, it deodorizes, but in a temporary sense. Removing the urine completely or at least the nitrogen within the dog and cat urine offers a more permanent solution that counteractant pet odor eliminators.

Encapsulation Pet Odor Deodorizers

Removing cat urine odors using encapsulation is a unique method that is temporary. This method basically encases dog urine in a polymer-based casing, which temporarily puts an end to the Nitrogen Cycle mentioned earlier. If the decomposing bacteria cannot consume the nitrogen within the pet urine, then the odors effectively stop.

Encapsulation is popular amount one of the larger carpet cleaning franchises. The problem with encapsulating pet urine is that the polymer has a shelf life; it eventually cracks and starts to break down. This allows Mother Nature to send in more decomposing bacteria and the urine odors starts up again, even decades later! Encapsulation cleaner is fine for temporary dog odor control, but it is not a permanent solution for animal urine removal.

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Disclaimer: All information within this page, and website, is for information purposes only. We recommend you contact a professional service technician for all work you are unfamiliar with. We are not responsible for any informational errors or from problems that might arise from information given from our website.