Tackle Your Toughest Pet Clean-up Problems the Right Way
You love your pets and the joy they brings to your household, but you hate those times when your best friend becomes your floor’s worst enemy. Pet stains and odors present some of the toughest cleaning challenges faced by homeowners, and even the best-trained pet will occasionally have an accident. Pet messes can be tricky to clean. You may not realize that using the wrong products or techniques to clean up after your pet can actually make the stains and odors worse. Be prepared for those times when you need to take the appropriate actions to protect your flooring investment by following some simple guidelines.
Pet Stain Challenges
Pet accidents are unique because not only do you need to remove the stains and odors, you also must ensure that the cleaning products you are using do not attract your pet back to the same spot for a repeat performance. Pets use scent as one factor in choosing where to eliminate. Some common cleaning agents such as chlorine bleach or vinegar contain compounds your pet can smell that may actually signal him that he has found the proper place to take care of his bathroom needs. Using such products makes preventing future accidents next to impossible. Other products may tackle the problem so that it appears to be clean to you, but because your pet’s sense of smell is much greater, he may think you have hardly cleaned at all.
Common sense might suggest that such a difficult cleaning problem requires the strongest cleaner you can find. Some cleaners are so harsh, however, that although the original spot is eradicated, your floor may be damaged or faded due solely to the product itself. Home remedies such as baking soda and peroxide pose such problems. Peroxide can cause colors to fade, whereas baking soda can scratch tile or wood surfaces.
Select the Right Products for Pet Stains
Floor care professionals recommend solutions containing natural cleaning enzymes to tackle pet accidents. Enzymes attack the proteins that cause stains and odors in pet messes and other biological sources such as blood, vomit and grass stains. Since breaking the problem-causing proteins ensures that the odors your pet finds so attractive are truly eliminated and not simply covered over with perfumes or chemicals, the use of enzymatic cleaners helps solve the issue of having your pet returning to the same soiled area over and over.
Most enzymatic cleaning solutions are broadly safe for many types of surfaces, but be sure to follow the label directions. In addition, it is a worthwhile precaution to test any product on a small spot in an inconspicuous area prior to its widespread use to be certain that the cleaner will not cause any damage to your specific flooring.
Technique Matters When Cleaning Pet Stains
Almost as important as choosing the right product for cleaning pet accidents is employing the proper technique. On rugs and carpets, avoid scrubbing the area whenever possible, or you may just rub the stain deeper into the fibers. The same is true for grout on tile floors. Follow these simple steps instead:
1. Pick up all solid waste, if any.
2, Before applying any products, carefully blot the accident with color-fast cloth or paper towels.
3. Apply the cleaning solution per label directions, then use the same blotting technique to remove it. Repeat as necessary until the stain and odor are gone.
When Pet Accidents Require a Professional
There are times when self-cleaning is not the best solution and professional assistance is truly necessary. Today’s technology enables professional floor cleaners to tackle tough problems that you may not be able to manage on your own. In spite of your best efforts, you may need to get an expert’s help if:
- There are multiple areas needing to be cleaned
- The stains are set and no longer recent
- Prior cleaning attempts have failed
- Liquids have saturated carpet padding, have seeped beneath wood or vinyl flooring, or through tile grout
Don’t let pet stains and odors get between you and your best friend. If you live in the Richmond area and need help taking care of pet accidents, give On The Spot a call at (804) 897-1620. Our floor care professionals can assist you in assessing and cleaning any type of floor. If your carpet padding or tile grout need replaced due to saturation, we can help you with that as well. On The Spot is your total flooring solution.