Having pets does not mean you must remove you carpet to avoid the accumulating pet hair, odor and stains that seem to come with pet ownership. Accidents can happen whether you have one pet or several pets, but tackling accidents when they occur, spot cleaning when necessary and using odor eliminators can help keep your carpet clean.
Pet hair can accumulate on everything, especially carpets. A shedding pet can leave a trail of hair across the floor that can quickly clog your vacuum cleaner. Wrapping masking tape around an old paint roller and attaching it to an old broom or mop handle can act like a giant lint roller to pick up pet hair before you vacuum. Alternatively, raking your carpet with a rubber-bristled carpet rake collects the pet hair in clumps, so you can remove the hair by hand before vacuuming. Vacuum your carpet at least three times a week with a HEPA-filtered, bag-less vacuum to reduce the amount of pet hair left in your carpet.
No matter how well you train your pet, accidents happen. Reacting immediately to urine accidents can help minimize the damage. Standing on an old terrycloth towel laid over the urine will remove much of the moisture, but you still need to clean the area with three or four drops of liquid dishwashing detergent added to 1 cup of warm water. Work the mixture into the urine stain. Once you have gone over the surface of the area, rinse it well with a clean towel and water. Blotting the surface with two parts water and one part white vinegar can help deter your pet from soiling the area again. Place 15 to 20 paper towels on top of the area and use books as weights to help absorb more moisture from the cleaned area. Make sure you change the paper towels periodically until all the moisture is removed from your carpet.
Cleaning pet-created urine, feces, vomit and bloodstains from your carpet can present a challenge, especially if the stains are older. Renting an extracting carpet cleaner to force clean water into the stained area of the carpet and extracting out the dirty water can help with some stains. Avoid using steam cleaners on the stains, as the heat can set the stain, making it nearly impossible to remove. There are products on the market specifically designed to remove set-in pet stains, but it is imperative you follow the product’s instructions for the best results. You can get these stains out of your carpet, but it will take more than a squirt and a dab, so be prepared to provide a little elbow grease when it comes removing pet stains from your carpet.
Before attempting to use any enzyme treatment to remove pet odors from your carpet, use an extracting carpet cleaner to force only clean water into the carpet and extract it back out. Using only water will remove any chemicals left in your carpet from previous cleaning or treatments. Chemical residues can inhibit the enzymes from removing the odors from the carpet. You can use powdered odor eliminators on a dry carpet, or apply liquid urine-odor eliminator products that utilize bio-enzymatic ingredients to eliminate the bacteria that cause the odor. Some of the liquid odor eliminators require saturating the carpet with the product and allowing the carpet to dry for up to two weeks without blotting or extracting the product. You can even apply liquid odor eliminators with a tank sprayer to cover larger areas.