After a long tiring day at work you come home only to have your nose bombarded with a horrid smell. You start your investigation to find the source of the foul odour and to your horror it is your favorite area rug carpet. Your beloved dog has peed on it while you were away. Upon further investigation you also find that this wasn’t the only time your rug was used as an indoor bathroom. Now what do you do? First don’t panic, I know easy to say not always easy to do. Grab some COTTON Towels, do not grab any cleaners or spot removers, just cotton towels.
Depending on if your rug is wool, synthetic, or another fiber type and if your rug is hand-knotted, hand tufted, or machine-made will decide how easily urine will be removed from your rug. These tips are at your own risk since I do not know your exact type of rug. Getting a professional WoolSafe area rug cleaner to deal with urine is always best.
The thing about pet urine is the older it is the harder it is to get out of area rugs. When you get a new puppy it almost guaranteed they will pee on your rugs, A LOT. Do not wait until your puppy is fully trained to get the rug taken care of. When you first notice that your rug is used as a bathroom get it professionally cleaned and afterward if you don’t need to use the rug keep it stored away until your puppy is fully trained.
Another fact about your dog peeing on your rug is when you catch them doing it, it probably isn’t the first time they have done it. Depending on the type of construction your rug has it may be hard to see where your dog has peed. The only real way to tell is to get to down and start smelling your rug. Dogs tend to like to pee in the corners, the middle of the rug if it isn’t covered by furniture, near furniture legs and by entrance doors. A round or oval urine stain is from a female, and of course a splatter is from male.
When you do find that your rug is being used as an indoor bathroom this is what you can do:
- If the urine is fresh place cotton towel on the floor under where the urine is and take a folded white cotton towel and blot the spot by stepping on the towel all around the urine. When the towel has become too wet, use another clean, cotton towel and continue to step all over the spot until you are getting no more wetness on the towel. Check the towel underneath your rug to see if it is getting too wet. Change the towel as needed to protect your floor from the urine.
- Now dampen a towel with water and blot the top of the rug where the urine was. DO NOT RUB your rug in a circular motion. This causes pile distortion which is permanent. Keep the urine spot moist until you can get your rug to a professional wool safe area rug cleaner the next day.
- Do not wait days or weeks to get your rug taken care of. The longer the urine is in your rug the harder it is to remove. If you are unable to personally take the rug in see about getting the cleaners to pick it up.
When you have not seen your dog peeing on you rug, but find out from the odour, or you were moving the rug and noticed your floor has evidence of urine spots, there isn’t much you can do to fix the rug yourself. When the urine is absorbed by your rug and is now dry and any efforts you make by applying miracle cleaners from bottles will completely ruin your valuable rugs.
The best and safest thing to do is get it to your WoolSafe area rug cleaners as soon as possible. Anything you may try can ruin your rug. Here at Luv-a-Rug Cleaners in Victoria BC, Canada we see rugs all the time that have been permanently damaged by DIY (Do-It-Yourself) cleaning. It isn’t worth the hassle or expense to try to clean your rug yourself when it comes to urine removal or for that fact most spills.
Whenever you are in doubt call your professional area rug cleaners.
Since there are more than enough articles written about DIY rug and carpet cleaning here are some things to avoid using on area rugs:
- Baking Soda, it can discolour wool area rugs, plus it is not made for used on rugs
- Oxi-sprays, not made for any type of area rugs period! (read the fine print on the bottle, the risk is all yours)
- Hosing your rug with a power washer, can cause the pile to change texture, your rug to warp or worse your rug to start coming apart
- Any cleaners or spot removers that are not WoolSafe, if they don’t say anything about being safe for wool they can cause permanent damage to your rugs
- Ammonia, it is not made to be used on area rugs
- Bleach and any cleaners with bleach, not made for use on rugs
Things that are safe to use on most rugs for spills:
- Water to dampen the area, not wet the area. getting some area rugs wet causes damage
- Salt to absorb red wine spills and most wet spills, make sure it is regular white salt, not a flavoured salt
- Oatmeal/ Quick Oats absorbs wet spills
- Vinegar mixed with water in a 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar for urine on wool rugs or if your rug bleeds dye easily
- A dry cleaning product called Host Sponges. Call around to carpet and rug cleaners to buy this moist cleaner that absorbs dirt. Made from corn husks and citrus. It is designed to clean your wall to wall carpet and is Wool safe
To help prevent your dog from starting to use your rugs as indoor bathrooms:
- Sprinkle your rugs with Pepper when you first put them down, either as a new rug or after it was cleaned. As long as the pepper doesn’t get wet it won’t stain your rugs and you can vacum it up after a couple of days. This is good to do when you get a puppy or a new dog in your house, and after you move to a new place.
- When you go away for vacation and have someone house-sitting roll up your rugs and put them in an unused room. Pets don’t like their routines messed with and when you are not there they can act out of character and pee on your rugs.
Check the floor where your rug covers and the backs of your rugs if you suspect they may have been peed on. Whenever your dog stops following their regular bathroom routine it may because they found a more convenient place to go, your rugs.
There is no magic solution for urine removal at home. There are products made that promise you great results, but most cover up the odour and are not made for every fiber type used to make area rugs. The best thing to do is to get your rugs professionally cleaned as soon as you know they have been peed on. Pets will always seek out your rugs for their business because they are absorbent just like outdoors, even if you only own one rug they will target it.