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Four Reasons Why Pet Urine is a VERY difficult DIY

Pet accidents are the biggest drawback of owning a pet. They will happen no matter how well trained, behaved, and loved your pets are. Cat urine is especially damaging and has such a low surface tension that it quickly absorbs into everything – including sub-floors and walls. This is a substance that many people try to treat at home because accidents can happen frequently – especially with older pets. We strongly urge you not to try DIY solutions because you can cause permanent damage to your floors and furniture and you may end up needing to replace your things. See below:

Reason 1: Enzymes don’t work

Most urine treatments out there are enzyme based. Enzymes are a great way to treat urine, and are fantastic in theory, but in reality they usually don’t work. If you can actually get a live enzyme on the carpet, hats off to you. Unfortunately, while it sounds easy, this is no simple task.

  • Live bacteria are quite sensitive to temperature change
  • Bacteria start to die the minute a manufacturer seals the bottle.
  • Anything used on the carpet prior to the enzyme has high potential to kill said enzyme.

So you pour what used to be live fantastic, urine eating bacteria – that has traveled miles, been subjected to temperature change while traveling through distance and over time, onto your upholstery or rug on top of goodness knows what other cleaning and deodorizing products – and wait for it to attack. (Be generous – you need to fully saturate the stain in order to treat it.) Unfortunately, most of your enzymes are dead by now, and only in Sci-Fi can the dead attack anything.

Reason 2: putting more liquid there spreads it

The end result of pouring unreliable, and possibly dead bacteria or another cleaning solution on a urine stain ultimately washes the urine deeper into porous surfaces and spreads it over a larger area. Plus, it re-hydrates the dried urine, which makes the smell worse.

Reason 3: you can’t over-wet

You need to rinse the product out with water without over wetting (compounding reason #2.) Then, if you don’t get the water out, your carpet or upholstery will start to mildew. You need a vacuum system with enough power to pull the solution and water out of both the carpet and underlying pad or the fabric and cushion. A nice damp dark place is a great way to propagate more bacteria, which does not help matters.

Reason 4: not rinsing fully can bleach the color

If you don’t rinse out all of the solution, there is a good chance it will bleach your carpet or upholstery. So often, we come to treat a urine spot, and the carpet is already lighter in that area – a result of another cleaner that was left in the carpet from a DIY attempt.

The reason for my story?

If you are dealing with urine at home – do not use an off the shelf treatment.

  • Soak it up with a dry towel as fast as you can.
  • Put the towel down and tap very lightly on it, move it, tap again, adding more pressure only when the towel is coming up dry.
  • Your goal is to prevent the urine from soaking further in, so the last thing you want to do is throw a towel on it and step on it – that just squishes it down more.
  • Be slow, be careful, when fully dry, slowly wet it and repeat the process to soak the water out.
  • To treat the smell in between professional cleanings, use a product that is essential oil based.

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