Did you know pet urine creates an unhealthy indoor environment in your home? It can also cause irreversible damage to your valuable flooring and upholstery. When urine first reaches your flooring or upholstery its pH level is around 5 or 6, which is considered “acidic” on the pH scale. Because the urine is fresh, this is the best time to remove it. When the urine dries it becomes more challenging to remove because it becomes “alkaline”, with a high pH level of between 10 and 12. When the urine is in a warm acid state it becomes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria which rapidly begin to multiplty. If not removed immediately, a permanent change in the color of the carpet can happen because the urine begins the oxidation process.
The color change that occurs is due to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine moves through bacterial and chemical changes. Depending on the fabric or flooring type, if the urine is left for days or weeks, it will change the structure of the dyes resulting in permanent staining. The damage to the dye structure may have already happened, even if the soluble deposits are removed.
Two Sources of Urine Odor
- The first source of odor from urine is from the bacteria that grow rapidly in warm dark areas especially when they have a never-ending food source. Your pet may be feeding this bacteria daily without your knowledge! As the bacteria grows and breaks down the urine, amino acids are created. These intricate organic compounds work deep into the fibers until they actually can become a part of the fiber. This creates a challenging situation. The unpleasant odor that you may smell is created by the waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine. Each time the dried urine is moistened, it gives off an ammonia gas. The unpleasant smell is one that is not easily forgotten.
2. Another source of odor is the chemical odor that exists even when the bacteria have been killed. That is why sanitizing more than once is necessary to neutralize any odors from the urine. When the relative humidity is high, the odor from urine tends to be more noticeable. This is because the salts and crystals that are left as the urine dries are hydrophobic and draw in water. On humid days, it is easier to smell the urine because the salts are attracted to the moisture and then when the moisture evaporates it puts out a greater amount of odorous ammonia gas. To get rid of the odor you must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet . This explains why cleaning pre-existing urine spots WILL NOT remove the associated odor. Actually, it could INCREASE the odor in the air space for a temporary period of time.
The best cleaning agent for urine, vomit and feces are enzymes. An enzyme product is the most effective cleaning agent because it is the only cleaning agent that actually eats up the bad bacteria. For a better outcome, rinse the carpet first before applying an enzyme spotter; this is especially important if it is not a fresh spot. Nature’s Miracle, is an enzyme treatment we recommend for home use. You can purchase it at any local pet store. Remember to read the directions before using any product you put on your carpet.
Products we do NOT recommend
Avoid products with high pH level such as Resolve, ammonia or oxygen bleach. Products such as these leave your carpet in a high pH state and leave residue in your fibers thus creating a magnet for dirt. Be cautious what product you use on stains, because in some instances, if you use the wrong product, it can cause the staining to become permanent. If you are unsure about a product you want to try, please call A Clean Pro first and we would be happy to assist you.
Professional Odor Removal
To remove pet urine odor completely can be quite extensive and time-consuming, even for the professional cleaner. Remember, to remove the odor, the professional must completely remove all the alkaline salt deposits that the urine leaves behind. In the worst case situations, all the following stepsbelow will be done. For situations where the damage is not as extensive, a few steps are not necessary and will be left out.
- Step 1: Carpet is pulled up.
- Step 2: Affected pad(s) removed.
- Step 3: Clean back side of the carpet.
- Step 4: The floor is treated with enzymes.
- Step 5: Use odor barrier to seal the floor if needed.
- Step 6: The back of the carpet is treated with enzymes.
- Step 7: New tack strip installed.
- Step 8: New pad installed.
- Step 9: Carpet re-installed .
- Step 10:Clean the carpet.
- Step 11:Apply enzyme topically.
Disclaimer: Read directions for any spotter or cleaning product before applying. In addition test each spotter or cleaning product in an concealed area. Use these techniques at your own risk. If the odor or stain persists, call A Clean Pro.