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Pets often play significant roles in the lives of their humans, and for good reason. Companion animals provide friendship, entertainment, and sometimes protection to their families. In return, pet parents occasionally must deal with the less pleasant consequences, including indoor accidents.

When a pet soils the carpet, quickly and effectively cleaning the area prevents unpleasant stains and odors from taking hold. However, many pet owners use cleaning techniques that not only fail to properly remove spots, but may encourage pets to come back for more. Read on to learn what steps you can take to keep your pets and housemates happy and your carpets clean.

Secrets to Effective Pet Stain and Odor Removal

When pet owners quickly and thoroughly clean soiled spots on carpets, it results in a cleaner, better-smelling, and more attractive home. It also helps with “potty training,” as pets often return to areas they’ve marked previously.

But what are the best methods for removing odors and stains? Savvy pet parents should familiarize themselves with the following tips:

Secret #1: Pre-treat spots quickly.

The best way to prevent permanent odors and stains is to begin treating them as soon as you discover the spots. Immediately remove solid waste or soak up moisture with paper towels until the area is nearly dry, then rinse the spot with clean, cool water and soak this up as well.
As an added training benefit, place the soiled towels near a puppy pad, litter box, or other designated place where your pets should relieve themselves. This will teach them what areas in the house are acceptable for this behavior.

Secret #2: Don’t scrub!

Although it may be tempting to scrub soiled carpet spots forcefully, this forces the stain further into the fibers. Gently rinsing and patting carpet dry with a sponge or towel helps release the stain.

Secret #3: Take a forensic approach to find old spots.

To most effectively identify soiled areas on your carpet, turn off the lights in each room of your home and bring in a black light. Urine spots will glow slightly, and you can then outline them with chalk so you know where to clean later.

Secret #4: Steam cleaners and chemical cleaners don’t work.

Conscientious pet owners may take great measures to remove pet stains and odors, but some of these methods are less effective than they may seem. Two of these are steam cleaners and cleaning chemicals.

While steam cleaners are suitable for use in many homes, they fail to remove pet odors adequately and may cause them to worsen. The heat produced by steam cleaners can bond the proteins in animal soils to the man-made fibers in carpets, making the stains and odors permanent.

By contrast, strong chemical cleaners with distinctive odors, such as vinegar and ammonia, are ineffective because they fail to eradicate or cover up the underlying urine odor. As a result, pets may be more tempted to return to the area to cover up the new scent with their own.

Secret #5: Call in an expert.

For the most thorough and effective spot and odor removal, a professional carpet cleaner has the experience and tools to remove pet soils permanently.

Need help getting rid of smells and stains caused by pets? Contact Xtreme Clean to learn more about our high-quality carpet cleaning services.