Removing Poop, Pee, and Vomit from Area Rugs

You take great pride in your home and the utmost of care went into selecting just the right area rug to accent your style and home décor. When you chose that stunning Four Hands Dhurrie rug for your front entranceway, you knew it would be a conversation piece. You loved it for its muted elegance and striking pattern, and you knew that guests to your home would make note of its charm too. A rug known for its durability as well as its attractiveness, you didn’t balk at plunking down the money to add this gorgeous rug to your home. What you didn’t envision was that this rug would soon become a focal point in your house for reasons far less desirable than you had hoped for. It seems this area rug’s appeal doesn’t just extend to people. Your fave furry friend decided to leave his…ahem…mark on it, and now you find yourself trying to figure out how to get his “signature” out of your favorite rug.

What’s the best method?
When it comes to removing odors and stains from area rugs, there are some definite do’s and don’ts if you hope to preserve the integrity of the piece. Hasty attempts at removal can lead to permanent stains and even destruction of delicate fibers. While most pet stains can safely be removed from area rugs, it’s important to ensure you use the correct cleaning agent and tool for the job at hand.

Here are some of the most common pet stains/odors on area rugs and some solutions for removing them:

Urine
Urine stains and lingering odors are one of the most common problems pet owners face. Thankfully, with the right approach, urine remnants can be removed from your beloved area rugs or carpets once and for all.

When you discover a urine mark on your rug, you will need to be sure to use a soft cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the urine residue as possible. It is important to note that any residual amount of urine that remains in the rug will continue to emit a foul smell, so it cannot be overstated how critical it is to blot, blot, and blot some more to be certain to get it all. Experts agree that the best way to ensure you have removed all of the liquid is when a paper towel pressed against the surface returns dry.

There are several different commercial cleaners which do an excellent job of removing odors which can linger long after all trace of the stain has been eradicated. These include such products as Odoban, OUT! Pet Stain and Odor Remover, and Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover. But many housewives swear by an old stand-by home remedy comprised of items you likely already have around your home.

To attempt his home remedy, you will need to have access to hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, and lots of paper towel. Once you have effectively blotted all urine from the affected area of the rug, you must then saturate the spot with vinegar which must be worked into the area and allowed to rest overnight. Vinegar helps to neutralize the potent urine smell thus removing a powerful attractant that would draw your pooch back to the same spot to relieve himself again. The vinegar will penetrate throughout the carpet to ensure the fabric does not develop mildew or mold, an added bonus.

The following morning, liberally sprinkle the spot with baking soda. Baking soda is also an excellent tool for neutralizing any remaining odors. In addition to removing unpleasant smells, the baking soda will also help to dry any wet areas, preventing the growth of bacteria. You will need to allow the baking soda several hours to “set” and can even leave it on the fabric overnight if you so choose. Once the baking soda has had opportunity to work, simply vacuum it to remove any remaining residue.

As a final step to ensure the odor is completely removed, spray the formerly stained area with hydrogen peroxide and allow the area to dry naturally. This process can be repeated if you detect any lingering unpleasant aroma. And voila! The stain…and the smell…is gone!

Feces
Unfortunately…feces does happen, and when it does, it can be difficult to remove from your beloved rug. Thankfully, it’s not an impossible chore just an unpleasant one.

While commercial cleaners used for removing urine stains and smells can also be effective tools in dealing with feces removal, there is a powerful home remedy requiring very few ingredients that is worth the added effort.

To try your hand at this stain removing trick, you will need cold water, dishwashing soap, and some white vinegar to create the perfect poop cleaning solution. As when trying to remove urine stains, it is important that you remove as much of the feces from the rug as possible. If it will not come up cleanly, you may need to use rubber gloves to safely scoop up as much as you can. Take care not to scrub the area as it can grind the feces remnants into the fibers, making the rug that much more difficult to clean and could even ruin your rug.

Once the feces has been removed, take some paper towel and blot the stain to remove any residue. At this time, you may make use of a commercial stain removing agent or simply lubricate the area with hydrogen peroxide. Allow the peroxide to sit on the stain for a period of one hour then blot with a small amount of a solution of 2 quarts of cold water, 1 tsp of dishwashing liquid, and 2 cups of white vinegar and a white towel. Remove as much liquid from the stained area as possible. When your towel returns clean, you will know you have removed any feces remnants from your rug.

You can then sprinkle the carpet liberally with baking soda and allow it to sit for a period of 24 hours or until the rug is dry to the touch. Vacuum up any remaining baking soda.

Vomit
Is there anything worse than the sound of your best canine pal getting ready to retch up his supper? Yes, the smell of it on your favorite area rug!

Cleaning up vomit is essentially the same process as removing urine or feces from your carpeting. It begins by removing as much of the vomit from the rug and preparing the area for treatment by blotting.

But vomit, thankfully, is much easier to clean from fabrics than either feces or urine. There are two agents that lead the way when it comes to removing these types of stains. One is a commercial cleaning product known as OxiClean. The other is a standard, run of the mill item found in every single household worldwide—table salt.

If you have no OxiClean but lots of table salt to spare, why not give this method a try? Simply sprinkle the salt over the stain and allow several hours for it to “set” with a clean, slightly wet cloth placed directly over top of the salt. In a few hours’ time, the stain should appear considerably lighter in hue. Repeat if necessary, vacuuming up any remaining salt from the rug.

Yes, poop, pee, and vomit stains on your favorite area rug are a nuisance, for sure, but they don’t have to ruin your day…or your carpet. If you find yourself with an unpleasant stain on your hands, give one of these home remedies a try. You’ll be glad you did!

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