How to Clean Pet Stains on Hardwood and Carpet

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Let’s be honest. Pet stains are frustrating. And while there are a number of reasons your pet may be having accidents around the house — whether they’re adjusting to a change in their environment, they have a health condition that needs addressing, or they’re just communicating with you that they need to go outside more often — accidents are no fun to discover or clean up on carpet or hardwood floors.

If your pet is having accidents around the house, it’s important to understand the difference between removing stains from a carpeted area and removing stains from a hardwood floor. Each has unique chemistry and care needs that need to be taken into account. Consider the following when cleaning up your pet’s accidents:

Removing pet stains on carpet

If your pet is having accidents on the carpet, it’s always best if you can catch it right away to reduce permanent stains. If you’re dealing with a stain that is still wet, use a thick layer of paper towels or newspaper to absorb as much urine as possible. You can stand on the padding or blot the area while the accident is soaked up for a few minutes. Make sure you do not scrub or wipe the accident away at this stage to avoid driving odors and stains further into your carpet. Then, you can repeat this step until the area is nearly dry, and then use a stain remover or simply rinse the area with cool, clean water and blot dry.

To get poop stains out of your carpet, it’s first important to pick up as much as you can before applying water or a stain solution. From there, you can use the same methods as you would use to remove urine stains.

If you aren’t sure how long the accident has been there and pet stains are already set in your carpet, you may want to consider renting a carpet cleaner from your local store. This will help ensure that your carpet is cleaned thoroughly deep within the fibers. Once you’ve gotten your carpet clean, you can use a pet odor neutralizer on this area to eliminate any lingering smells.

When it comes to carpet, it’s important to avoid applying heat to the area by using a steam cleaner. This will permanently set odors and stains into the fibers of your carpet. If the stains have set or soaked through the carpet and into the padding beneath, you may have to consider replacing your carpet and padding. Cleaning solutions with strong fragrances, like ammonia or vinegar, may also cause your pet to reinforce his or her scent by marking your carpet again, so be aware of the products you use after cleaning or replacing your carpet.

Removing pet stains from hardwood floors

Hardwood floors will respond differently to your pet’s urine, and must be treated differently when it comes to stains. Removing the urine stains and smell from your hardwood floors may be challenging, but there are a few home remedies you can try. Start by mixing one cup of vinegar into a bucket full of warm water and add a few drops of grapefruit oil (to get rid of the odor). This solution is safe to use when scrubbing your hardwood floors. If it’s still damp, sprinkle some baking soda on the area to soak up the remaining moisture and eliminate odor.

If you’ve cleaned up the mess but are still left with odor, apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stained area and cover it with a clean cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Then, cover the cloth with plastic wrap, weighting it down on the corners, if necessary, and let this sit overnight or for at least 8 hours. The hydrogen peroxide should remove any stains and eliminate the urine odor deep within your wood floor. However, it may lighten the floors and you may have to sand and refinish the affected area.

If home remedies aren’t working…

If your pet’s accidents continue to be a problem, it may be time to call the experts. A stain-free, odor-free floor is a big part of maintaining the value of your home, and professional cleaning services can help you with regular maintenance or specific accidents. There are also products that deter your pets from marking your home, as a preventative measure.


Your pets may have a good reason for having accidents inside, and in addition to making sure they are safe and healthy, it can help to know that there are a variety of solutions for pet stains that can keep your home clean and fresh.


About The Author: David Cruz is a freelance real estate writer. David covers a wide array of topics ranging from commercial real estate fluctuations to residential home improvement tips.
Photo by Victor Ballesteros on Unsplash

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