Removing dog urine with a Bissell carpet cleaner:
Yesterday I was called to a client's home for some carpet cleaning. They had gotten themselves a new puppy about six months ago and it had urinated in their son's room and the hallway leading into his room. It is typical for a dog to urinate in the same spot multiple times until they are trained to go outside. The clients had purchased one of those expensive high end Bissell carpet cleaning machines and was unsuccessful in removing the pee stains. In fact you could smell the soap (aka carpet cleaning solution) in the carpet and their efforts to remove the urine had only made things worse. They was a tremendous amount of soap in the carpet and the urine spots were very large in size. Obviously the Bissell was a "Bust."
Because dogs will urinate multiple in the exact same spot removing urine is difficult even for a professional cleaner. It requires special chemicals and special tools to remove the urine from not only the carpeting but the padding as well. Many times a carpet cleaner will clean the carpet only to have the stain reappear in about 1-3 days. This is called "wicking." The urine from the carpet pad has moved up into the carpet. If the stain is LARGER than before then it is the fault of the cleaner for sure. If the spot is smaller in size it is the fault of the homeowner. In the case of the larger reappearing stain the professional did not use the proper equipment & technique to remove the urine. I recently received a call from a carpet cleaner who was having difficulty removing pet urine from the client's carpets and in questioning him he did not have the right type of equipment to remove the stain. He expressed to me that he would just blame the dog. Not what I would call customer service, but what can you expect from a Groupon carpet cleaner. In the case of the smaller stain the client did not adequately describe what the stain consisted of making removal difficult.
If you have kept up with my blogs you will notice that I try not to condemn the Rug Doctors and Bissell machines too much. They do have their usefulness that I have discussed in earlier blogs. If you were to ask me what is the NUMBER ONE failure response for these types of machines I would have to say it is in the removing of pet urine. If you see your dog/cat urinate on your carpets let me suggest that you try the following:
1). BLOT, BLOT, BLOT. Do not RUB anything but try to blot up the urine using a bar towel or paper towels. I like bar towels because they are very absorbent and will remain that way as long as you do not use any fabric softner when cleaning our drying them.
2). Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide in hot water - 50/50. Remember that hydrogen peroxide is a 3% solution and the rest is water. Make sure it is hot because it react with the urine and break down the yellow pigment found in the urine. Pour directly onto spot and then BLOT, BLOT, BLOT. If you have a wet vac attempt to vacuum up the remaining water using this device AFTER blotting.
3). You can use soap ONLY if it is residue free or pH neutral. Believe it or not most natural stone cleaners are pH neutral. If you leave the carpet in a high pH state it will soil very quickly even if you remove all of the urine.
4). Avoid using OxyClean and Bleach. These are HIGH pH decolorizers and they are NOT cleaning solutions. They can bleach out the color of your carpets.
If this does not work then it is time to call a professional. Make sure they have a device called a "Water Claw" to remove the urine. Yes, we own a water claw here at Liberty Floor Solutions.