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Maine's Premium Area Rug Cleaning Service

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Brunswick: (207) 353-2597
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The Problem of Animal Urine on Oriental Rugs and Other Carpeting

Aside from creating an unhealthy indoor environment, contamination in carpet and area rug fibers from pet urine can cause permanent damage to surfaces with which it comes in contact. The problem is twofold: bacteria and pH. When urine is first deposited onto a rug, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acid side of the pH Scale. It is easier to remove right then and there when it is fresh. The initial acid state of the urine is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begin to accumulate almost immediately. Once it dries and when bacteria feeds on it further and produces its own waste, it then becomes alkaline. This is a much higher pH between 10 to 12 on the scale below and becomes much more difficult to remove now that the problem is compounded.



The urine soon begins to oxidize and react with the carpet dye to create a color change. This will become permanent if the urine is not removed immediately. Some of this color change can be attributed to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine passes through bacterial and chemical change. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fiber construction, it will change the dye structure altogether. It will therefore causing permanent discoloration. Even if the soluble urine salt deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done to some degree.

The classic yellow-gold “stain” left by urine is often a lack of one of the dyes in the face yarns. It is not, as many presume, a color added to the yarn left by the urine itself.



Why Does it Smell So Bad?

Urine odor comes both from the waste source and the from bacteria that uses it as a food source. With a continuing contamination issue in your home, a problematic pet can feed the bacteria daily with repeated incidents. This bacterial growth and the breakdown of the waste creates complex organic compounds. These will work deep into the fibers to a point of becoming part of the fiber and dye structure itself. This can present more than a difficult situation to remedy. The waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine create that common ammonia-like unpleasant odor.

The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries attract moisture. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months or on a rainy day because the salts attract the moisture. Because of this, urine contamination is never really bone dry. Moisture from the salts evaporate and put out odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet to begin to address the accompanying odor. ANYWHERE the urine has touched must be completely rinsed, neutralized, and attended to with specialized products.



Emergency Pet Stain Removal: An Easy Do it Yourself Method

The best tool to have in your home is a small one or two gallon wet vacuum or small spot removal machine like those sold in department stores. A small wet vac can be purchased for as little as $20-$40 and they are a real handy investment. Luv Your Rug recommends a small machine because of the more convenient size and easy access if you store it close by in a closet.

If you can get to the urine right while it is fresh, you will have a much better chance of total removal. Simply vacuum the urine right out of the carpet initially until no more comes out. Then apply copious amounts of this solution: 50% white vinegar and plain cold water. Do not be afraid to wet the rug... you have your vacuum right there with you. Now let it sit a few minutes and then vacuum it all out. Repeat the process, making sure all of the vinegar-water solution totally covers and extends beyond ANYWHERE the urine might have traveled to. Again, do not be afraid to wet your carpet. After all, your pet just did.



Is the Urine Older than a Day or So?

You should really consider professional assistance. Call us at the number at the top of this document and we will help you if you are in our service area. Too many times, people consider that the final solution to the problem is blotting it up and spraying on a deodorant. Really, a major discoloration and odor problem is working hard behind the scenes. Luv Your Rug also carries a variety of easy to use products that you can have on hand to address urine problems and other staining problems if they occur regularly. Just ask us about them and we will be happy to assist you. There is no need to live with that odor if you do not have to.



How Professionals Like Us Remove Odor

As we discussed earlier, in order to attempt to remove urine contamination and its odor, all of the alkaline salts the urine deposits must be totally neutralized and professionally rinsed out. To really correct the problem, procedures to do this can be extensive and time consuming. In many of the more severe situations, all of the following steps will be done and many of them will need to be repeated to achieve positive results.

  • Step 1: Perform a urine contamination inspection using an Ultraviolet light and a moisture detection meter. This inspection is the sure-fire way to locate insidious urine spots and treat each one individually, so we can eliminate the odor and its contamination.
  • Step 2: Professionally lean the affeted areas to remove any deposits. This may include the carpet padding and floor, if the carpet is a wall-to-wall installation. For area rugs, we can flip them over and work on the other side.
  • Step 3: Apply professional treatment products, so they penetrate to ALL AFFECTED AREAS.
  • Step 4: Use sub-surface moisture-extracting tools to thoroughly rinse out the urine deposits.
  • Step 5: Clean all of the surfaces again and apply professional enzyme deodorants and sanitizers.


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Contact Luv Your Rug For A FREE Estimate

Fill out our form below and tell us all about your Oriental and other area rugs you have. Try to include some important details for us so we can determine what is required to get you loving them again! Spots, stains, pet staining, age of rugs, sizes, fringes or not, etc. We will respond back and give you a pretty good idea of what this will cost you. If we have any questions, we will call you or write back.