By Ken Strid, Owner, Cleancare of Boulder.
When you are in my line of work, you start to think that all Oriental rug Owners are also pet owners. But that’s only because most of the rug washing requests we get include rinsing out pet urine. And that’s a very wise thing to do of you own a pet stained fine rug. Dogs, cats, and other household pets can destroy, sometimes permanently, your oriental and other specialty area rugs. When your pet secretly squats on your rug, it can result in permanent staining, bleeding of typically unstable dyes into each other (which will ruin your exquisite designs and patterns), foundation dry rot, annoyingly strong odors, and an overall unhealthy environment. The big three of pet stains are of course: urine, feces, and vomit.
When your pet pees on your fine rug, you may have one, some or all of the following issues.
1. Pigments in the urine can stain. The most common is urochrome which gives urine its yellow color. Staining can occur on contact and can be influenced by age, diet, and any medications the animal may be taking.
2. Dye structure. Urine can destabilize the rug fiber’s dyes, resulting in color bleed and can also cause a slight bleaching effect..
3. Dry Rot. This may occur if the urine is never cleaned or removed and left for a certain length of time. Dry rot involves a fungal disease which causes cellulose to become brittle and crumble into powder. Cotton, which provides the foundation yarns of most oriental rugs, is primarily cellulose.
See the problems when you just ignore pet urine? It goes beyond your nose!
So here’s what you should do when you notice pet urine on your rug.:
· When a fresh accident is discovered, quickly blot up all liquid with cotton or paper towels. WHITE towels are preferred, but any towel that doesn’t bleed color into the rug is acceptable.
· Follow with a small amount of cold water and blot thoroughly. Spray on, do not pour– to limit amount of moisture.
· If necessary, a solution of ½ teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with one cup cold water may be applied to the area and then blotted.
· Follow with a solution of 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar with 2/3 cup cold water and blot.
· Cover the area with a thick towel or several thin towels, weight down with phone book or magazines and allow 8 hours to dry. The weighted towel will continue to absorb moisture from the rug. If the top layer of towel appears wet more towels will need to be added to the top. Make sure not to disturb the bottom layer.
What about pet feces?
Pet feces are just plain yucky, right? After you have finished gagging or dry heaving, just know that pet feces are typically easier to deal with than urine. But, most of us are used to cleaning up after our dogs now, anyway. And if you are a dog owner who leaves dog poop around your neighborhood, well… you suck!
So, just treat a feces accident on your rug the same as you would on your neighbors lawn (NO– don’t kick it into their flowerbed!). Just remove it with a plastic bag over your hand. Unfortunately, sometimes feces will be loose and there will be some remaining material. There is no shame in wearing gloves if you have to or in clamping a clothes pin onto your nose. Take your garden shovel or a plastic spoon and scrape up as much as you can. Allow for a dry heave and then get what you can up with paper towels. Clean the area with a solution of ½ teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with one cup cold water and blot. Rinse with water and blot to get the detergent residue out so it doesn’t attract soil later.
Do small areas (3”circles) at a time to prevent spreading. If the areas are large professional cleaning is recommended.
And finally, pet vomit.
Vomit should be treated the same as feces. But attention to pet vomit needs to be immediate. Due to food dyes and stomach acids, staining or bleaching can easily occur.
Please note that the use of any cleaner including water may cause color bleed and/or texture distortion. It is recommended to test all cleaners in an inconspicuous area to determine suitability . While this is easy to do on wall to wall carpet, it is not so easy to test a rug. Why? Well, what part of your rug is not important to you if your test area bleeds? Maybe the area under your chair or sofa? What if you rearrange your furniture? Sometimes, it just may be appropriate to have a rug washing specialist in Boulder, CO like Cleancare of Boulder take care of these problems for you.
To find out why Cleancare is a rug washing specialist in Boulder, CO, call Ph.: 303-530-0646.