As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But if your old dog (or cat, for that matter) is having accidents in the house, it’s no joke.
Even the most house-trained of pets can have the odd accident and cleaning it up can be a pretty horrible task. The good news is that it’s a protein-based stain and not usually difficult to remove. As always, the main thing is to act fast. Wear rubber gloves to remove the poop and dispose of it down the toilet and while you deal with the stain - and even if you’ve been wearing gloves, always wash your hands very thoroughly. Grab the rubber gloves and follow these steps...Catherine McQueenGetty Images
Remove as much of the stain as possible, then blot with paper towels dipped in a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water, to which you have added a few drops of disinfectant. Blot dry. If necessary, clean and deodorise the area with a proprietary pet stain remover like Dr Beckmann Pet Stain and Odour Remover or Vanish Pet Expert.always follow the instructions on the packaging.
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GHI tip: Spot test the carpet with a solution of your chosen disinfectant. Allow the disinfectant to sit in a hidden spot (such as under the sofa) for several minutes, and then blot the area with a clean cloth while it’s still wet. If the colour does not wash out or transfer to the cloth, wait 24 hours and inspect the carpet for damage. If you are worried that you will have to tackle stains on your carpet in the future, you may want to do this in advance.
If you have a stain that needs tackling immediately and you don’t have time to wait 24 hours to spot check the disinfectant, clean with the bicarbonate of soda and water solution, or pet stain remover and then blot with a disinfectant solution 24 hours later once you know it won’t damage the carpet.
If the smell of vinegar doesn’t put you off, spray where your pet has urinated with a solution of one-part white vinegar to five-parts water; this should deter your pet from returning to do his business on the same spot. Again, first spot check your carpet with the vinegar to ensure it doesn’t fade. If the vinegar aroma lingers after the carpet has dried, sprinkle with some bicarbonate of soda and allow it to sit for several minutes to an hour before vacuuming up.Related StoryHow to remove pigment and tanin-based stains
GHI tip: Make sure the carpet is completely dry before sprinkling the bicarbonate of soda on it or it will react with the moist vinegar and you will end up with a mess.Catherine Falls CommercialGetty Images
If the mess is on removable washable fabrics like cushions or loose covers, scrape away the deposit and blot dry. Machine-wash the item as normal, following care label instructions and using a biological detergent if possible.Related StoryHow to make your floors sparkle
GHI tip: Although it’s tempting to wash at a very high temperature to disinfect the fabric, poop is a protein stain so avoid a high temperature as it might set the stain in to the fabric.
If it's not possible to remove the item for cleaning, remove the deposit and then treat the area with a proprietary pet stain remover, like Dr Beckmann Pet Stain and Odour Remover. Always test in an inconspicuous area first and follow the instructions in the packaging. If necessary, sanitise by blotting with a mild disinfectant solution (again, this should be tested in an inconspicuous area before using).
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