Accidents happen from time to time, particularly if you have pets (or children!). When pet urine spills onto your carpets or precious rugs, prompt action is key. Despite what you read online, often all that is needed is to blot the liquid up with a dry towel and perhaps some water.
If the accident involves urine, speed is crucial. If the fibre type is wool (or cotton, linen, viscose, sisal etc.), the need for prompt action is even more pressing. This is because urine is acidic. It also contains a broad range of organic matter that can cause staining & malodours.
Last week, we were asked to treat a large, valuable pure wool rug that had suffered significant contamination from cat urine. The current owners of the rug had inherited it from relatives, only later realising it came with quite of lot of Labrador hair embedded in. The new owner’s cat did not take well to this & expressed his option quite liberally over the expensive rug.
In this instance, the cat urine did not cause any noticeable staining. The homeowners only became aware of the issue when their front room began to smell unbearable. As IICRC Odour Neutralisation trained technicians, we carry a range of kit & solutions to deal with incidents such as these.
The first tool we used was our Sebo BS36 vacuum…
Following a thorough vacuuming to recover as much dry soil & historic pet hair as possible, our next tool was an Ultra Violet torch. The video below shows how effective this can be in causing the contaminated areas to effloresce-
After we had identified the areas of cat urine, we applied a urine neutralising solution to this patches to break down the problem, The element of urine that causes long term odours are uric salts. These attract moisture, which explains why sometimes on warm, humid days, people notice the smell reappearing – the uric salts have simply absorbed moisture from the air & become reactivated,
The next step was to apply a wool safe cleaning solution to the whole rug, brush this in & allow a 15 minute dwell time. This allows the hi-tech solution to break down soils & greasy deposits ready for extraction.
Finally, we set up our Airflex extraction machine & rinse-extracted the rug with a slightly acidic solution. This recovers all the soils that the cleaning solution has made soluble and ensures the wool is left at its preferred, slightly acidic state.