Old Pet Urine Stains

Today a reader left this comment,

I know I’m a little late to this post, but I was wondering if someone could help me. My girlfriend and I have a dog in our apartment. A couple of weeks ago, I didn’t get home in time to take it him outside and he had an accident on the carpet. We have tried everything from detergent, baking soda, you name it to get the smell out with minimal success. Any help with greatly appreciated.

This is a tough question to answer because there are so many variables involved with old pet urine stains. Believe it or not, many things to can actually contribute to what works and how much of it you will need to apply.  It really just depends on your carpet, the type of padding and how much urine soaked through.  Not to mention, whether or not it saturated the subfloor as well.

My first question is, have you tried white vinegar? In the past I have had luck with a mix of white vinegar and distilled water. The white vinegar helps to get rid of the bacteria which causes the smell. Now you have to use a liberal amount to make sure it gets down to all the carpet fibers, carpet pad and subfloor.

Old Pet Urine Stains

So you will want to make sure that after letting it sit on the carpet for a few minutes, then use white towels or a wet/dry vac to absorb the bulk of the mixture back up out of the carpet.  Also be prepared that you might have to do this multiple times to remove the smell. If it has sat there for any length of time, it’s going to take some work.

Now I’ve heard of a product that works well for this scenario, but I have not had a chance to try it myself. A friend of mine swears by Biokleen Bac-out Stain & Odor Eliminator. I’ve looked it up on Amazon.com and the reviews there are pretty good.  It looks like it can be purchased in 32oz bottles or gallon size.

Other than the white vinegar and the Biokleen Bac-out Stain & odor Eliminator, it sounds like you’ve tried everything else I would have suggested ahead of time.  If my suggestions don’t work, you may have to pull up the carpet and pad from the subfloor.  In some instances, I’ve had success in treating the subfloor with Kilz Primer and replacing that specific section of the carpet pad. The carpet is much easier to get the stain and odor out if the pad and subfloor do not have it as well.

One last suggestion: no matter what you try, just make sure that you test in an inconspicuous area first. That way you won’t be exchanging the urine smell for a different kind of stain after your cleaning attempt.  Since you’re in an apartment, I’d suggest testing a new product out in a closet if possible, as it more difficult to notice in there if something should go wrong with a new stain being created for some reason. Unlikely, but always play it safe.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog.