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021. Removing Odors and Stains.


This article is from the rec.pets.dogs: Assorted Topics, posted to rec.pets.dogs newsgroup. Maintained by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.

021. Removing Odors and Stains.

There's a web site about removing stains from carpet that's worth checking: http://www.carpet-rug.com/stains.html.

Removing urine

For fresh urine: clean the spot with any good carpet shampoo (Spot Shot is one). Then soak it with plain old club soda, leave it for about ten minutes and blot it up.

If the urine has soaked the pad and the floor below that, it will be difficult to remove the odor regardless of what you use.

To find spots if you're not sure where they are, get a UV lamp that has the filter built in (to eliminate any remnant visible light). Urine fluoresces in "black light." You can get them at hardware stores. There are also UV lamps in hobby stores and places that cater to spelunkers and rockhounds, but they're more expensive. The UV source is safe as long as you use the longwave lamp and not the shortwave lamp used for tanning.

Enzymatic products

Products that remove odors: Nature's Miracle (carpet, has 800 number on bottle); Simple Solution (carpet and other items); Outright! (carpet, 214-438-0397); Resolve (carpet, perhaps other items); Odor Mute (originally for deskunking dogs, has other applications, leaves white residue, works on concrete, 507-642-8529). Odor Abolish, by Endosome Biologicals, may also be useful. These products use enzymes to break down the odor causing compounds in urine and feces, and are quite effective. From: dwm@pruxl.att.com {Doug Monroe) When using enzymatic products, it is important to use freshly diluted enzymes, let it soak in as deeply as the urine has penetrated, and *keep the area warm and wet for 24 hours*. Chemical reactions, including enzymatic reactions, go faster at higher temperatures. Unfortunately, most enzymatic reactions don't do well much over 102F (38-39C)-- so not TOO hot. Try covering the area with towels soaked in plain water after applying the enzyme, then a shower curtain or other plastic over that to make sure the area stays moist. The enzymes in laundry products are reportedly the same as those in the expensive odor-killing products, but they cost less than 1/3 as much. They work just as well. Biz is one product. You'll find it in your grocery laundry section with the pre-soak laundry stuff. Remember, you have to SOAK the area and then cover it to keep it from drying out. The smelly area must be WET with the enzyme for 24 hours or more.

Launderable items

On launderable items: put in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar and no detergent, then wash again as usual.


If you have concrete (eg, in the basement) into which urine has been soaked, this can be difficult to remove, as unsealed concrete is very porous. You will have to neutralize the urine and then seal the concrete properly. A specialty cleaning service is probably the best way to properly neutralize the urine in the concrete. Vinegars and other cleaners may help, but only temporarily. Odor Mute is reputed to work on concrete. Improving the ventilation may also help. In extreme cases, pouring another 1/4-1/2 inch layer of concrete over the original concrete will solve the problem.

Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors that have been stained with urine can be difficult to clean. First treat with an enzyme-based product such as Nature's Miracle to remove the odor. You can find wood bleaches and stains at your hardware store: you may want to consult with one of the employees on what is available. You will need to remove any varnish or polyurethane from the area, sand it down a bit, bleach and/or stain it, and then apply the protective coat. There are also professional companies you can consult. In severely stained cases, you may have to replace the wood.


For your yard, gypsum is supposed to help lawns cope with urine. This is found in Jerry Baker's Plants are Still Like People.


Some dogs just seem to like to tangle with skunks. Others only encounter one once or twice in their lives. Either way, there are some techniques for dealing with a skunked dog.

The important thing is to get the skunk oil off a quickly as possible and don't let the dog spread the oil around. Also, the skunk smell seems to be easier to get rid of the sooner the dog is washed.

To get rid of the smell - try vinegar diluted with water. Douches work (they contain vinegar), but the perfumes may irritate some dogs' skin. Massengill in particular is often highly recommended. Soap the skunked areas, then apply the vinegar - let it sit a little while, and then soap again. Don't get the vinegar in the dog's eyes. Try also: diluted lemon juice and a dishwashing detergent (Dawn is generally recommended) to cut the grease.

There is a product available called SKUNK OFF.

If your dog's been thoroughly sprayed, don't expect to get all the smell out with a bath but what smell is left will go away faster.

A formula from Mr. Krebaum that is supposed to work very well is:

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap

Mix the three ingredients together and use immediately. The chemical reaction lasts only a limited time. Rinse your pet well with water, and don't let the solution soak for more than a few minutes. Make only as much as you need and do NOT store any excess, just drain it. The hydrogen peroxide involed reportedly does not affect the color of the dog's coat. The recipe above makes enough to handle a cat-sized pet, so adjust accordingly as needed.


The watery, tasteless liquid mixture of salivary and oral mucous gland secretions that lubricates chewed food, moistens oral walls, and contains enzymes that function in the predigestion of starches.

The enzymes are the potent operatives here that leave semi-permanent slime trails on clothes, ceilings, walls, and table tops, depending on your breed. Removal of high-powered slobber, especially from polyesters and blends, can be a problem. For washable fabrics, the cheapest pre-wash treatment is Accent meat tenderizer liberally sprinkled on the the slobber spots (wet the spots or whole garment before applying the Accent). Let it soak for a few minutes, then wash as usual with laundry detergent.


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