Urine and Faeces Stain Removal
Pet Urine Stains

Urine Damage Treatment

Between 30% and 40% of UK households have at least one cat or a dog in residence and although they may be our best friends they may not be the best friend of our carpets, rugs, draperies and upholstery. Animal related accidents and stains can be challenging to remove, so it’s always best to have the area immediately professionally cleaned.

Unfortunately there are two types of reactions that can take place between the chemicals in an animal’s urine and those in the dyes and fibres of carpets and textile furnishings. The first type of reaction is immediately noticeable. The yellow colour of the urine can change the colours of the fibre or fabric (especially light colours) as soon as it comes in contact with them.

The other reactions develop slowly over several days to several months and can result in permanent changes to the dyes and fibres. Not only can the colour of the dyes change, but also the fibres may become weakened or destroyed by the aged urine. The decomposing urine can also produce a very objectionable odour.

These damaged areas can become more obvious to the eye after cleaning because any dirt that has built up on the stain over time may have hidden changes in the colour until it is cleaned.  Also, dyes weakened by urine may bleed or run, especially on fine wool rugs.
Remember, pet issues, if forgotten or never discovered, will return to haunt you.  Dried urine will smell like strong ammonia when humidity is high or when the spot is rewetted. 

Faeces and urine can also contain harmful bacteria, and a spot that is small on the surface is often many times larger on the underside. Sometimes damage caused by aged urine can only be remedied by the removal of the contaminated carpet and underlay and having the sub-floor professionally treated.

Urine Decontamination and Damage Treatment

As explained, pet urine can not only cause permanent damage to your floors and fabrics but can also create an unhealthy indoor environment. This is the reason why it cause so much damage:

When urine is first deposited onto a floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 4 or 5, which is on the acid side of the pH Scale, and this is why it's easier to remove right then when it is fresh.

Once it dries it turns “alkaline” and to a much higher pH of between 10 to12 on the scale and then it becomes much more difficult to remove. The warm acid state of the urine offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begin to flourish almost immediately. In this original acid state the urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a colour change, which then becomes permanent if the urine is not removed immediately. Some of this colour change can be attributed to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine passes through bacterial and chemical change. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fabric or floor type, it will change the dye structure, therefore causing permanent staining. Even if the soluble deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done.

Odour and its cause

There are two sources of odours associated with urine. The first comes from bacteria that grow abundantly in dark warm places living on a never-ending food source, quite possibly from your own pet! This bacteria growth and the breakdown of the urine creates what is known as amino acids. These complex organic compounds will often work deep into the fibres to a point of becoming part of the fibre which can present a challenging situation. The waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine create an unpleasant odour. When dried urine is remoistened, it gives off an ammonia gas. If smelled once it is seldom forgotten.

The second source of odour is the chemical odour that is present even when the bacteria have been killed. This explains the reason why more than just sanitizing is necessary to neutralize odours from urine. Urine also presents additional odour problems when the relative humidity is high. The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries are hydrophilic and draw water to them. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months because the salts attract the moisture, the moisture evaporates putting out a greater proportion of odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet to get rid of the odour. That’s why cleaning existing urine spots WILL NOT remove any associated odour. In fact, it could INCREASE the odour in the air space for a temporary period of time.

Faeces removal
Normal pet faeces tend to be easier to deal with than urine. Compact deposits can be quickly removed with a plastic bag. The surface should then be cleaned with a neutral detergent solution and blotted. Rinse the area with water and blot again. Follow this treatment with a mild disinfectant.  A word of caution: some popular household disinfectants can cause colour loss so test a small inconspicuous area first!

Unfortunately the food your pet eats may contain red dye to make it “look meatier,” and this could leave a red stain at the site of the “accident” because it contains an acid dye which will colour both nylon and wool fibres. We may be able to remove this with a specialty spotting chemical.  The good news!  If immediate action is taken to remove the animal deposits, little or no change in colour should occur and that “accident” will not become apparent after your carpet or other textile has been professionally cleaned.

The Best Cleaning Agents For Urine

Some Bio Enzyme treatments are a good cleaning agent for urine, vomit and faeces, and this is because an enzyme is a 'living' cleaning agent that digests the bacteria from the contamination. In some cases for best results we will use a Bio Enzyme treatment on the carpet, especially if the spot is not a fresh one.

Products to avoid using yourself

Try to stay away from products with high pH such as ammonia, Resolve and oxygen bleaches (Oxy and Vanish). These products can not only affect the colours but also leave the carpet with a residue and in a high pH state, which will enable the carpet to attract dirt like a magnet. In some instances the use of the wrong product can cause the urine stain to be permanent.

How Super-Clean can remove the odours

Remember, in order to remove the odour, all of the alkaline salt deposits that the urine leaves behind must be completely removed. This can be quite extensive and time consuming and in the worse cases all of the following steps 1-12 will need to be done. When damage is not so bad it will only be necessary to do steps 10 - 12.

  • Step 1: Pull up carpet.
  • Step 2: Remove any affected underlay.
  • Step 3: Clean back of carpet using water extraction method.
  • Step 4: Treat floor with an enzyme treatment.
  • Step 5: Seal floor if needed with an odour barrier.
  • Step 6: Treat back of carpet with enzyme treatment.
  • Step 7: Clean back of carpet using water extraction.
  • Step 8: Install any new underlay.
  • Step 9: Re-install carpet.
  • Step 10: Apply Bio Enzyme treatment to carpet fibres
  • Step 11: Professionally clean top of carpet using hot water extraction.
  • Step 12: Topically apply further enzyme treatment or deodorisers.

Super-Clean have many cleaning methods available to disinfect the contaminated area, reduce odours, and minimize discoloration. However, sometimes it is impossible to completely restore the original appearance of a carpet or textile that has been damaged by urine, especially when due to untreated or aged pet urine.

Disclaimer: Although we use professional Urine Stain Neutralisers during our cleaning process, it is not possible to guarantee that hidden chemical changes to the carpet fibres will not be revealed when a carpet is cleaned due to previous urine or faeces staining.