Using Vinegar to Remove Pet Stains
It used to be that if you needed to clean something in your house you just made a trip to the grocery store and perused the cleaning aisle.
You would just throw into your cart whatever cleaning product caught your eye or maybe something you had a coupon for or you saw an advertisement and it sounded promising so you're going to give it a try.
More recently though, there has been a trend towards homemade cleaning products that are made from all natural products. Products you may have in your home already.
These homemade products can take the place of store bought floor cleaners, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, stain and odor removers and so much more.
One of my all time favorites is white vinegar. You can use it almost anywhere in the home. It's inexpensive, it's usually something already in the pantry and it's good for the environment.
White vinegar is a great cleaner for removing pet stains as well. Vomit, feces and urine stains come out easily with a quick application of my vinegar cleaning solution.
An added benefit is that vinegar is a deodorizer so it doesn't just remove pet stains, it removes any lingering odors.
Using a Homemade Vinegar Cleaning Solution
First of all, vinegar works. We use gallons of it at Mrs Clean. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer, mild disinfectant and germicide. It leaves no residue, so you don't have to rinse the stain again after cleaning with it.
Vinegar is safe for just about every surface: carpet, wood floors, linoleum, vinyl and tile or ceramic floors.
On a side note, vinegar is not safe for use on stone floors such as marble or travertine. Vinegar is mildly acidic and can cause surface damage to these delicate types of stone. It can also remove the shine and make the stone look dull and spotty.
Vomit can ruin marble too, even more quickly than vinegar due to its extremely strong acidic nature.
Homemade Vinegar Cleaner
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 quart of warm water
If You Are Concerned About a "Vinegary Smell"
If you are concerned about a vinegar smell - Let me just say don't be. Granted, you may not like the smell but it won't linger for too long. The "vinegary smell" will disperse as it dries so don't worry about the house smelling like salad dressing for too long. You can always open a door or window when cleaning with it.
Getting Pet Stains Out of Carpet
Try to remove the stain as soon as possible. If allowed to set in or dry, it's much harder to remove the stain.
Cleaning up pet vomit, feces or urine with a vinegar and water solution may take several applications but it will work and as we mention above, vinegar is a natural deodorizer and will remove any of those pet odors.
- If your furry friend has vomited or pooped on the rug, remove the solids first. Either pick it up with a paper towel and dispose of it or scoop it up and dispose of it. If your pet has urinated skip to the next step and blot up the liquid.
- Remove as much of the liquid as you can. Use paper towels or a clean cloth, some kind of absorbent material. Simply blot until you have gotten as much moisture out as you can.
- If you are concerned with colorfastness you can test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous place first.
- Now either spray the water and vinegar solution onto the stain or pour it on until the whole area that was stained is wet. No need to flood the area, let the cleaning solution sit for a minute or so.
- Using more absorbent materials, blot some more until you get all the liquid up. You can also use a clean rag, lay it over the area and step on it to soak up the liquid.
- If there’s still a stain, you can let the carpet dry a bit and then repeat the process, this time blotting from the outside of the stain working in towards the middle of the stain.
- Let the area dry naturally and the vinegar smell will dissipate when it is dry.
This method will work on upholstered furniture as well. Because you don't want the liquids soaking deep into the padding, use something like a shop vac to suck out the liquids.
Cleaning Pet Stains from Delicate Area Rugs
If you have a delicate or expensive area rug and your pet pees, poops, or vomits on it, check with the manufacturer if you are concerned about using vinegar to remove any of these.
Vomit especially contains strong acids that can severely damage delicate fabrics.
At the very least, it should be safe to remove and gently rinse biological materials with cool water. Dab with a clean cloth to dry then check with the manufacturer as soon as possible.
Removing Lingering Odors from Your Pet's Accident
- Sprinkle a fair amount of baking soda over the area. If it's carpet, work it into the pile with a gloved finger or an old toothbrush.
- Let this sit for an hour to overnight.
- If there is still baking soda on the carpet, wet the area a little. Put a towel over it until dry then vacuum again.
Image courtesy of Microsoft office 13