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.
More recently though, there has been a trend towards more homemade cleaning products that are made from all natural products that you probably already have in your home.
White vinegar is a great cleaner for removing pet stains. 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 great deodorizer so it doesn't just remove pet stains, it gets out any lingering odor or smell too.
Vinegar is cheap, you’ve usually got some around the house, and it’s a green cleaner – good for the environment. So when your pet decides to leave a gross little "gift" around the house, get out the trusty vinegar and lets get busy removing the pet stain!
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. But Vinegar is not safe for stone floors such as marble or travertine.
Because vinegar is an acid it will dissolve the surface of the delicate stone, removing the shine and leave the surface of the stone looking dull and spotty.
Check with the manufacturer if you have an expensive or delicate area rug and are concerned about using vinegar to remove the feces, vomit or urine. If this is a concern, gently rinse with cool water to remove as much of the biological material and dab with a clean cloth to dry and then check with the manufacturer as soon as possible.
Vomit especially contains strong acids that can severely damage delicate fabrics. Vomit ruins marble too, even more quickly than vinegar due to hits extremely strong acidic nature
If You Are Concerned About a "Vinegary Smell"
First of all, make sure you aren't using too much vinegar for the cleaning job you are tackling. Most home remedies that use vinegar will give you exact measurements to mix the vinegar with water. In fact, you usually use more water than vinegar. So, if you are having an overpowering lingering vinegar odor after cleaning check you measurements. You may be using more than you need to get the job done.
Even with the right proportion of vinegar in your cleaning solution you may still find you have a lingering vinegar odor after cleaning with it. As obnoxious as you may find the odor of vinegar, the good news is that the smell goes away very quickly. If the weather permits, open your windows and put on a fan or two and the circulating air will help the process along. Any lingering odor should be gone within an hour at most.
If you just can't stand the though of smelling (or using) vinegar to clean with, try adding some essential oils to your cleaning solution. You can find them at most home and craft stores. Usually a few drops in your mixture will suffice to cut the odor of the vinegar while still maintaining its cleaning and deodorizing properties. Just be sure to pick a scented oil that you find pleasing to your olfactory senses.
Homemade Vinegar Cleaner
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 quart of warm water
Getting The Pet Stains Out
Try to remove the stains as soon as possible. If it is allowed to set in or dries, it's much harder to remove the stain.
- If your furry friend has vomited or pooped on the rug, you need to 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 next step and blot up the moisture below.
- Now remove as much of the rest of the stain as you can with a clean paper towel or cloth.
- Be careful not to push the stain into the pile of a carpet or the fibers of upholstery. Simply blot at it until you have gotten out as much moisture 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 by the pet is wet. Don't flood the area, but let the cleaning solution sit for a minute or so.
- Blot, blot, blot some more until you get all of the liquid up.
- If there’s still a stain, you can let the carpet dry a bit and then repeat the process.
- If the stain is really tough and still persists, mix vinegar and baking soda and use that as the next step. The foaming action of this mixture should help move the stain up out of the stained material.
- Leave it on a couple of minutes and then blot again.
- You can rinse the area with clean water to remove any remaining vinegar cleaning solution
- Let the area dry naturally and the vinegar smell will dissipate when it is dry.
Removing Any Lingering Smell or Odor:
- Cleaning up pet vomit, feces or urine with a vinegar and water solution may take several applications but it will work. Both baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers and work to remove any lingering odor too.
- Get all of the vomit, urine and feces up because any smell of urine or feces left on the carpet, floor, or wherever else your pet has left the stain will draw your pet back to the area for a repeat performance.
- The vinegar smell will disperse as it dries so don’t worry about your house smelling like salad dressing for too long. Open a window if the weather allows.
- If the smell bothers you, you can rinse with clean cool water.
- Stiff carpet fibers will soften when the carpet is vacuumed.
Most houses can use a little fresh air once in a while, anyway, right?
Image courtesy of Microsoft office 13