By Victor Nugent
The type and degree of carpet cleaning that will be necessary to remove urine odors and stains depends on an individual’s personal level of tolerance to odors in particular. Each individual has different and unique levels of sensitivity to odors. Each situation is also unique. The urine contamination may have been caused by a one-time piddling accident by a small pet, or some dribbling around the toilet by a small child, or it may have accumulated over time from the activities of a Great Dane who has claimed that territory.
The extent of carpet cleaning must therefore be related to how completely you want the odor to be removed and how much you are willing to spend to do this. Someone who lives with a pet in the home would naturally be more tolerant of a malodorous condition, than someone who has just moved into an apartment that was recently vacated by the owner of an untrained pet.
The source and extent of the contamination must first be determined before treatment is attempted. Here are several things we can use to do this:
The Nose. This means getting down on hands and knees and sniffing the carpet. This is not always a good or popular option, and is not adequate where there is extensive contamination.
A Moisture detector.Urine residues attract and retain moisture. which can be detected by good quality instruments.
Ultraviolet light. This is the most efficient, and widely used method. Urine fluoresces under ultraviolet light, and all the urine spots will show up, but the room will have to be dark.
Check the carpet backing. In severe cases, urine stains will be most readily seen on the carpet backing, but this will involve lifting the carpet. In any case however, if the contamination is bad enough, the backing will need to be treated also.
It will also be necessary to check the walls, baseboards, drapes, upholstered furniture, and even the clothes closet for contamination, because urine gives off gases during decomposition, and these gases may permeate the whole house through the ventilation system, and lodge in porous material or fabrics anywhere..
When urine leaves the body it is generally free from bacteria and other microorganisms and primarily consists of uric acid with varying amounts of urea, cholesterol, some enzymes, pigments and trace quantities of other chemical compounds. It is slightly acidic, with a pH value between the range of 5-6.
Urine soaked carpet become a fertile feeding and breeding environment for bacteria and other microbes which break down the urine and creates amino acids. This decomposition results in an unpleasant odor. Oxidation of the uric acid also leads to the formation of some crystalline salts, in an alkaline state. In the presence of moisture, these give off ammonia, which is why the smell of urine is so pervasive when the carpet is wet.
Fresh urine may be removed by applying warm water to the spot and blotting it repeatedly with a towel., and then applying small amounts of dilute dish washing detergents, blotting between applications.
Once the urine stain and odor has set in, the best thing to do is simply call in a professional. You may save yourself a lot of grief by doing this.
About the Author: For more cleaning tips call AJS Carpet Cleaning, Inc. at 801 368-0705. Or visit us at
AJS Carpet Cleaning, Inc.
Carpet Cleaning Salt Lake City