Pet Accidents – What To Do When They Happen – Part 2
Our pets, the love and care we give them can be pushed to its limits sometimes the moment we discover that ominous little “gift” they left for us on our family room carpet. Once our disappointment wears off after finding the urine, feces or vomit they left behind, we now have the not so fun task of removing it from the carpet.
In the preceding article (part one), I explained how to deal with the most common of pet accidents, urine. But now I would like to discuss what needs to be done about the other two “gifts” our pets occasionally leave us – feces and vomit. So what can you do when they happen?
Many of the steps in treating pet feces and vomit are the same as in treating urine, but with some variation.
As with any pet deposit, the sooner you act in taking steps to remove it, the better your chances are in it not becoming a permanent stain on the carpet.
The first step in treating pet feces or vomit involves removing as much excess contamination as possible. You are going to need some disposable gloves, a spoon (use a plastic one if you have it so you can just throw it away once you are done with it), white paper towels and a small trash bag.
- After putting on the disposable gloves take the spoon using its edge and scrape the excess starting from the outer edge towards the center, scooping it up and then placing it in the trash bag. After each scrape, it’s a good idea to wipe the spoon off with a paper towel. The reason for using the spoon edge is because it acts like a squeegee in pulling the excess contamination away from the carpet fibers. Once you have removed as much as you can, wipe the spoon off to get it ready for the next step. (If a feces deposit is relatively solid, you can just pick it up with some paper towels; throw it in the trash bag and move on to the next step.)
- For this step, you will need an enzyme protein digester spot remover that you can get at your local pet store. Spray enough of the digester to dampen the contaminated fibers. Using the spoon edge, gently agitate the fibers to work the digester in and allow it to dwell on the carpet for 10 to 15 minutes. This dwell time will give the enzymes in the digester a chance to break down the proteins in the feces or vomit which will help dislodge and suspend the contamination off the fibers.
- After the dwell time is up, spray more of the digester on to the carpet and use the spoon edge again to scrape slowly across the spot from the outside towards the center. (Avoid scraping too hard so as not to damage the carpet fibers) You may notice some foam as you do this but this is okay because it’s removing some of the suspended particulates on to the spoon which is a good thing. Wipe the spoon off with a paper towel after each scrape.
Now it’s time to rinse. Get a glass of purified water. Distilled or reverse osmosis water is best, but if you do not have either one of those, tap water will do.
- Slowly pour a little of the water on to the spot. Take some paper towels and blot the area from the outside towards the center. Blotting in this way will help contain the spot from getting bigger. If you possess a wet vacuum or some other kind of water extraction equipment, this will work even better. Use it the same way by extracting from the outside towards the center. Flush the carpet a few times this way or until you feel it has been rinsed thoroughly. Once you have blotted (or extracted) out as much of the water as you can, it’s time to go to the next step.
- This next step may sound a little strange but it’s an important one. Take several paper towels (five or more) and layer them over the spot. Now weight it down with something a little heavy. Something that water can’t damage. You can even use a stack of books, but put a plastic trash liner on top of the towels so no moisture will soak into the books. The reason for doing this is to absorb any remaining water and residue left in the carpet. Leave the area weighted down for at least 12hrs. By then, most of the wicking will have taken place. After 12hrs, remove everything off the spill area and allow it to finish drying.
After drying, if there is a discoloration stain from the feces or vomit, you can spray a little hydrogen peroxide on the area to slowly fade the stain away. It can take up to eight hours for the peroxide to work. Peroxide should only be used on synthetic fibers (which are what most wall-to-wall carpeting is made out of), do not use it on natural fibers like wool or cotton.
By following the steps as I outlined above, you should have pretty good success in removing the feces or vomit from the carpet. If you feel the area needs more attention, avoid the temptation to use other chemicals or cleaners on the spot. Doing so could set the stain making it permanent.
Instead, contact the I.I.C.R.C. (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) www.iicrc.org and they will direct you to a local certified carpet cleaning company in your area that can assist you further. If you are in the San Diego California area, you can contact me by email or by leaving a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.