One of the most common situations that drives people to seek out professional carpet cleaning is when pets have accidents in the house. While any type of pet can make your home smell awful, cats are particularly problematic. That's because they're designed to use water very efficiently--leaving a high concentration of waste in their urine. The result is a particularly unpleasant smell that seems to linger beyond your carpet cleaning.

If you're a pet owner, it's important to respond to any accidents as they occur in the proper fashion. Otherwise, you risk damaging your carpet and being left with a room that constantly smells like your pet's personal toilet.

Step 1--Deal With The Current Accident Area

Before you call in the professional cleaners, you'll need to do a little preliminary work. The most immediate thing you'll need to do is to deal with the most recent stain. Hopefully, you'll be able to see/smell exactly where the incident took place. The quicker you're able to respond to the accident, the easier it is to deal with the smell. That's because you'll prevent the urine from soaking into the carpet's padding.

Using a dry paper towel, blot the affected area of your carpet right away. It can help to press down on the spot with an old shoe--this will ensure you get deep into the carpet without having to press on the towel with your hand. Only move on to the next step after you've blotted the area completely.

Then, once you're convinced that the area is free of any liquid, apply some regular vinegar and a small amount of baking soda to the spot. Let this dry for a day or more before running over the area with a vacuum. Since animals have much more sensitive noses, they will often return to the scene of an accident if they can smell the odor at all. 

Step 2--Locate All Previous Stains

Even though pet urine has a distinctive smell, it's possible that your pet has had other accidents that you didn't catch. Before you have your entire carpet cleaned, you should deal with these stains as well. However, to deal with them, you'll have to find them first. 

The easiest way to do this is to use a black light. Any stains in the carpet will be visible right away under this type of light, and you'll be able to treat those stains with the same solution that you treated the fresh accident with. Again, be sure to let the solution dry completely before running your vacuum over the affected areas. 

Step 3--Deal With The Cause

The last thing you want to do with a pet urine issue is fix the carpet, only to have the pet continue to make the same mistakes. So, before you have your carpet steam cleaned, you'll want to be reasonably sure that your pet is not going to repeat the accident. Pets have indoor accidents for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of training
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Territorial marking

With the exception of a urinary tract infection--which requires a trip to the vet to rule out--you will know right away which cause is impacting your pet. You should remedy these issues before you complete your cleaning. Your friends, relatives, veterinarian, and even your local animal shelter could be fantastic resources for this. However, if you don't complete this step before your cleaning, you'll likely be back at the beginning of this process before long.

At this time, you can feel confident that a thorough steam cleaning will rid your home of pet odors for good. You'll have removed any environmental factors that cause your pet to urinate indoors, and you'll know that your carpet will smell fresh and clean after the professional carpet cleaners are finished.